Monday, January 19, 2015

Letter 64 - Brampton!

Hello family!

Wow. I'm pretty sure I say this every week but it is true every week. I am so blessed to be here. This was my first week in Brampton and I LOVE IT. It is a blessed area. We live not even a kilometer away from the stake center and the Toronto Temple. We are serving with AMAZING sisters. The ward is phenomenal. They are all so strong in the gospel and so open in doing missionary work. Goodness I got to the area and we had a dinner AND lunch appointment pretty much every day!
   So far it seems to be a different type of missionary work here compared to Mississauga. Houses are everywhere, everyone has a car, not as many contacting areas - we spent most of our time tracting, working with members, working with Formers. Haha there is a Macs grocery story across the street from the temple and we stand out there and talk with everyone and everyone is so OPEN. I love being a missionary. 
    My companion is AMAZING!!!! Sister Chieko Hoki is from Pleasant Grove. She went to UCAS and is planning to be a surgeon. She is a genious. And she is a phenomenal painter. She can do everything.

And I was blessed to be here in time to see wonderful Donna get baptized! Wow. So powerful. She is the perfect example of King Benjamin's people when is says "they clapped their hands with joy". When she came out of the water, she squealed with joy and clapped her hands and started dancing in the water. For some, that may be a sign of irreverence, but for Donna it is her way of expressing the way she feels :) It was beautiful. Afterwards she bore her testimony, and it was so sincere, so powerful. She has momma's personality of loving everyone and talking with everyone and making them feel like they are the most important people in the world. She doesn't hold back on sharing her feelings haha. She is SO outgoing and just loves everything about church so much. And the wonderful thing, is her two daughters joined her at the baptism. One of her daughters has been sick with sinusitis and Donna has been reading her the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon while she lay sick in bed. Both of them were just overwhelmed by the spirit, crying the whole time. 
   Sister Mandla was blessed to come to the baptism due to the mid-transfer change. So while she and Sister Hoki were helping Donna after she was baptized, Sister Mencarelli and I got to teach together again! We had planned to share the Restoration, but as we got going, we started by bearing our testimonies about our baptisms - and it felt right so we kept going by talking about receiving the Holy Ghost, and before we knew it we were singing "I Love to See the Temple" with everyone in the room. Haha the spirit is so great. It was cool the way we were prompted to take Donna's experience of baptism and move it to speaking about how it is a step to take to reach the blessings of eternal families. Donna's oldest daughter just had a baby and she was bawling during the whole thing. It was perfect for her. 

And what's more?? Elder Oaks came and visited us on Saturday. Glorious. It was sad because he had planned to be there to speak to the missionaries from 9-12, but his flight was delayed and he didn't end up coming until 1:45. We had a very short visit with him, we shook his hand, and were blessed to stay for the next meeting with the all the recent converts and returning members due to the circumstances. I can't describe the overwhelming feelings of peace that whole time. And it was marvelous because that same feeling came the next day when I partook of the sacrament. The spirit testifies of everything true.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Bodine
Donna Baptism

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