Happy Halloween! I hope that everyone has a great day celebrating this holiday. Today we'll be headed to downtown Baltimore and then back to our apartments by 6! We had a great time playing a little P-Day Dodgeball.
This was an amazing week! For starters, yesterday we were able to attend an African church! To be able to put my experience into words of an email will be tough, but it was interesting to say the least. When we first walked in, there were about 4 people in attendance: one was playing the piano and singing, one was just singing, one was playing the drums, and one was in the audience. We joined the "audience" as they put the lyrics up on a projector. The pastor, Gregory Etunnu from Nigeria, leaned over to me and asked me if I play the drums. Well...it's been close to 2 years since I've played the drums, but I said that I had a drum set back home and then all of a sudden I'm on the front stage playing the drums! Elder Cornejo and Ashby were in the audience with tambourines (handed to them by Gregory) and singing and dancing along. The congregation eventually grew and we all sang and listened to worship songs. I can definitely admit it will be one of the most memorable experiences of my mission! They were so grateful for us to come by and offered a prayer to us. We gave them a Book of Mormon and talked to them about the opportunity of being baptized. I hope that we get to go again next week!
We had an amazing miracle on Saturday night. It was close to 7:30 and honestly every single thing that could've fallen through that day HAD fallen through. We had gone through every backup plan that we had, so we decided to say a prayer on the sidewalk. We knelt in prayer and then went up to the house of someone that missionaries had met months ago...and we got yelled at. So, slightly discouraged, we walked back to the car. We then drove to a street over in Catonsville. We were going to head back to Ellicott City but felt that we should stay. We knocked on a total of four doors, all of which produced no success. The time was approaching 9 and we realized it was time for us to head home. We talked to a few more people on the street and headed back towards the car. The three of us weren't saying much, but I'm sure that we were all thinking basically the same thing: Why didn't we have any success? What were we doing wrong? I was looking down at the sidewalk as I walked towards our car for the last few hundred feet. All of a sudden, a quiet voice asked "Are you the people that work with the Sisters?" At first, I honestly thought that I was imagining it. I looked to my left at the driveway that was by us. There was a car parked in it, facing us. There was a lady in the driver seat with her window down and she had called out the window. We walked over and stopped by her car. We talked to her and she had met the Sisters multiple times and they had always talked about how the Elders could give her a blessing of comfort. She asked if she could pull a chair out on the porch and receive a priesthood blessing. We taught her about the priesthood and then gave the blessing. Afterwards, she told us that she had never felt the Spirit like that. "I've felt the Holy Ghost before...but this felt different. Even better." She told us she'd be coming to church next week, and we walked back to the car amazed at what had just happened, literally the last minute of the night. The next morning though, we talked to the Sisters about it. They had gotten a call late the night before from Roxy, who we had met and given a blessing to. She told the Sisters about the experience in these words: "As I was sitting in my car, I looked down the street. I saw 6 young men walking towards my house and I was nervous because there were so many. As they got closer though, 3 of them suddenly left and it was just 3 people in white shirts and ties. I knew that they were people of God because I saw 3 angels accompanying them." Hearing that experience the next day was one of the most humbling and amazing miracles of my mission.
Yesterday at church we met two new investigators that came to Sacrament! One of them is the cousin of Jesus Casas, who I taught about a year and a half ago and was baptized. She is wanting to be baptized! The other is the son of a lady that just got baptized into the Spanish branch!
This week we'll be very busy with Zone Conferences! We'll be headed to Martinsburg (West Virginia) tomorrow. Then on Wednesday we'll be in Frederick (Maryland). Thursday we'll be in Baltimore (Maryland) and then up to Lancaster (Pennsylvania) on Friday! And then trying to keep up with our investigators at every available minute in between...it's quite the week! Then the next week we'll be down in Winchester (Virginia), Chambersburg (Pennsylvania) and here in Columbia (Maryland) again!
Thank you so much for the support. I'm so grateful for the emails, letters, encouragement, and all of the prayers in my behalf.
- Elder Leavitt