Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dear Family! (June 22)

 I am happy to announce that I have felt better this week than I have in two months. I am so relieved and positive where all these health problems are concerned. Things are improving and I am so excited about it. Life is good. The only down side to my life right now is the fact that time is moving too fast and it won't slow down!

  We had a pretty good week this week. I love the area that I am in now and I love the ward. Our Bishop reminds me a lot of Bishop Carter. I really like him a lot. He is so loving and kind and every time he talks or does something you can just feel the love that he has for everyone. This ward just has such a good feeling in it and it reminds me of being at home. There is a lot of potential in this area as well and we are teaching a lot of great people. We are hoping to have a baptism soon with this investigator named Ofa. She is from Samoa and she lives with her Aunt and Uncle who are members. The only problem is that her parents are Methodist ministers living in California and so she is waiting for them to give their approval or decide to do it anyway. She is in her twenties so we really don't need permission she just doesn't know if she wants to go against them. We told her to pray about it and so hopefully things will work out soon. As always prayers are appreciated. I am just so happy here in this area and I love Sister Clarke. She is so sweet and we have the same taste in movies and so we quote movies all the time and laugh. It's great. She is twenty-three and before her mission she worked for theater companies sewing costumes so I love hearing her stories about that and looking at pictures. I am always blessed with the best companions!

   I have felt at home a lot lately and that has been really nice. Sister Clarke's mom is Maori from Hamilton and so she has a lot of extended family around here. On Saturday her grandparents came in with her aunt and we gave them a tour and it was the sweetest thing. They are quite old but they still have a great sense of humor and so I really enjoyed getting to know them. Yesterday our dinner appointment cancelled because someone in their family is in the Hospital (which I think that is a pretty valid reason to cancel) but we were disappointed because Sundays without a dinner appointment are pretty depressing. Sister Clarke decided to call this lady in our ward who is her mom's first cousin. She graciously agreed to feed us and so we went to her house for dinner. When we got there she announced that she had invited Sister Clarke's Uncle and Aunt to come over as well and so she got to see them for the first time in a couple of years. They all were so sweet and they welcomed me in and made me feel like I was a part of the family. It was a lovely evening. 

  We had another great fireside at the VC last night. It was a choir from one of the local wards and they were amazing. I have never heard a ward choir sound so great. I tell you the Polynesian people are so naturally musically talented that it's not even fair. At the end of the fireside I was standing by the door ushering people out and saying goodbye when this cute little old woman walked up to me and said "Sweetie, I just wanted to tell you that you look like one of those girls off of that Frozen movie. My granddaughters love that movie so of course I have watched it a few times. I just had to tell you that." I laughed and told her thank you assuming it was a compliment but because I haven't seen the movie or even the advertisements, I have no idea what the characters even look like so I hope it was a compliment. 

   I love being back in the VC because there are just so many miracles here. The other night it was really slow and so Sister Clarke and I were watching some of the videos here and talking about them when Sister Hawkins walked up to us and said "A member is here with her non-member friend. It's a good one so good luck." After that we went and had an amazing lesson about the Plan of Salvation with this man in the Christus room. When we taught him that life didn't begin at birth and that it won't end at death he said "Well I have always believed that I just couldn't find a religion that believe it too." It was so cool. As the lesson was winding down and it was getting close to the VC closing I had this feeling that we needed something more. I knew we needed to watch a video but I had no idea which one. I prayed in my heart and I then got the impression that we needed to show him President Uchtdorf's special witness of Christ. The only problem is that I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was about. I knew that it would testify of the Savior but we have videos from all the apostles testifying of Christ and some talk about temples, others missionary work and so on and I couldn't remember what President Uchdorf's was about. But I decided to listen to the prompting and we walked over to watch the video. As we walked I was praying so hard asking if this was what was right to share. Even after I selected the video and sat down to watch it I was praying. I felt a peace the whole time though. When the video started and as we watched it I realized that this was the perfect video and it was exactly what he needed to see. It reaffirmed everything that we had taught him and it added more and the spirit was so strong. Here is the link to the video if you want to watch it too:
   After the video we talked a bit more and then I bore my testimony of the things that we taught and then I looked at Sister Clarke and she smiled at me and I nodded and then she invited him to be baptized and he said YES! Right then and there he agreed to be baptized. It was amazing. We passed him off to the elders in the area that he lives in and now they are teaching him. Miracles!

  So that's it for this week. It has been a great week but I know it's just going to get better. I love and miss all of you! Have a great week! 

Sister Simkins

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