First and foremost I want to thank everyone for all of the emails, letters, prayers, and fasts on my behalf. You have no idea how much it means to me. I have really felt all of your love for me and I want to thank everyone for that. I also need to apologize, because everyone was so sweet to me this week I got about 50 e-mails and it took a while to get through them so I'm not going to have time to respond to them all but know that each of them helped me so much!! Thank you!
Especially to you mom, I read a talk in the Ensign this week and there was a line in it that said "few things are more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother." and I just felt the love that I was receiving through your prayers. Thank you so much mom for your love and your righteousness.
and you Sam, i know you hated fasting but thanks for sticking it out buddy.
So this week I have been blessed. I have been seriously blessed. Monday night when I was just on the verge of giving up, the other sisters in our apartment came out to me and said that they felt bad that I had been couped up for so long and offered to go on exchanges so I would have a chance to go out and do work. It was such a blessing, we were able to meet with 3 people who let us into their homes and it was just so sweet. The last lady we almost walked by and I said lets just go talk to her. I went up to her and found out she is an inactive member! She said that when she saw us she noticed a light about us and she really wanted to talk to us! She has been going through some hard times so i offered to contact the elders to give her a blessing and she said that she would love one! She said that we were an answer to her prayers that night and it was just so great. She's not in my area so I cant go talk to her anymore but I'm so glad I met her that night.
Also, so many funny things happened this week, I wish I could share them all but just know, some of the people in Ohio are a strange and wondrous sight.
Sister Chapman started feeling better around Thursday and so we have been able to work a lot more! we definitely are not at 100% but we are doing miles and miles better.
Everyday has gotten a little easier and then last night we had the most amazing lesson.
So some background on them. There is this family that live in the projects of Massilon (my area) and they are really poor. The mom and dad were both baptized in December I think, the daughter who is 16 got baptized last Saturday. Anyways, sadly they don't have any teeth and they have 7 animals and when we first visited them I was dying. I was literally wanting out so bad, but in just 2 weeks I have grown to love them so much. I judged them so harshly when I first met them because of their situation but honestly the parents are so smart! and Leilani the daughter is so nice and sweet, she just takes a little getting used to.
Anyways so Frank, the dad is in the hospital. He was an alcoholic (30 years sober) He is having heart problems and has been there for about a week. Sister Chapman and I went to visit him last night and he just bore his testimony of the love the Lord has for all of us. He started crying when he was talking about his recovery from alcohol and his testimony and said that he will never be able to pay back 1/10 of a percent of what the Lord has done for him. Which was so awesome because he has had such a hard life. and then he said that "If you cant sense the blessings of the Lord in your life, its because you're not awake." it was such a beautiful moment and for the first time since I've been here i felt like this is my mission, instead of Cleveland just being a trial and a temporary assignment.
It is still hard but I'm doing better and better each day. in sacrament brother Hayward said that "we shouldn't pray to conform Gods will to ours, but to know his will" and so that's what I've been doing. i have been praying not for my visa but to do the best I can where I am. It has made all of the difference. Prayer makes all of the difference. Everyone who is reading this, pray. Whether you are Catholic or Atheist or Hindu or Mormon. pray. and pray from your heart. It's amazing what it can do.
Sorry if this is preachy and long. but I have just been so blessed this week. I'm so grateful for the lessons and strength that I have developed and learned in these few weeks of being a missionary.
I'm sorry Macey and Kenna and everyone else who wrote me, that i cant respond to you this week because of time, but thanks for your letters and emails. and Macey and Kenna good luck in high school. don't stress high school. its such a small part of your life and its a joke, and teenagers are weird and awkward and hormonal. don't be teenagers. lol sorry... IS THAT GETTING YOU SO PUMPED FOR IT!?! lol!! high school. ahhhh.
i love you all so much! thanks for everything! its going to be a great year and a half!!!