At the beginning of our beloved Holy Week, our bishop’s wonderful wife just gave the best lesson about Jesus Christ and His atonement. She brought some daffodils and talked about how because of the strange winter we’ve had, they got a false start in December and when it snowed 38 inches she was sure they were done for. But when spring came, she saw the dead-looking leaves that had started growing fall and give way to lively and vibrant yellow blossoms. She also used some wonderful resources from mormon.org/easter which website we have been inviting everyone to view. It’s pretty good, honestly. I especially liked the virtual Hallelujah chorus. I obviously cried lots and then I had to give the closing prayer… while crying. Oh well. Crying is good. Our mission president extended an invitation to us which I would love to share with you, which is to review the events associated with our first Easter as narrated in the New Testament. These can be found at Matthew 21-28, Mark 11 -16, Luke 19-24, and John 12-21. I can promise that this study will be wonderful and edifying.
Also on Sunday we had a visiting high councilor and his family speaking. They all have been traveling around and speaking at other wards in the area just to keep things fresh and his wife said, “My favorite thing about this has been getting to look at different babies every Sunday. You have some great babies here” She is a tourist of babies! We do have some pretty great kids in our area. Working with members is very different outside of the YSA because we are catering to vastly shorter attention spans. For example, we did one with a cute cute little toddler where we blindfolded her and played “Hot and Cold” with a Book of Mormon and talked about the Holy Ghost. At the end of the lesson I crouched down for a hug and she tackled me. I started to fall forward and thought, okay, I need to save the baby. So I grabbed Sister Rogers, who was also in an unstable squatting position and brought her down with me. Somehow I managed to not squish the child but we were on the hard kitchen floor and I got a nice bruise on my knee. The things we do for babies, right?
We also had a great combined FHE at the home of our ward mission leader with a part-member family in the ward and a family they’re friends with. We talked about how the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and shared the story from 3 Nephi 17 (a GREAT chapter if you haven’t read it lately) of Christ visiting the Americas and of His love for children, then everyone sculpted a Christus statue out of play-dough. Classic family ward.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the things we do for the oldies, whom I love dearly. This week a sister in our ward who lives in a nursing home with her husband had a birthday! Sister Rogers is great with birthdays and she noticed that this sister’s husband is always complaining that Jimmy John’s won’t deliver to them (come on, Jimmy John’s) so we picked up some sandwiches for them and decorated their door with streamers and had a little visit. It was so nice.
Best of all of anything ever in my whole life, HANNAH GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her soooo much. She has been hoping to get baptized pretty much since she was a young child but it took her family about ten years to come around. When they finally did, they came to the service and everything! It was so wonderful. She just had this glow after she was baptized. Can’t you see it even in the photo? The holy countenance. I love her so so much. It was quite an adventure getting there because it was in my past area which is two hours away from where I am now. We had a ride who had something come up at the last minute the day before and so we called pretty much the whole ward to see if anyone could drive us. Prospects did not look good and I got so sad about not being there and then resolved to be happy and at peace with just being happy that she was getting baptized and I woke up the morning of her baptism with a big smile on my face, resolved to just have a great day of working my tail off. And THEN right at the last minute a sister in the ward called us and said, “What the heck, let’s go to Columbia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and drove us for two hours in the snow. We got there pretty late, but better late than never, right?!! Oh it was so wonderful. And right before Easter. It was a great reminder to me of how much we rely on the Savior. I could not do anything without Him. He is my power source. Seeing Hannah bathed in the power of His Atonement was just amazing and walking into a room packed full of people who love her so much with such a palpable atmosphere of love and the Spirit was a testament to me that the Lord works through a community for a reason.
And to my community, I love you. Think of your Savior this week and always and write to me at 841 Thomas Ct #57, Winchester VA 22601