Monday, June 13, 2016

Hampstead with Sister Gudmundson

Naomi cut Sister Gudmundson's hair :)
Hi family of all sorts,

Today, I cut Sister Gudmundson's hair. It went quite well! I had never cut anyone's hair but my own. It was an adventure. Happily, she quite likes her haircut! Take a looksie! 

There was a lu'au. The Elders got excited about it!
Naomi's new companion - Sister Gudmundson
This week has been super awesome! I cannot tell you how much I love Sister Gudmundson. She is incredibly sweet and kind. She reminds me a bit of one of my best friends from grade and middle school, which is fantastic! She has a way of asking questions which could be touchy with such innocence and love that no one can take offense. It's very impressive. Her testimony is beautiful. I do believe that she is one of the most charitable people I know. 

Hampstead, Maryland is also pretty cool! I'm still getting used to the bumpy roads, they're in the middle of a bunch of roadwork on the main road.  Wheeee! The best thing about Hampstead is the people. I have been here for just a few days and have already met some exceeding kind and quirky people. It's awesome! My favorite was when a Sister in the ward (who we were trying to help set up a yard sale for the next day) turned around, opened her freezer, and pulled out a bag of frozen spaghetti sauce. Granted, this is not an entirely uncommon occurrence, but it was such a non sequitur that I came away from the experience chuckling. Apparently I'm not the only one with a rollercoaster rather than a train of thought. 

Ruby is a sweet lady who will be getting baptized on June 25, which will be her 81st birthday. She's from Jamaica, and she was the first black female editor for the New York Times. Needless to say, she has some remarkable stories! Ruby is afraid of water, which makes the idea of baptism quite scary for her. If you have a moment this week, say a quick prayer for her! Elder Eilason and Elder Barnes gave her a priesthood blessing of comfort and encouragement at the end of church on Sunday. I find myself filled with renewed gratitude each time I'm able to be a witness of such a blessing. The spirit felt so strong as Elder Eilason spoke words of hope from our Father in Heaven and promised that she would be okay. I've almost never felt the spirit so intensely before, the air fairly crackled, like when lightning strikes nearby. God's presence was truly near. Ruby, when the blessing was finished, sat still for a moment before expressing that she felt a great release, that the fears which brought her near panic had fled; they were no longer keeping her captive. It was an absolutely remarkable experience. I am so humbled and thankful that God restored the priesthood power to act in His name to the earth. I don't want to imagine a world without this comforting knowledge.

I must fly. Love you, and have a good week!

Sister Naomi Rapier

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