"I don't know if this is an experience that is solely unique to missions with a bunch of different cultures like here in Seattle, but we seriously never see Americans. Any white people that we see are usually European or Eastern European (Russiaaaa). So far I've met people from: Nepal, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, France, China, Thailand, Israel, Somalia, Africa and many others that I can't exactly recall at the moment. It's a giant melting pot. There are a lot of people from Afghanistan and the other countries in the middle east. Most of them don't know very much English at all. This was the case with a family that we met this week. They have been here for 7 months from Afghanistan. We walked up to this apartment complex in the pouring down typhoon rain and it was the first door that we knocked. Of course, when you knock a door and they don't speak English you usually smile and then say goodbye and walk away. Give them a picture of Christ or something and hope that one day they will remember that you smiled at them.... but this time, they insisted that we come in out of the cold rain into their humble apartment. I don't know why they wanted two random American girls to come into their home, but they sat us down and proceeded to bring out tea and food. It was interesting explaining to them that we aren't allowed to drink the tea, but it worked out and we ended up with mango juice instead. Their apartment wasn't nice by any means, and they didn't seem to have much, but they gave us a ton of food and also insisted that we take it with us when we left and gave us these cool leather bags also. With the limited communication, we were able to find out that they are Muslim and that they pray. It was very peaceful when they were showing us how they pray. There was a special spirit among this family, I am telling you! We fell absolutely head over heels in love with them! There was this cool Afghani bread that the wife made. It was a little spicy/peppery and it was kind of like naan (that indian bread stuff), but it had some sort of spinach inside of it. Anyone who's been to Afghanistan might know what I'm talking about...Brother Clark? anyone? I don't know who else would know. Anyways, we were completely overwhelmed by their kindness and willingness to serve us, whom they had never met. Hopefully, we will be able to find someone who will go and teach English to them. They were so excited when we said that we are "teachers," because they want to learn English. I cannot imagine how hard that would be to live somewhere where you don't know what is going on or how to speak the language. Oh wait, actually I do kind of understand...thanks to Brother Hale my first day in the MTC haha those were fun times.
Radiating the Light of Christ
We did a day with Sister Peterson going out with us. Every time we get out of the car, we pray. So if Sis. Peterson is there, we take turns praying. She prayed that people would see the way that we radiate the light of Christ. The cool part is that after she said that prayer, a lady complimented us on how we were just "full of light." Heavenly Father answers prayers! the church is true haha.
There is a man at the Food Bank who spent 5 minutes talking with me about how I need windshield wipers for my glasses because it's Seattle and it rains a lot and I'm always having to clean my glasses. I decided that I'll just wear contacts on the rainy days that we are planning to spend a lot of time outside lol.
Miracle of the week:
We had the first investigator that we have been able to get to church since I have been here. That was a really cool experience. She said that she felt like she was at home and liked it a lot more than the other churches she has gone to because she felt comfortable and felt that no one was judging her. I feel kind of bad though, because we might have come on a little bit too strongly. She's pretty shy, and I think she was feeling a little bit of pressure from us. However, I guess that we have to be bold! If she's ready, she's ready and we have to establish those expectations so that she knows our purpose. It's just that she is a little bit shy and so we might need to be more delicate in the future. She said that she will come to church next Sunday and continue to pray and allow us to meet with her this week as well, so we have a progressing investigator! In the Russian work! So excited about that. It was perfect also because she made friends with one of our members who sometimes feels a little bit lonely! Please pray for [her!] :)
last P-day we made really cool shirts at a member's house. They have a heat press and vinyl and a huge industrial vinyl cutter. She's a graphic designer and so we could do whatever we wanted. So basically I had her do the temple and then in Russian it says "choose truth and high expectations" on it. Then I made one that was the Seattle skyline with a gold mount Rainier in the background. Everyone here is obsessed with Mount Rainier. I didn't take a picture though sooo sorry you don't get to see the cool t shirts.
Every person that we met this week (well,. every person worth mentioning...) was sooo nice and kind to us! I really really have seen God's hand in our work this week. The rain can be tiring and it hasn't been sunny which is an adjustment that I am having to make. I'm glad I have Christ to lean back on when I don't feel 100% great! Loving life and having a great time here in Seattle! I wish everyone the best this week! Don't forget that you're a child of God
Lots of pictures this week! I love being able to see how happy Sister Jenne is. She is changing so many lives and I'm so proud. <3