Monday, January 18, 2016

How Blessed Am I?

(First I have to include Syd's personal letter to me, I just love and miss her so much!)

My sweet mother that I get to be with for eternity,
 How are you doing my love? I included that eternity part because it is eternity and this 17 months is just a blip in time. I know it will fly by, just as Katelyn's has and we will have a joyful, teary-eyed reunion! Know that I love you and I am doing SO well here in Wales! 
Doesn't she look so good?

 The rest of the week was SO WONDERFUL! I'll tell you all the detail in the family letter, BUT WE HAVE OUR FIRST BAPTISMAL DATE SET!!! Gosh, it was amazing. Absolutely amazing! I cannot wait for you to read all about it! 

I got your package mom!! President and Sister Leppard brought it to interviews! Thank you thank you thank you! I was so excited to open it and see what was inside! The popcorn!! Mercy it is SO yummy! I have only had one bag and i'm trying to limit how much ranch I use because I want it to last! We went and bought a frozen pizza just so I could dip it in my ranch! Oh it is just complete heaven! Thank you for that! And the water flavorings are great! They don't have normal lemonade here, so I loved the lemonade one :) And the Muddy Buddies.. Man, we ate almost half of it on the first night. They are SO yummy! I am going to try and make them sometime soon. About that, could you possibly send me some quick recipes over email? They would just be nice to have on my Ipad. Maybe put them all in a PDF and send it? No rush, just whenever you have time off from working. And the photo album! How cute is it! Thank you! I already started putting it together, as you can see.. I haven't decided quite yet what I want to put in it, but I'll be sure to send you pictures when I do. Thank you for the deodorant and the face wash. That was a nice surprise! Not having to buy those little things will be nice for a while. And the whiteout and the tide pen are BLESSINGS! Thank you! I will try not to use it all too fast. The Rigby Star was super boring, but nice to see something straight from home. :) And thee best part of it all....the teddy bear. That last line of your letter "All you need to do is hug it back and I am there with you, my darling." Nearly killed me on Tuesday morning. Way to hit it straight to the heart mommy! ;) Thank you so much for that. I snuggle with it every single night and it really does feel like my Cooperbear. Sis. Scherf thinks I'm a little weird, but 'whatever makes you sleep at night', right? :) Just thank you for it all! It made my day/week/month!

 My rash is gone. We found out it was the hand soap that we bought. It never occured to me that it was "new" because we just went out and bought some cheap hand soap.. Hah well. That's a struggle. But so grateful that it's finally gone! It was on my face because I use my fingers to spread my foundation around and I usually do that right after I go to the bathroom and wash my hand so...There's that. And no worries about doctor bills, expenses, etc. because healthcare and prescribed medication is free in Wales! Can you say blessings or what? I was so relieved. We just found out that our STL Sis. Crowley's appendix burst on Friday night! She is doing well, but I know that my trials could be so much more, so I cannot complain one bit!
 I am going to put some videos on Dropbox right now and I just sent you the link to view them, so take a gander. :) I hope it works! Let me know if it does. There will be some good ones! Hah.
 Mom, I have received SO many emails from people, quite a few that I never thought would email me! I am most definitely overwhelmed with the love that I feel from home. I am truly blessed. Please express my gratitude to anyone and everyone who asks how I am doing. I am so grateful that they are thinking of me and for the emails that they send to me.

 This work is incredible and I am so excited for the week ahead! 

I'll talk to you soon!

(Now for the Family letter...)

Hello lovelies! You alright?

 I hope you are all finding joy in your days despite the weather. This week has been a busy one filled with countless miracles and so much growth! 

 On Tuesday, we passed our first flat inspection (few!). I heard horror stories of senior couples going through with white gloves and calling the President if the missionaries didn't pass, but thank heavens the Libutti's were as cool as they come. Our flat passed and our cleaning paid off with flying colors! That night, we went to ward council and received some great information on the ward and the members. We were able to talk about our desire to grow close to the ward members, so that they might feel comfortable with referring us to their friends. The counsel was impressed with our desire to work hard and build our teaching pool, it was cool to see them get excited about missionary work too! 

