After being taught by several companionships for quite a while, Jade made the decision to be baptized! It was really a nice service; she and I baked cookies the previous day for the reception that followed it. There were forty ward members present. One more person for our 'stellar' YSA group!
Also had to put in this great shot Bernard posed. Recent converts, Jason and Bernard at the back with Elder Bahr and Elder Duran at the front. You've gotta love all the 'suave'!
So...we had just cleaned up from the post-baptism reception and were heading to a member's piano lesson, when we got a call that the sweet new Latino ward member was in labor! She relocated here alone last month with her two daughters while her husband stayed to work down South till he could find employment here!
No space to tell more details, but Elder Meese ended up entertaining a five and a three year old in a bare hospital meeting room (with two old markers and a white board!). And I ended up being present, along with a young midwife trainee, for the birth of an 8 lb 7 oz baby girl! Quite an experience for someone who is used to American hospitals, epidurals, and doctors and nurses hovering around. And, here she is.....Ta Da!
We picked her husband up at the bus station at 3 a.m. the next morning and got him to their little flat. One ward member had the girls overnight, another was making dinner. A third member arranged for some much needed furniture to be added to their surroundings. The little family is now safe at home together. But there was one casualty...Elder Meese is now on Sarah's list of 'big bad men' for carrying her out of the hospital kicking and screaming when we found they were not going to let her mother come home Sunday. Try not looking like a kidnapper or terrorist when a three-year old girl is flailing all limbs and shouting at you in Spanish!
Well, leaving that momentous day for a moment.... the Lord sure blesses you in many ways out here. Not only was it phenomenal to find this great bungalow, fully furnished, clean, and perfect for gatherings....but the other day we realized we needed a large table for living room parties. So....we found the British Heart Charity shop!
And now, for 50 percent off...we are proud owners of this great $15 table! (actually 15 pounds, but I can't find that sign on my keyboard) Anyway, it's perfect!
We've had guests to dinner three nights, a Family Home Evening, and an Elders Quorum Pizza Night here in the past ten days. It's going to pay for itself many times over!
Every time we're in a zone meeting I wish you could all be privileged to sit with these totally amazing young missionaries. They teach me so much every time about determination, and spirituality, and being bold in your testimony of Christ! I just love being around them.
Last Sunday, these sisters sang an acapella duet of "How Great Thou Art". Total reverence just wrapped around the congregation.
Then one of our Elders spoke and told about his brother, also in the mission field, who was brought through some serious emotional struggles by his companion...who has Aspbergers. His talk was so touching that the High Councilor who spoke next hardly new how to begin.
That same Sunday, in our earlier ward, we asked these young Elders to come in to help with our Youth Sunday School class.
The Elder on the left told how it is to be a young member in Russia. He is a convert of about three years and has made an immediate connection with ward members. The young Elder on the right told how, as a champion swimmer in his California high school, he opted out of taking 'energy supplements' that they were encouraged to take before races. He said the coach grew to count on the LDS members of the team because he knew they would always perform well and be in top mental shape.
I could go on about our missionaries forever, but..... for the next couple of weeks, Elder Meese and I are also volunteering for the 'Poppy Appeal' campaign. The Church has given its support to this in England. I have to say, I was totally unaware of what it was. After poppies survived in Flanders Field after the War, they became the symbol of peace and recovery. So every year people buy and wear these poppy pins to support the families of the armed forces. It's pretty neat the way the public totally supports this. We had a very constant stream of people by our little post in Morrisons Grocery last Monday.
Well, I must get on with life. But here are a couple of lovely shots to end. One is Grace and Ed's new little boy....how cute is he! The other is a surprise wall hanging made for us by Wendy....because she knew we loved 'mice'.
So until next post, we send our love from 'Mouse Mum' and Elder Meese.