Monday, March 30, 2015

Why would a week be bad if you got to go to the temple? :)

So much has happened this week, I don't think I will be able to put it all into one email. I will try to summarize the best I can.

We had another amazing lesson with Jeaneth. She is so motivated and eager to learn the truth. I respect her so much more for wanting to know the truth and actively searching for that truth, rather than wanting to become baptized for welfare, which is a common issue here. However, on that note, I have seen many people join the church for that reason alone and then become converted to the gospel afterwards. Never doubt the Lord and His ways! :)

We met the cutest deaf little girl named Idhalia. She has autism, and is not accountable, but she is so sweet. It is such a tender mercy to talk to her mom (who is hearing). Her mother is always so happy and desirous to chat with us. She loves the idea of us coming over to play with her daughter and serving her. Although Idhalia is not accountable, we will continue to go over and visit her. Maybe through our service, the spirit can soften her mother's heart to want to learn more about the gospel.

Wednesday we also got to go down to the temple to have a temple tour with Annie, Adriana, Alisa, and Jazmin. To say it was amazing is an understatement. Annie and Adriana were incredibly focused and drank in everything the sister tour guides told them. Jazmin and Alisa asked many questions themselves. I think the miracle in this was before we left for the temple trip, Annie told me she was not sure she would go to temple baptisms on Friday. After the temple tour, she was dead set. If I could high-five the Holy Ghost, I would.

On Thursday we went all the way down to Lake Forest, which is in the middle of the Irvine mission. Quite the drive. We went to go see a new investigator, Michelle, but she was not home. So, instead of heading all the way back up to Anaheim, we went a little further south to visit Albertina and Serafin, who are wonderful members of our branch. For the longest time the branch boundaries where they live were not open to the missionaries, but now that the boundaries are open, we can visit them! Serafin is the studliest old gentleman from Cuba. He speaks fluent Spanish, but is hard of hearing and signs in Cuban sign language. Heads up, Cuban sign language is nothing similar to ASL. But he is so nice and, again, a stud. Albertina, his wife, knows ASL, MSL, CubanSL, and some GermanSL. She's amazing. While we were there, Serafin cooked us Cuban potatoes. It's like mashed potatoes rolled into a fist-sized ball and then fried. It was delicious.

Saturday was the best day ever. TEMPLE BAPTISMS WITH THE DEAFIES!!! Veronica and Juana were in their white dresses (because they think they have to wear white) and were as cute as can be. Serafin and Albertina were there. Annie was there. And many other members of the branch. The elders do the baptizing, and the sisters go and interpret the confirmations. My favorite experience in this was interpreting for Xa. Xa is like Veronica and Juana in that she does not sign, but knows a few basic signs. I had to sign what was being said, as it was an ordinance, so I am not sure how much Xa would normally understand. However, as I signed to her, her eyes glowed and seemed to understand everything I was signing to her. It just teaches me how much the spirit teaches people when means of communication otherwise fail. Also, at the baptisms, Elder Bouck had to do baptisms in English, ASL, and Spanish. It was kind of a shining moment for him :) He is doing great as the new district leader.

My favorite scripture this week: Psalms 55:16-18,22. 

Love you all! :)

Sister Smyly Crawford
Sister Crawford, Dahila, her daughter, and Sister Stucki

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