Monday, January 4, 2010

St. Petersburg Week 13

Hurrah for Israel!
Oh are we ever busy trying to get everything ready for the new Spanish branch! It is coming up quick. We've spent a lot of time searching through church records finding in-actives and less-actives and visiting them. Many of them have renewed interest in the church because they can now worship in their own language. The new branch really is inspired from God. As we have visited with the members, we have been made aware of what this change will cause. Many of the Spanish members have children. Usually their children speak Spanish and English and feel many attachments to the wards that they are in. We are doing all that we can to try and help them with the transition. We reassure them that Heavenly Father will answer their prayers on what action they need to take. It is humbling to me to see how faithful these members are. Many of them haven't had the same opportunity that we get to understand everything that is spoken on Sunday. They really have to be in tune with the spirit to feel that edification. It is possible. Some of the most powerful testimonies that I can remember before my mission were when people bore their testimony in another language. I know this is going to be a great blessing for all.
It is cold! I know it is colder in Washington, but it is really cold here. I just got used to the heat, now I'm freezing! We're biking at least 10 miles a day and walk a lot! With skirts... Need I say more? ;-) When my feet are cold, I look down I try to imagine the Savior and the shoes he walked in and how he told his disciples that they need not take more then is necessary. They were to wear sandals. When I look at my bicycle and grudgingly think, uhhh, 5 miles... I think of the donkey that Jesus rode, or the 60 miles he walked to find John the Baptist. Needless to say, it isn't as cold after I think of those things :-)
We had an amazing lesson with Peggy yesterday! Oh it was just amazing! the Lord has been preparing her. We talked about other religions for awhile. She has a lot skepticism towards other religions and is kind of against organized religion. She was born and raised catholic. She is a very wonderful spiritual lady. When we saw her she lovingly welcomed us right in. She has watched the restoration DVD. She said, "It was like a good Bible story." we asked questions, and as she described how she felt, she described the confusion that Joseph Smith had. I quickly got my scriptures out and shared Santiago 1:5. I mean James 1:5. I bore testimony on how we really can receive answers from Heavenly Father. that there are people out there that want to deceive us. That is why we need to go to Him. God is not a God of confusion.

I could tell something had clicked for her. I shared Second Timothy with her about the apostasy and explained the significance of that and why we needed a restoration. It was a great conversation and I felt the spirit very strongly. There are some things she said that really stuck with me. She said, "Well, you two are such sweet girls, that your church can't be all that bad." :-) She also expressed how good she feels when we are there. We are planning on a lesson again with her. we're going to paint with her. She is very excited. She said we'll take over the kitchen :-) I still am amazed every time we go over there how strong the spirit is. I put the picture that she painted across from the table I study at so that every day it is a reminder, not only of the restoration but of how important it is to follow every impression. As we were getting ready to leave I noticed a new painting on her wall. She painted a picture of the grove for herself. :-) So for the rest of her life she will have a reminder of it for her. This church is true! :-)
I'm thinking of all of the amazing things that have been happening, I just don't have the time to write it all!
I hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas! I love you all! Thank you everyone for the gifts, love and support!
Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

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