My official release date has been returned to the 29th of July (flying home on the 30th) due to the ill-timed closure of the Denver Temple for cleaning for the entire month of July, thus causing my brother to get married in June.
To make up for the initial sadness and disappointment, we celebrated Easter early.
Except we dyed hair instead of eggs.
Namely my hair.
And surprisingly, it inspired a sense of contentment and strength.
So that, boys and girls, is why we dye Easter eggs.
Sometimes when I write home, I feel like all my weeks are kind of the same so I'm sorry if you tire of hearing the same pattern of finding a lot of people who oft times get lost again, teaching a boatload of lessons (how many lessons fit in a boat I'll never know), taking care of our less-actives and new members, and getting proposed to by various foreigners. Plus the occasional mentions of hair color change, though that probably doesn't deserve a mention in the normal pattern.
We see a lot of big miracles that somehow quickly fizzle into nothing and we see a lot of little miracles explode into big ones. I think that's kind of how life is. I wanted to talk about three little miracles that happened in about five seconds that turned into three bigger ones.
Miracle #1: Collivan, Angel, and family
Once upon the end of last transfer (4-ish weeks ago), we started up on our bikes after an appointment and I, being the faster biker, passed an African and his son speaking English. Seeing this as a good sign, I attempted to turn around and made the sign to Sister Rasmussen, who still hadn't passed him, that she should talk to him. So she did and said we were talking to people about God and asked if we could visit him sometime. He pointed to where he lived and said we could come to next week. The conversation probably took about 87 seconds and we weren't sure how fest (certain) the appointment would be.
But when we showed up the next week, the man, Collivan, was there with his wife, Angel, and their three little boys and adorable baby girl (seriously, I have never seen a cuter baby in my whole life). They are from Cameroon (naturally) and Collivan actually met missionaries in Belgium a while ago. We've been meeting with them every week since then and yesterday....COLLIVAN CAME TO CHURCH IN A SWEET ELVIS-LOOKING SUIT WITH ALL OF THE KIDS! Angel had to work, so she couldn't come, but it was so great because church is just hard for people to come to.
All the boys had sick (i.e. “cool”--for those of the older generation who may not understand this use of this word), polished dress shoes, and every ward member was tempted to kidnap Emedio, their adorable baby sister. Collivan works from 10pm-7am every day so he basically just went home to pick up the kids after work and came to church. He didn't even fall to sleep J.
So that is the Collivan family miracle.
We're going to double the primary with one fell swoop.
Also, a random funny thing about African children: they only speak German with us even if they speak English with their parents because they only hear Africans speaking English so they assume white people only speak German--haha.
Miracle #2 Nana from Ghana
Here we have an example of another 3-minute conversation on a bahn (train) where we just got his address and a super tentative appointment. Admittedly, the first appointment fell through, but he called us afterwards to apologize and ask us to come back again. We were late the next couple of appointments, but somehow had super great lessons in shorter amounts of time. This last encounter started with him opening the door and saying, "I have seven minutes. Is that okay for you?"
And because missionaries are naturally (or unnaturally) adaptable, we said of course and had an awesome power appointment where he told us he'd started reading the Book of Mormon and how he was super skeptical at first, but as he's read, it makes more sense and it doesn't seem possible anyone could make up such a book.
So he's also great.
Miracle #3 Annie
Okay, so Annie is actually still out of town (which was another damper on the week), but we miss her a lot and she was another quick miracle. We first met her when she gave us her number on a bus and said we should eat dinner together sometime J.
So little things are important. And sometimes when there seems to be so much to do and you don't know how to do everything, just remember Richard G. Scott's advice: "Don't magnify the work to be done; simplify it."
Because simple and small things make up the big things.
I love you all.
-- Sister Claire Michelle Woodward