Monday, August 15, 2016

Serve God and Do Good

Howdy, Family!

I don't hear "howdy" too often. Too few Southerners 'round these here parts... XD

I am so super stoked about this week.


We met with a girl named Carlee yesterday. She was referred to us by the Alameda Elders, who met her on a bus ride to downtown. She expressed that she wanted to learn more, and they sent her number to us. She is a doll of a human being, short (like me!) and with one of the most kind and long-suffering spirits of anyone I have EVER met!!!! When we called for the first time, it became quickly evident that she loves God and that her greatest desire is to serve Him and do good. We asked if she had any concerns in her life that we could study for and help her resolve. She thought for a second, and then asked, "Could you help me get baptized? I want to get baptized, and I've never been able to." Ummmm yes!!!!!!! That is, after all, our specialty: we are here to invite people to come to Christ! We're here to help them prepare for and make sacred covenants, beginning with baptism by immersion by someone with the priesthood, or the authority to act in God's name. A covenant is a two-way promise between an individual and God, so it's serious business. To help someone prepare to make this baptismal promise with God is one of the most beautiful opportunities I've had in my entire mission. Seeing first Chong, then Ruby enter the waters of baptism was awe-inspiring. The joy is so real, and I'm so excited to experience it once again.

More about Carlee: She's 18. When her father found out that she was a girl, and therefore not a boy, he left. Her mom recently decided that she didn't want to be a mom anymore and disowned Carlee. Carlee's been robbed, thrown onto the streets, and had to drop out of high school to take care of her Aunt, who needed hospice care and couldn't afford it. She's been living in rough neighborhoods for her entire life, and she loves to serve the people around her, though they often abuse her generosity. She still serves and loves everyone in her path. Wow.

All of the neighborhood kids in the look up to her a ton!! For many, she's the only consistently kind adult in their lives. So many people said hello to her while we were teaching her yesterday on her porch! Carlee amazes me, straight up.

As we were in the midst of talking, she testified of God and His goodness and mercy. She told us that she knows that He loves her. She knows that He's proud of her that she wants to better her life. I will keep you posted on my remarkable friend Carlee, but I have to go now.

Love you!

Sister Naomi Rapier

p.s.-woke up on Sunday morning and our car was gone from our apartment parking lot... we still aren't quite sure what happened that they decided to tow us, but there you have that! XD

Where's our car, dude?!
Got our car back!

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