Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Words of Wisdom

Dear family and friends,

The work is rolling forward in the lovely area of Hampstead. This week has been ridiculously busy! We're preparing like mad women for Ruby's baptism, and working hard to keep all of our plates spinning.

Ruby is doing just grandly! She's going to have her baptismal interview tonight, which is going to be so good! We went over all of the questions with her yesterday, and she has nothing to hold her back other than her trepidation about being underwater. She is such a deep thinker. Every time we ask her about the Word of Wisdom, she goes off on a beautiful soliloquy about what wisdom means and the importance of having it. Listening to her is really quite impressive, her response has been completely different each of the three times we've talked with her about the Word of Wisdom without first clarifying that we're referring to God's health code for us. She has amazing faith. When we went over the baptismal interview questions with her, we realized that we hadn't introduced her to to the name of the prophet on the earth today. Knowing of her unwavering testimony of how God's church was restored to the earth by Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith, we explained how the same priesthood power and calling from God that Joseph had has been passed from prophet to prophet. We testified that Thomas S. Monson was called by God and is His prophet on the earth today. She listened intently, and after a short pause she nodded and expressed her conviction that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today. It was a neat moment. Her sweet, tender faith brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face that didn't leave for a long time.

Earlier this week, we taught a woman named Beverly and her granddaughter Bella the message of the restoration of Christ's church to the earth (https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/restoration). Beverly was intrigued as we shared the account of Joseph Smith's first spoken prayer. She was so eager to know what church it was that had been restored through him. We explained that we were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She told us we were devil worshipers and invited us to leave and never come back. We wished her a good day, and that was that. It was a sad moment. We worship Jesus Christ, plain and simple. She must not know very much about us, to think that we're devil worshipers. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and as such I'll give my life to serve Him. She also must not have read our name tags when we knocked on her door.

Funny story really fast: Elder Wright (the mission housing coordinator) asked us to join the Hampstead Elders and the Westminster Spanish Elders in cleaning out the Hampstead Elder's old apartment. Sister Gudmundson and I had just finished vacuuming the floor when Elder Eilason, who was intently cleaning out the fridge, came over to the edge of the carpet and shook the crumbs out of the crisper drawer he was holding. We just kind of looked at him, and he said with a triumphant grin, "It hasn't been vacuumed yet." He must have been cleaning the fridge more intently than we had thought to have not heard the vacuum running. As we stifled our surprised laughter, another elder (Elder Barnes) made a gesture showing, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it." I couldn't help but notice - he was not very efficient with a vacuum. He unwound the vacuum cord one laborious loop at a time. Then he scooped up the nest of cord, dropped it next to the plug and started searching for the plug end of the cord. When he found it and plugged it in, it took him another minute to untangle the cord enough for the vacuum to reach the spot of carpet where the pile of crumbs sat. Sister Gudmundson and I were in silent stitches by the end of the whole spectacle. It was really funny!

Anyway, much love to everyone! I must scurry.

Sister Naomi Rapier

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