Monday, March 24, 2014

3-24-14: Blessings for and from Africans

So as it turns out, there is an official Cameroonian Society in Berlin that connects the thousands of people who have immigrated here. Which explains why when we tell people about other Cameroonians we meet with, they ask who they are and they often know them.
Mystery solved.
This week we found out that our favorite Cameroonian family (Colivan and Angel plus four kids) and one of the other sister missionaries’ favorite investigators, Declan, are good friends and so tonight we are having a family home evening together. We shall sing traditional Primary songs mixed with soul-filled praise songs J. Woot!

Declan has been to church a couple of times, but often has to work on Sunday. He loves church though and always calls the other sisters to see what he missed. We really wanted Angel to come to church with the rest of the family this week and our prayers were answered because she got work off so it seemed super likely! Except then Emedio got sick and Colivan had to work three days straight without time for sleeping and we weren't sure if they would make it. But good old Declan talked to them and told Angel how wonderful church was and how great the members were.

So yesterday morning, our family of six piled into the chapel to enjoy church together J.
Our blind man Daniel was also there and loved it; he is so dear J.
Plus Frau Möbius. Like normal.
So it was a poppin' party.
Minus balloons.

We were also blessed by an African this week--Pascal from Nigeria. His klingle (doorbell) actually says "The Prophet." We had an 18-year-old member with us after an appointment fell out and were going by some contacts we had in the same building. We klingled Pascal and he came out and was so happy we were talking about God but told us we need to throw our Joseph Smith away and then explained that Obama is a great beast come to destroy us.
How those are connected I don't know.
He then asked if we could pray together and made us all hold hands (ps--we still have our joint teach with us) and began to sing loudly in some strange tongue. The whole situation was so ridiculous and I wanted to laugh so badly, but I didn't want to be disrespectful so I had to use every muscle I develop during morgen sport (morning exercise) to contain my building laughter. Then he took his hands and blessed each one of us, as well as some random girl who tried to walk by us but also got stuck in our circle.
Needless to say, our joint teach went home and told all his friends and family about strange experiences with the missionaries and his enthusiasm to have his own strange experiences all the time as a full-time missionary grew. He's putting in his papers for a mission soon J.

Moving away from Africa and up to Iran, we met with Ali this week, who randomly showed up at church after we had invited him while going door-to-door a couple weeks ago. We aren't allowed to regularly teach people from the Middle East if they don't have a long term visa here, but they are always invited to activities and church and the like. Ali is working on learning English and German, but speaks okay English for right now. He looked up some words for our meeting, including "fetus" and "embryo" to illustrate some deep metaphor. He didn't know the word "missionaries" in English and tried to look it up, but he looked up "machinery" instead, teehee.

So at the end of our meeting, he said "I don't know everything because I'm not machinery like you."

Which is funny too because people sometimes get nervous that missionaries just turn into machines doing the same things over and over again with perfect obedience.
But we are far from robots/machinery. The more missionaries I meet, the more I realize how God uses us all with our different strengths and weaknesses to build His kingdom.

He lives. He loves us. This is His work.
We are not machinery.
We are people J.

--Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

Srs Woodward and Rasmussen

 The result of a lesson with an investigator whose daughter 
wanted to use a straightener on some wildly curly hair!

 The new, dark-haired version of Sister Woodward

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