Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello! Hello! 1.5.2015

Hello to my beautiful people!

It has been a wonderful week! The weather here has gotten quite cold (like this morning it was 34) so we are just trying to enjoy the Utah-like weather. It's nice though.

So the highlight of this week was definitely JO's baptism! Oh it has been so wonderful to get to work with him from the beginning and help him progress to baptism. That boy definitely has a testimony of Jesus Christ and a knowledge of the gospel! After he got baptized, he was just grinning from ear to ear. It was a beautiful service.

In preparation for JO's baptism, we wanted to hit "standards" (the averages or normals for the zone. I don't really know how they make them... but regardless). The standards are pretty high, but we wanted to do our best. We ended up not hitting all the standards, but we did work very hard regardless. We taught 20 lessons, and 6 of those were LTMPs. (Lessons taught with a member present.) It was wonderful. Definitely some miracle lessons that's for sure, but it's good.

Tuesday night the bishop's family was having a bonfire, so we got to go to that. One of our investigators was there and there were also a bunch of other great people. It was a fun opportunity to socialize with the ward.
Wednesday we started volunteering at the local food pantry here. It's ran by the baptist church, but there are a couple LDS people who volunteer as well. We are excited to start helping out there every week. Yay for service opportunities!

So there is a family in the ward that took us out for dinner on New Years Eve. They have a son who served a mission and two grandkids. We've had some really good conversations. Turns out that their daughter-in-law's grandmother is in my home ward! (Sister Taysom). (Mom and Dad- the only way I figured this out was by just figuring out where she lived then looking it up on lds tools....haha). Cool little connection right there.
Here's a funny text from our zone leaders this week: #gilmergirlsgoin'forgold. We enjoyed it.

Friday we were able to teach MI again. (The 14 year old who was a referral from the Wadsworths.) We taught her the plan of salvation and she said that it just made so much sense. When we were teaching about the spirit world, she said, "I always wondered about those poor souls who  never got to hear about Jesus while they were on earth. It makes so much sense that they get the opportunity to hear about him after they die!" oh I was jumping for joy. On the inside. :)

RI was able to come to JO's baptism and to church! Oh it was wonderful! We continue to pray for him and seek to help him understand better. He's having a hard time understanding the priesthood, but we're trying to help.

Speaking of church - church was awesome yesterday! So here's everything that happened before the sacrament was blessed and passed: 

JA (my recent convert) was sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood
JO was confirmed a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost
A baby was blessed
Another baby was blessed. This baby (Miya) has a set of grandparents who do not speak English. They were in attendance. So the brother giving the blessing would say a line, then a different brother would repeat what he said, but in Spanish. ! So awesome.

So basically there were a bunch of priesthood ordinances happening. It was so perfect that RI was at church.
But wait there's more. So then, it was time for the testimony portion of the meeting. The testimonies were very powerful and centered on the Savior and on the priesthood. Then a sister in the ward who is originally from Ecuador got up and said that the bishop had invited her to bear her testimony in Spanish. Then her mother (who is a recent convert) also bore her testimony is spanish. And another guy did it too in Spanish. I had no idea what they were saying, but the Spirit was so so strong! Oh my heart was full. It was such a testimony builder that the Spirit speaks to our hearts, not always to our minds. We were sitting by JO's family during Sacrament meeting. His little brother was sitting by me. During all the Spanish testimonies, he leaned over to his mom and said, "Mom, what am I feeling?" She told him that it was the Spirit. He said, "Well I feel really warm and hot inside. It feels really good." I thought it was a wonderful teaching moment for this little boy.

Oh it was just so wonderful.

I tried lots of new foods this week! Elk steaks (not bad actually), a bajillion different chili at our ward chili cook off, and on new year's we had black eye peas (for good luck), steamed cabbage (for money) and good old cornbread. it was a fun tradition.

As I continue to read the Book of Mormon each day, I find that I don't want to put it down once I've read the assigned chapters for the day. I want to continue reading and learning.

Oh how blessed we are to have the gospel!

I love you!
Sister Gilbert

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