Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Best Week Yet: How we found Barbra and other stories from Haines City

Okay this week has been too long for me to try and put all of it down, so I'm going to focus on the big parts. Ive seen unbelievable things down here. This has been by far my favorite week of the mission.


Elder Heluo and I were walking through Haines City on Friday when we met Barbra. We had been walking towards an apartment complex when we got the impression to walk up an empty street. We weren't sure why we were walking up there but it became very clear when we met Barbra. Barbra is an elderly woman (80-90's) who was sitting in her empty car port eating a bag of popcorn. We started walking up her drive way and I said "Ma'am, can we pray for you?" 

Barbra gets a giant smile on her face and says, "I would love that. I buried my husband yesterday and would like a prayer." 

So here we are walking through the neighborhood just talking to people and God drops the sweetest old lady right in front of us and asks us to lift her spirits. Well let me just tell you, when Barbra said that her husband had past a few days prior I felt completely incompetent to talk to her, let alone help her find peace. We sat down and said a quick prayer for her and then started talking about the afterlife. I couldn't tell you where I found the scriptures I found, or how I knew they were there, but I shared a few thoughts on the afterlife and the peace that her husband was in at this moment and assured her that he was going to be watched over. It brought a tear to my eye to see how moved she was. This simple act of kindness. The unexpected turn on a back street into someone's life who really needed us at that exact moment. Barbra was sitting alone the morning after her husband of 46 years funeral. God felt that it wasn't right, so he sent us. We were able to talk to Barbra for 30 minutes and left with her laughing and talking about her kids (in there 60's) and her husband of 46 YEARS. When we got home we started making calls to the Relief Society to find a group of woman to come back with us the next time we go over there. We will be seeing Barbra again tonight and hopefully we can bring her some new friends!

Jean Jr. & Sr.:

Jean Jr. came to church with us this week and was dressed to the nines!! It was so great! Jean knows so much about the Gospel its unreal! He really wants to get closer and he enjoyed church with us! When we took him home after the meeting, his father, Jean Sr., came out and talked to us for a second. He thanked us for taking his son to church and was really happy. We talked for a second then Jean Sr. tells us that his brother passed away this last week, and his other brother passed away four months ago, and his mother passed away also this last year. I looked at Jean Sr. and asked him if he wanted a hug. Then just like that, I was outside of the car giving this grown Haitian Man the tightest hug I've ever given. He started to cry and it was touching. We are going to go back this week and talk with Jean Sr. more hopefully with someone who speaks fluent Creole because Jezikri and broken French can only get you so far. 

Erule & June:

Erule in the Blue Shirt, June in the Orange Shirt
We took Erule and his Nephew on a tour of the church on Friday and it was great! I'm starting to learn more Creole words and can sorta understand what he says (from french class). Its pretty cool! I've never met a more humble human being in my entire life! When Erule prays ( in Creole) it brings the spirit soo strong! Its unbelievable, I'm pretty tempted to just move to Haiti and live the rest of my life around the greatest group of people EVER! Haitians are my new number ones! Erule and June came to church this week also and it was great to see how happy they were sitting in the pew! Erule brought his daughter, who is possibly the cutest 5 year old in the universe! They had a great time and said :
"We will be back next Sunday" in broken English/Creole. Erule has a baptism date set for two Fridays from now and we will see if it works out! 

Brother Joseph: 

So we've met a lot of prepared Haitians. The only real issue - they have car problems. Erules car broke down the day before we met him; Jean doesn't have a car; and Brother Joseph - Well Brother Joseph's car BURNT DOWN. We met Brother Joseph (I'm using his last name because his first name is complex) down in Winterhaven this week. (Winterhaven - aka the second greatest place on earth.) He was sitting outside his apartment watching the sun go down on the lake while a couple of kids fished for bass. We walked up and started to talk to him and he was instantly interested. We shared alot of our message and started to show him a bible video when he stopped and looked up at us and said just kind of out of nowhere: "My car burnt down yesterday." 

We weren't sure why he brought it up at first, but as he started to talk more about it, the story came out. He was sitting in his car in front of his apartment and got the feeling that he should leave it and go inside for a minute. He got carried away with doing something in his house, and when he came back out 30 minutes later, the entire car was in flames and it was too late to do anything. He told us that he felt that God had moved him from the car and taken him inside. We've seen him twice now and he really likes the message that we are sharing about the restoration.

So this has been a bit of our week, the miracles are unceasing, the memories unforgettable, and the people are UNBELIEVABLE! We taught over 50 lessons this week and have said well over a hundred prayers with different people. I'm in my path and know what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it. 

God bless all of you! 

Lots of love from Haines City

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