Elder Hougaard and I are a simple companionship again. Jacob Beck, our mini-missionary left our fold on Thursday and will be submitting his mission papers soon. I am so excited to see where the lord wants him to go. If it's Curitiba, I may punch a hole through the wall, like Jacob did when Texas University beat USC in a football game a few long years ago. It was a pleasure to work with someone so eager to learn. He is very talented with music as well. I look forward to the days when I can bring my children to his concerts and wear his band shirts. I've attached a picture of him so all can see how cute he really is.
I haven't had the chance of seeing any leprechauns or 4 leaf clovers this St. Patrick's Day, but I did get to see another pot of golden miracles as I do weekly. Albany is known for holding a Gigantic annual St. Patrick's parade and festival, so we had to lay low this weekend. Both New Yorkers and Irishmen share a liking for alcoholic beverages, so there were many drunk people walking around town in this area, but the work didn't stop from moving nobly, boldly, and independent.
Elder Hougaard and I made a St. Patrick's resolution to contact EVERY less-active member in this area by weeks end, so we are both very excited about that. We are trying to work more with less-active members because many of them are unaware that there is a new building and haven't been contacted by anyone from the church for a very long time. This past week we were finally able to have a lesson with a less-active member named Georgette Tillman. She had become muslim after being a member when she married her husband. Her husband and her split and now she isn't practicing in that faith. We were able to re-kindle the faith she felt when meeting with missionaries so long ago. She desired to come to church, but when she walked out the door she slipped a couple of times on the frozen roads and got pretty bruised up. In the 5 months I've walked through these frozen plains, I have only slipped once. Some people just aren't so lucky. We hope to see her back at church this upcoming Sunday!
I realize that I failed to mention last week that Eileen Johnson is officially a non-smoker! After a lifelong habit of smoking 7 cigarettes a day, she was able to cleanse her body of toxins in just 7 days. Dreams really do come true. She is so dedicated to join the church, it's inspiring. She has been pretty stressed lately with the kids and work, so we weren't able to meet with her this week. She is currently praying for the opportunity to find a new job that doesn't have her working on Sundays. Since she has only been able to come to church once, we have dropped their baptismal date. I am so hopeful that she will be able to come soon. God will provide for her needs and she will be right back on date.
Christian is still reading and praying daily! We are reading the Book of Mormon with him from where he is at and answering his questions. He too, is dedicated. He wants to bump his baptismal date a week earlier, on May 3rd, which means he has faith that he will understand the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the Church. Yes.
Remember Jareth and Susanna, the couple from Ecuador? Susanna is investigating and Jareth is becoming re-activated. We had a spiritual meeting with them this week and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). At the end of it, Susanna gave a very sincere spanish prayer and began to cry as she expressed gratitude for having good men coming into her life when she needs them most. It was very touching. We really look forward to seeing her progression and the changes she is making in her life.
I love being a missionary, I really do, even though I say that every week. It's such a blessing to have been raised with a gospel of happiness. Many people don't have what we have. Many families and individuals are living in difficult circumstances and don't know how to find peace. It is such a pleasure to help these people, no matter where I am. I am just so grateful to have what I have. The lord has me here in New York for so long for a reason. My calling is inspired.
Each one of you is in my prayers. Have a happy spring!