 Wednesday! They best day of the entire week! We went to meet up with our potential Anthony at the library. We had extremely high hopes for him and he did not let us down! This man was prepared by the hand of God and put right in our path. We taught him about the Restoration and the spirit was unquestionable. During the lesson, we learned that he prays daily, has a desire to quit working on Sundays and come to church, and he is the absolute kindest human being on the planet! Following his commitment to read the Book of Mormon, we were inspired to invite him to be baptized. AND WE ACCEPTED! *freaking out* I was so excited I could've hugged him! (jk, that's definitely against the rules) But goodness, that moment was the coolest. He is so incredibly excited to be baptized and become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I know he will make it to his baptismal date of February 6th and be an incredible member. I have such a love for him and want him to experience all that this Gospel has to offer. Anthony is the man!! Please keep him in your prayers if you could.
**The 'cold to the bone weather' here is FOR REAL**

We went to the doctors on Wednesday and found out that the fun face rash that I had came from our hand soap. Who knew I had such sensitive skin? I'm relieved it was such a simple fix, but a little embarrassed that it was right in front of me the whole time. Hah, greenie struggles :)
On Thursday, we had interviews with President Leppard. He is such an inspired and careful man. I am truly grateful for his advice and the example he is to all of us missionaries in the EBM.
 On Saturday, we witnessed many miracles. First thing, we traveled to the Davies home who are less-actives. They live in quite a sketchy part of town and we had no idea what to expect when we knocked on the door. We went there knowing that no one had got in the door in quite a long time. We knocked and before we could even open our mouths, they welcomed us in! We were stunned. We talked with them for about 45 minutes and ended with a wonderful prayer! They accepted a return appointment and will hopefully be coming to church this week! It was marvelous! Such a miracle.
 Later that day, we found ourselves reverting from our planned schedule to get some other things done beforehand. Little did we know, we were being guided by the Lord. 

**Don't put the "pasties" picture on my blog, I'm just sending it to you cause I thought it was hilarious!! They call pastries, "pasties" here. Hahahah man. Hilarious! 
Also, we're related to Barak Obama.....I'll just leave it at that. 

On Saturday afternoon before we left the flat, I was filled with the worry that I had not yet fulfilled my purpose as a missionary for the day. I said a silent prayer, asking my Heavenly Father to give me the opportunity to fulfill my purpose. We eventually came to Blodwin White's home, she is a home bound in our ward and is 86. When we rang the door bell the first time, we received no answer. So we knocked once more and heard a faint "who is it?". We explained and she told us to come in. Upon walking in, we found her laying face down on the bathroom floor. We jumped into action to get her up and make sure she was okay. Thankfully she had no broken bones, just a sore arm. After we cleaned her up, we learned that she had crawled from the living room to the bathroom over an hour before. She proceeded to tell us that she had been praying so hard that God would send someone to help her. Mind you, someone comes to check on her everyday except Saturday (I have no idea why not). And the door is usually locked for that reason, but she decided to leave it unlocked that day. Low and behold, we came to her door and were granted the opportunity to serve our sweet Blodwin. I was overcome with great emotion as she grasped my hand and expressed her gratitude for us, saying we were her "angels sent straight from heaven".

Wow, tender mercies. I know we were instruments in Gods hands that night, for I'm sure she would've been on the floor until the next morning if we had not followed our promptings to see her when we did.
I know that Blodwin was an answer to my silent prayer and we were an answer to hers. Goodness me. I cannot fully express the gratitude that I feel for these special experiences. It is incredible to see just how closely and carefully God is guiding us to help His children!

On Sunday, we were able to see Sophia Williams give her farewell talk. She is heading the the California Ventura Mission. She is a legend! Man, I watched her speak on how the spirit can guide our lives and was in awe at her preparation. She will be incredible! We then went tracting and received great revelation on where to go and which doors to knock. We set up 4 return appointments and had 1 lesson on a doorstep. Hello miracles! The work here is beginning to take fire. It is being guided by the Lord and we are simply his physical hands here on earth. Isn't that neat?! Coolest calling in the church if you ask me.. (:

All in all, this week was marvelous. We are given the opportunity to be witnesses to miracles each day, big and small. We are blessed to be learning and growing so much in all we do. I know this work is guided by the Almighty. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity!
 Thank you to everyone who sends me emails and letters of encouragement! I am ever so grateful to you! Thank you for taking the time to think about and pray for me. I feel the love!
So much love from the EBM!! 

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