Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 14th—July 20th: My First Opportunity to Give a Priesthood Blessing

     As I mentioned last week, last Monday was Brilliant!!!  It was the best day of my mission so far.  It started off with study as usual and planning our training for District meeting.  My assignment is to teach on “asking for referrals.”  Even though it was P-day, we taught a lesson to a lady who had contacted us.  Her name is Korina and her husband is Paul.  She is wonderful.  She just moved to Blackpool and was taught by previous missionaries.  She believes everything and has a strong testimony.  She told us that her biggest dream is to be baptized.  How wonderful is that to hear as a missionary!  She has a powerful addiction to tobacco, but I know that the power of the Atonement is stronger.  We have worked with her through the week and we gave her a blessing on Wednesday.  The mission president had suggested that we move her baptism up to July 25th.  She wants it so bad.  As the week progressed, and at the baptismal interview, it was determined that Karina hasn’t been honest with us and is still smoking, so her baptism is postponed back to August 1st.  President Ulrich said to not postpone it very long, otherwise she will just procrastinate making the necessary changes in her life.  He also said that as we meet with her to spend more time teaching the doctrine and less time focusing on how to stop smoking.  We will start with Faith. 
Peter was the guy that came in and scared us last Monday.  It was a miracle that we were there and that the Church was unlocked.  The second he saw us he asked “Can I have a Book of Mormon and will you give me a blessing?”  We found out that his cancer causes him great pain and he knew that we could help him before he went on to the hospital.  I gave the blessing after Elder Fernandez anointed him.  It was incredible.  I have never felt that way before.  I don’t remember anything I said besides that Heavenly Father loves him and through the power of the Atonement, Christ can comfort us and help us to overcome our pain.  The entire time that I was giving the blessing my head was just spinning.  It was the strangest feeling that I have ever had.  While I was giving the blessing, Peter just kept saying thank you and that he knew Heavenly Father loves him.  After the blessing he immediately stood up and he was telling us how much better he felt.  He gave us his address and we gave him our phone number and said that we would visit him depending upon how long he was in the hospital.  We have gone to his home during the week and nobody was there.  His neighbor said he was still in the hospital.  We have gone to the hospital and they have said his surgery was out-patient, so we don’t know where to find him.  He has our phone number and we will keep trying to reach him.  No matter what, he felt the spirit and knows that Heavenly Father is there for him.
My training in District Meeting went pretty well.  They are way easier than Elders Quorum lessons as missionaries actually participate.  It’s wonderful.  Two other interesting things, is that I found a mouse in our apartment.  I turned on the lights and it shot across the floor.  I got my flashlight and Elder Fernandez and I looked under the washer.  It shot out at us and ran to its hole.  We shoved some plastic bags into the hole until we can buy some rat poison.  I am also proud of myself.  I fixed my shirt pocket that had ripped.  I only stabbed myself like a dozen times as well.  The worst part was threading the needle.  Good heck, it was stressful.
Last thing of the week was when we were at St. John’s square street contacting, two men came up and asked us for directions.  I didn’t know the road but we ended up talking to them for like 2 hours.  Their names are Josh and Bobby.  Elder Fernandez talked with Bobby more and I spoke more with Josh.  He is an interesting character. He was basically raised by a super Protestant grandma and wants to change his life so that he can honor her memory a little and make her proud of him.  He is 19 but has done some crazy stuff.  He quit illegal drugs about 7 months ago and has been clean ever since so he has the strength to change and a desire.  He has a good job. He is a very good person, very bright, nicest person ever, but has made some interesting choices.

Elder Tarbet

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