Monday, December 16, 2013

Letter 7 - I have been called to serve a mission in South Sudan!!!

Hello family :)

Talk about a week in Utah! I LOVE hearing all the news. Thank you for keeping me posted. I love you all so much.
Well you might be curious as to the headlines of this email? For your information, I have not been called to serve in South Sudan. I am still in London for another transfer with Sister Mendenhall. SO EXCITED :) But honestly, probably every fifth door we knock on there is a family of like eight to ten people from South Sudan. It is the greatest :) These people are so amazing. I guess several years back there was a really big war where the country was split, and the place is still in pretty bad condition so a HUUUUGE group of them immigrated to Canada. Most I guess are in Alberta areas, but a big portion are here in London. These people are so kind. There are many who are Muslim and don't want anything to do with our religion, but they still have hearts of gold. And they usually have like fourteen kids haha.

But this actually goes along with the amazing experience Sister Mendenhall and I had yesterday!! So all our appointments fell through yesterday, F... and her children were the only investigators who came to church, we had pretty much no gas to get anywhere so our areas were limited to drive in, and no one was wanting to listen to us. So it was a pretty great day haha. But seriously though, Sister Medenhall and I were still so happy. Positivity is the key to having a great experience no matter what.  But at 8:15, after nothing happening the whole day, we knock on a door, and a woman answers. Of course, we find out she is from South Sudan :) And like always, the language barrier is pretty bad, so M.... called her daughter D... down to help interpret. They let us in, sat us down, D.... went and called in her brother... and her other brother... and her brother's friend. And we taught them the first lesson. They loved it :) They all accepted a baptismal invitation, and they were so excited to read the Book of Mormon. AND IT ALL HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE DAY. I KNOW that when we show God our willingness to serve, and we strive to accomplish righteous goals, God will put forth His hand and help out.

And we saw that all week :) This past week Sister Mendenhall and I were able to find fourteen new investigators. Fourteen WONDERFUL people we are able to teach, hear their stories, and help them come closer to Christ. We are so grateful. And we for SURE are not letting it get to our heads. It is one thing to have someone invite you back to hear more about Christ's message; it is entirely another thing to continue that process and help them progress towards conversion and a new life. Please pray for these people. They are my family :) I love them with all my heart.

I KNOW that Heavenly Father is pouring out His spirit upon Sister Mendenhall and I. I have never felt that I was a good explainer of things. My teaching skills are very weak. I continue to learn and increase my testimony, I am learning more and more every day, my desire to improve is INTENSE, and there is SO MUCH more that I need to improve on. A mission is the greatest opportunity to focus all your time and attention on others; it is also the easiest place to turn inwards and focus on yourself. I am so grateful for experiences I have had, good and not so good, where I have been having to learn how to turn my thoughts away from myself and focus on Christ and His people. Humility, patience, and charity is VITAL in this work. And it is the most joyous feeling when those attributes are expressed :) I love this work and this opportunity. But I NEED TO DO MORE!!!! This week is going to be amazing :) Just you wait...
It isn't that cold here at the moment (knock on wood). Right now the sun is shining with no clouds in the sky, but the humidity still causes the cold to chill you to the bone haha. I still haven't gotten cold gear yet... I don't like spending money haha but I think it might be worth it.
Our mission does this thing called a "Living Christmas Card" where members refer us to their nonmember friends; we go to their house, knock on their door, sing an opening hymn, recite some scriptures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, close with a hymn and a prayer, and then hand them a "Joy to the World" DVD and a letter written from their member friend. SO EXCITED to do it!!! The best part of it will be after the event when the members follow-up with their friends on the experience, and invite them to take the lessons :) We are excited to see the fruits of that effort.
Christmas Day is coming up!! I get to talk to you soon! So I will be calling on Christmas Day, I am sorry but we don't know the time yet. I'll let you know next week, but it will be after 12 (noon) here. That's for sure. Hope that helps!
I LOVE YOU ALL!! I hope you keep having an amazing holiday! Keep your standards, keep serving, smile a lot, and I will talk to you next week!
Thank you again for the prayers :) I pray for you every day. So grateful for you all!
Sister Bodine

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