Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New ward made: Delray Beach Ward

O my what a week it has been! So many miracles. So much joy. Honestly, one of the happiest weeks yet of my mission. I don't even know where to start because so much has happened this week. We had Elder and Sister Kopischke come and visit our mission this week. It was amazing as always! I love learning from General authorities. It is such a blessing. I got to see the sommerfeldts. They are so funny. I love them. I also got to see Elder Thomas from Glenwood. We were both happy to see each other. We are both pretty new in the mission still so a familiar face was really good to see.

Church was so great on Sunday! I have never been so excited in my life. The boynton beach ward and the Boca raton ward met together and they split the wards and created a new one! DELRAY BEACH WARD!!! I am so excited! God is hastening his work in the South. So much growth has occurred in the past few years. Truly on fire, and a beautiful temple to crown it all! I am so grateful to be apart of it. No greater joy then seeing God's work unfold right before our eyes. Sister Price and I will be the only missionaries (for right now) in the Delray ward. They changed our area to match the ward boundaries so our area got a whole lot bigger! President told us to just prepare to work very very hard. Obviously we are up for the challenge. What an amazing opportunity we have to set the foundation for missionary work in this new ward. God is putting immense trust in us and I don't want to let him down. Sometimes it scares me how much God trusts us missionaries. We rely on the spirit 100%. The next few weeks will bring a lot of new experiences and opportunities and we embrace them with excitement! 

The following experience is one that I shared in my letter to President this week. For times sake I copy and pasted it to you all as well:

I have such a grateful heart as I ponder what it is that I want to share with you today. Sister Price and I have truly seen so many miracles this week as we earnestly tried to apply what we learned at zone conference and district training. The first experience that comes to mind is the powerful lesson we had with Phillip on Friday. He has been working to stop smoking and drinking coffee and it was clearly evident as we started the lesson that today had been a hard day for him. He slipped up a little bit and was feeling terrible because he knew what he did was wrong. We were planning on teaching the restoration but the spirit was clearly and undoubtedly directing other wise. We opened up the scriptures and read about the Atonement and the power of Christ. We truly applied what we learned at zone conference because rather then just teaching him about repentance we "helped" him to repent! We went step by step through the process with him. When the time came for him to pray and confess and ask for forgiveness, Phillip offered one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. When he was done we all just sat there in spiritual silence. After a few minutes, we asked him how he felt. His words and countenance were truly priceless. He described the joy he felt, and how he felt the burdened being lifted off of his shoulders. He had so much light in his eye. He said that before this experience he had always thought of repentance as a scary thing, a punishment for sinners so to speak. But now he truly understood what repentance was, it was a joyful thing. A wonderful thing. An opportunity to turn to God with full purpose of heart. President the spirit was so strong. We both felt so much love for Phillip as we helped him to repent. We could have just taught him the steps and then committed him to do it. However, that would not have been as effective, nor as powerful. The day before in weekly planning we made him a baptismal calendar like Elder Kopischke suggested to do. Phillip loved it! He has literally taken it with him everywhere. He shows it to everyone. On Sunday after church he had an unexpected trial come up where he had to leave his house for a few days with literally no where to go. Rather then be negative he pulled out his calendar and said to us, "Sisters it is going to be OK this calendar gives me so much hope." The faith that he has is truly so amazing. The calendar is really a simple thing, but for Phillip it has made all of the difference. He is so excited to be baptized this Sunday. This week was such a testimony builder to me that as we apply the counsel of our leaders we see immediate miracles. 

What an amazing week. and truly an even better one ahead. I love being a missionary!  
Half of the mission all together for zone conference. Can you see Elder Thomas and the Sommerfeldts?

Our Valentines Day fun.

Punching our Velentine Balloon hearts mom sent us.

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