Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day! Libraries were closed yesterday so that is why I am having to email today!
This was an amazing week! Things quickly progressed with Francis Okolo, our investigator from Nigeria. We had an amazing lesson with him last Thursday. While we were preparing for the lesson, we called Brother Oladale, who we knew was a convert from Africa as well. Brother Oladale met us at the house of Francis, and as we were walking up to the door we asked him where he was from in Africa..and it turned out he was also from Nigeria!! As we went through the lesson, Brother Oladale was a perfect match for Francis. Francis had come from Nigeria without his family, raised in a Catholic home...exact same as Brother Oladale! When we asked Francis how his reading of the Plan of Salvation pamphlet went..well, he taught us the Plan of Salvation! He was incredibly prepared, so we asked him to be baptized, and he said yes! He got up and wrote it on this huge calendar that he has hanging up. So, Francis is getting baptized next Saturday on the 30th!
This past Saturday, we were able to take Francis on a tour of the Stake Center! To go along with this, Elder Lawrence's Stake President, President Collings, was recently called as a Mission President to Uganda, Africa. Well, Sister Collings' parents are a senior couple in our mission! Long story short, they came to visit the senior couple before the Collings go to Uganda to serve in June. We got to eat dinner with them on Saturday night, but they also came out and helped us teach Francis during the church tour! It was a cool experience for Elder Lawrence having his Stake President there to teach a lesson during his mission! It was so nice to meet President and Sister Collings and I'm so excited to hear about their experiences in Uganda! Also, Elder Teh from the 70 that came and toured our mission got called as a Mission President to Taiwan!
|Francis, Elder Lawrence & The Collings|
We got to meet with Brother Selby this week, but the kids were all in school down in Virginia. We've gotten really close to him and he loves us coming over. He feels like an uncle to me now! This Sunday the Selby family is coming over to President and Sister Christiansen's house for dinner and a lesson! Sydney should be getting baptized sometime in February.
This week I heard that a family that I used to work with in the Columbia Spanish Branch, the Riggin family, are soon getting sealed in the temple!! Brother Riggin has been less-active for quite some time but has now returned to activity in the church and wants to get sealed to his wife and family. I was so excited to hear about that!
On kind of a more random note, Elder Lawrence and I got permission to go to a high school basketball game for a member in our ward that plays on JV and it was so much fun! We're trying to teach a few of his friends on the team and they've really gotten to know us so it was really good to get to go to the game, and it made me realize once again how much I LOVE basketball...I'm just glad I get to use basketball to find people to teach on my mission!
This Friday we have a leadership meeting in Frederick, so I get to go out to dinner with Axel Lara, the one that was baptized at the beginning of my mission! I'm so excited to see him again.
|This picture is from Feb. 2015, when Axel Lara was Baptized.|
Those baptism cards that Elder Mumm & I created are being used throughout the whole mission now and it's been cool to see! We have also created some in Spanish now as well. All of the missionaries are doing an amazing job of talking about baptism with everyone, and we are seeing the results! We have the most people with a date for baptism that we've had in over 2 years! The work is hastening.
I love this quote from Elder Renlund: "To effectively serve others, we must see them through parents' eyes, through Heavenly Father's eyes." I love the idea of trying to look at all people through God's eyes. Just as Jesus Christ did as he went out and taught: he loved all and served all. I also really enjoy this quote: "Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death." No matter what doubts we have, as we continue to focus on our faith, we will be perfectly fine and I am so grateful for that gospel truth.
Weeks continue to fly by! I was always warned before my mission of how fast time seems to fly..and it is so true! I continue to learn more and more each week and I'm so grateful for that! Thank you for the wonderful support!
- Elder Leavitt