Monday, May 2, 2016

Families can be together forever! Whoop!

Hey Everyone!! 

This week has been an adventure. It was a loooong week, full of many more grumpy people than I am necessarily accustomed to meeting. On the bright side, it was also full of lovely people who I have enjoyed getting to know. It all balances out. (:

I was also shouted at by an old lady! That was a first. She has a curse word for every year she's lived, I reckon. We heard several of them in our conversation with her on Friday evening. Joyce D. was the one who shouted at us. In many ways, it was an answer to prayers. We had prayed earlier that day to know not only the condition of Joyce's heart (we had a pretty good idea of how that was doing), but also of her readiness to progress. Sometimes when you love someone so much and want to see them succeed so badly, a very strong answer in the negative is the only thing that will get through your skull. I think such is the case here. We've both been invited to never come back. We'll be leaving a note in the area book to go see her in a few more months once we're both gone. Maybe she only greatly dislikes us. Maybe we'll never know.

This week, we were invited by the Young Women's leaders to organize and participate in an activity with the youth! It was lots of fun. As we were thinking about the youth, we kept feeling like we're still pretty much youth. We only graduated last year, and here we are, out trying to help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. 

It's a little bit intimidating.

 We felt ourselves remembering with great empathy the derision that arises from classmates when it comes up that you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that you're a Mormon. Many who attended my school had differing religious backgrounds but shared a profound respect for the beliefs of those around them; among my closest friends were devoted individuals who were Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Mormon, Lutheran, and Agnostic. Being around them and growing close to them shaped my perception of the world around me in many incredible ways. Being with them showed me that we are truly brought together across all societal boundaries when we treat each other with the mutual love and respect that each human being is inherently worth. Each soul is so precious, a work of art.

In this spirit, we approached the activity. We asked the youth to submit the questions that they had been asked by friends and acquaintances. Probably my favorite submission result was the question, "Do you have horns?" We are human and therefore we have human DNA; in other words, no, we don't have horns. Sorry to disappoint. Once all of the questions had been submitted, we broke into groups and each groups performed a skit answering the questions divvied out to them. The skits were hilarious! Our purpose of helping the youth to gain confidence in answering the questions of others seemed to be fulfilled quite nicely. At the end, we asked each youth to write their testimonies on a slip of paper. How inspiring to review the convictions of ones who are so young! So cool. Alex was there, and he seemed to enjoy himself. He even participated in answering the questions in the skit! It was awesome!

We had another two discussions with the big family this week. It was really cool. We also met with Doug again, and Sister Tait and I helped to resolve his concerns! It was great!

This week is Mother's day, which is one of the days when missionaries get to Skype home. I get to talk to my Momma and the rest of my immediate family so soon! May I just say that I'm super excited and thankful that we get to communicate twice a year in this way. It seems so surreal that I've already made it to my first missionary skype session with my family. That means that I've been out coming up on four months... yeesh. Time flies when you're working hard and having fun because of it! (: I am so thankful to be on a mission. It definitely makes me even more aware of how thankful I am that families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan. Hooray for families!! Eternity will be great because of them. (:

Love you all! 

Love, Sister Naomi Rapier (:

My kind of meeting!

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