Hello mi familia!
Thanks for the letters these last couple of weeks. It's so great to hear from you! I love hearing that my brothers are soccer coaches for little teams. Those lucky little soccer players! Having the best coaches around. And Grandma is moving to Utah! So so so happy to hear that.
So you might be interested in what my email title means. Let me start this email off by telling you the story haha. We were getting ready in the morning a few days ago. I was walking in the bathroom when I hear I Sister Von gasp, and with laughter and terror in her voice, Sister Von calls me into the front room. As I walk in, I focus my eyes to our open balcony door where Sister Von is looking. And what do I see? A big, golden cat sticking his head into our apartment! HOW ON EARTH did that cat get into our 15th floor apartment, let alone onto our balcony! Haha my first reaction was to yell, and charge; so we ran, it ran, and we watched the little menace squeeze through the perfectly sized gap in the wall separating our balcony from our neighbor's balcony. So so funny. So we are going to make sure we keep our balcony door closed while we are gone from now on haha.
So kind of cool. If you don't remember John and Nyema, mommy's cousin, lives in Toronto, about four blocks from the church! They have been out of town for the last little while and were supposed to come back on the 5th. So we made a little surprise visit on Wednesday while we were in the area and they were home! They are so sweet. John looks like Uncle Dave to me, with Grandma's nose haha. We couldn't stay for long, so we had a nice little chat and planned on visiting for reals this wednesday night. So excited!
I had a really cool experience in the Subway about a week ago. I saw this man and went up to talk to him while Sister Von was calling some people. He is from Sudan - recently moved here with his family - sweetest man in the world. He is Muslim, but has had a lot of experience with Christianity because of friends and school so he was very open to talking. I invited him to come to church as well as to ESL. We were on the Subway so it had to be a very quick visit, but he accepted both invitations and left it at that. Sunday came and he didn't come to church. ESL came, and ten minutes after it started, we received a call from our friend telling us he was on his way! After ESL we took him on a tour of the church. We ended in the chapel where we talked to him about the sacrament and the purpose of baptism. The spirit was so strong. He told us that he has been invited to many different churches. All of which he has declined. And he added, "But there was something different about you (as he stares at me) - a sense of fire in what you were saying. I don't know what it was. But YOU were what pushed me to come here today." From that experience, I learned how powerful our examples truly are. I know the spirit didn't touch him in anything specific that I said, because we talked very little. I know that the people we are, the examples we share to those around us, are our greatest testaments of what we know to be true. There is a power that comes by having the spirit with us. And when we connect it with something simple like smiling at someone, it can go a loooong way. I love it :)
While I was sitting in church on Sunday, I was watching people come into the chapel. There was a lady who walked in with a boy, and she looked like someone I knew from Orem. I brushed that thought off quickly because it was obviously impossible for someone from home to be here in Toronto. Then she saw me and her eyes got huge, and I realized that I was right!!! Kevin Urquhart's mom was standing right in front of me! haha so cool. Brother Urquhart was on a business trip, so she and her son joined along and they decided to come to church while they were here. It was such a fun reunion!
Sister Von Niederhausern brought up a good point this week. Many times, we make eye contact with people as we get on the bus, and they immediately get out their headphones and start listening to music, or they close their eyes and pretend like they are asleep, and then we catch them peeking at us hahaha it's hilarious. But sometimes, when people see us they immediately pull out their crosses or their prayers beads. Sister Von one day commented, "Sometimes people don't want to talk to us, but it's a good thing they saw us because it reminded them of their own religion - suddenly they remember why they wear their cross, and hopefully some of them even think to themselves 'aw man I need to go back to church sometime!'"
Haha I thought that was awesome. And it's true! Even when people don't want to hear what we have to say, we hope it reminds them of what their beliefs are and gets them thinking about their Savior a little more. Small and simple things!
I love you all! Hope you have a great week! Thanks for everything! Keep your standards!!!