Thursday, August 23, 2012

 EMAIL: Mon, August 20    10:19 AM
Subject:  Families Blessed by the Gospel

Howdy Y'all!!!
The first big news is my companion, Sister Pierce, leaves for home this Wednesday.  I am very sad that she is going to be leaving because I have gained many valuable missionary skills from her, but she has completed an amazing mission. Sister Pierce is an amazing missionary and I feel truly privileged to have been her companion for a transfer and a half.  What a blessing to my life as a missionary!

With Sister Pierce leaving, things are going to be changed around a bit. I found out late last night that I am going to be in a trio companionship again.  I am going to be paired up with the Spanish Sisters (Hermana) in the Rowlett area, Hermana Lopez and Hermana Spenner.   I am super excited.   Their apt is super small, so the Hermanas are going to be moving into the Heuer's home with me (the members I currently live with).  The three of us are going to be covering the 3 wards in Rowlett. I will be mostly in charge of the work in Rowlett 1 and Rowlett 2 wards while the Hermanas will stay mostly in charge of the Rowlett 3 Ward (Spanish speaking).  We will spend most of the time together with lessons and tracting, but because we will have a larger area and more people to visit, I may spend a lot of time with some of the female ward missionaries as my companion for a couple of hours.  It should be pretty fun!  And I get to work on my Spanish!  The rumor has it that the Hermanas and I will be a tripanionship for only three weeks, until the end of the transfer, and then I will be back with an English sister, but we will have to wait and see what happens.

A couple people have asked exactly how Brother T (the extremely large Samoan) was baptized a couple of weeks ago. I may have already mentioned that it was outside in a pool. T struggled getting into the pool because of his feet problems, but he had at least 4 men help him in and then at least 5 help him back out. The prayer for the baptism was said by Brother Bawden and then Brother Ryan was on T's other side and Brother Kraus was behind T. They had T with water pretty much just below his chin, so he just had to bend his knees a little and lean back to be immersed, but it still took 2 times. The three men were barely able to get him back out of the water and they also had to support him the entire time. It was a very interesting baptism, but I am so proud of T because he endured through the pain (and embarrassment) to fulfill a commandment of the Lord and be baptized. What a great experience!

One of the reasons that I am happiest to get to stay in Rowlett for now is Renee and her family.  They are doing amazing!!!  On Tuesday, Sister Pierce and I taught Renee. We talked about baptism (we have set a date several times but she was still wary about being baptized).  We told Renee that she could wait to be baptized with her son Quinlan and her husband Tom. This made Renee so happy. She feels like it is right and confirmed by the spirit that she needs to be baptized with her family.  On Friday night we taught the whole family at one of the member's home. (Having lessons at member's home is the best teaching opportunity!!)  We were teaching the Plan of Salvation, and Tom was very interested. He had even read the pamphlet beforehand and had questions that he wanted to ask us. It was pretty amazing because he asked about the three kingdoms and even named them to us with perfect pronunciation without even looking them up first. Even members struggle with remembering the three kingdoms in order! I was so amazed and I knew that Tom had a true interest in what we were sharing with him.  Their son, Quinlan, is also very smart and has a great comprehension and memory. He will be turning 9 years old in September.  The lesson went very well and Renee's family loved the members that we were with.  Then, Renee and her family came to church yesterday. They even stayed for all three hours!  This is the second time they have all been to church and Tom especially is enjoying it.  The members were very welcoming and helpful. One of the elder's quorum counselors even found out that they live only 4 houses away from Renee and family, so he invited Renee's family and me and my companions over to dinner this next Friday and then to teach a lesson. It should be awesome! I am so happy for Renee because getting her family involved is really what was needed to help her progress and have more desire to be baptized.  It is going to take some work, but I know this family (especially Tom) has been prepared by the Lord to become members of the church.  I am so thankful to be a part of their teaching experience! What a blessing and a testimony to my missionary experiences.

Yesterday, Khek (the Laotian baptized at the beginning of July) was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. I am so happy for him. Khek is so excited to have this power and authority from God.  He was talking to a friend a couple of days ago about buying a gun to protect his family. After getting the Priesthood yesterday he told us that he no longer needs a gun. Khek said that he knows the Priesthood will protect his family more than any weapon ever would. It is amazing to see Khek's simple, yet strong faith. He is starting to really grasp the principles of the gospel.  The language barrier is starting to disappear and Khek loves what he is learning. I am grateful Khek and Van and progressing in the church.  They have great fellowshippers and friends at church now and they love going. Even their 2 year old Anouxiay loves going to church. He is still a bit of a menace and unruly, but he is so much better than when the gospel was not a part of their lives. Having the gospel in their home, and having the Priesthood, is changing their family. I know they are truly happy and grateful for this gospel. I love this family so much. It is great to see the gospel change lives!

I love y'all. Thank you for letters and emails this past few weeks from the Pierces, Grandma and Grandpa Riches, Uncle Jack, and Brother Bartholomew. Thanks for much for the support.  I am grateful to be a missionary.  I am so excited for these next few weeks that I get to learn and grow by being companions with the Hermanas! I love seeing people accept the gospel. This gospel truly does change lives. More importantly, the gospel blesses families! I hope y'all are reading from the scriptures daily and constantly praying. The Lord blesses us when we keep the commandments.  I know that this is true!

Love- Sister (Hermana?) Peck

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