"Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different--in happy ways--from the women of the world... Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church in the last days" President Spencer W. Kimball

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Big changes

Hey, so transfers are in 2 weeks, eke!!! I feel like I say that every week, but I think that that is really the only dramatic change as missionaries we experience so it is the most talked about. I keep getting the dreaded "So Sister Coleman. You have been in Harlem for 5 cycles now..." blah, blah, blah! Haha, they are trying to kick me out of here. Im hoping its not until my mission life is over so I guess I could say, "over my mission dead body!" oh missionary jargon! (Not speaking in terms of real death of course but come the end of the mission we "die", or are released from the calling.) I will not be mad though if I do get transferred, I will however be sad! And so it is...

Anyways, this past week was Easter; such a conclusion to a great week of religious appreciation and learning! I think it was because so many things clicked for me. The entire week was so great! As I explained in the previous post, Sunday was the the commencement of Jesus' final week. Lazareth Saturday and Palm Sunday, all these amazing events to commemorate the Savior were celebrated in their own way. Then on the next Saturday, taking focus completely away from the Savior for most, but drawing near to Him for the Latter-Day Saints, our ward missionary council conducted a Passover Seder. In the Jewish community this is a feast that marks the beginning of the Passover Holiday, it was such an experience. Jen, who is a chef in our ward (hehe, needless to say we're besties!), made traditional kosher foods and conducted the rituals that follow their traditions. It was amazingly authentic and even made the Jewish newspaper in town which was cool. But by far the most amazing thing was seeing the Catholic churches in the neighborhood display their Good Friday Celebration. I have never seen such a sight, and being on the 17th floor, surrounded by 3 cathedrals we got to see quite a bit. All in all though, the best was observing the Sabbath in our Easter Program this past Sunday. It was such a great service. The musical numbers and talks were so sincere and really brought the spirit. The thing that I loved most was the knowledge of the resurrection. I dont know that I honestly considered what happened when the Savior was raised from the dead. He obtained new life, celestial, perfected and complete.

His work was finished and at that time he came again to minister to the people their eternal destiny when the time too would come for them. He was there in the flesh. People could touch his hands, feet and side and feel the scars of the weight in which he carried for all of us. I was taken aback a little by the reality of it all. I think the line in a hymn that describes it best is "Oh it is wonderful that he would care for me enough to die for me. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me." I cannot repay the Lord for what he did on my account. I can only do what I can to prove myself worthy for such a sacrifice and I am thankful for the opportunity. There is such joy in this work! I love the word joy because it describes something that cannot easily be received. It is a word that is more internal than happy and in some cases doesn't involve that word when used. It is a feeling and a knowledge above that that can be obtained by worldly things. I have such joy in this work and learning that is this mission.

I am so thankful for the time I have out here. The weather is warming up and the trees are green again! So beautiful. Well, its time to go to work! And so it is...

Oh PS! Thanks Cubs in the ward for the Easter basket/box!!! You are the best :) Thanks everyone, Love you love you!
3333 Broadway E17E
NY, NY 10031

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh Another Week

This week has been a good week! The weather has been wacky pants and there is no other way of explaining it. One day it is so hot you cant bear to be outside and the next is so cold you wouldn't dare go outside! Haha, either way we were going out so it really didn't even matter. Nonetheless, today it is nice, cloudy and foggy but cool.

There hasn't really been too much action going on around here besides the baptism of Darold (I act like it wasn't a big deal!). He has been meeting with us for just about four months now and has decided to take the plunge, haha! I have to say that is was not the easiest decision for him to make but I believe his expression after being confirmed on Sunday was "I feel wonderful Sisters!" It has been such an exciting journey thus far with him and it is so great to see him exercise his faith even into the waters of baptism. I wish everyone could have been at his service. We had such remarkable talents speaking and singing praises to our Savior. Such a great day it was to be baptized, commencing the final week of the Saviors earthly reign: Lazareth Saturday. When Darold approached us with his baptismal date 3 weeks ago he said, "It has to be the 16th Sisters. I don't know, there is just something special about that date." And he is so right.

As Easter approaches and the celebration begins with eggs, bunnies and candy, I can't help but remember all the reason why I carry the name Jesus Christ on my name tag. It is by him that I have this wonderful message to share with all of those who are willing to listen and exercise faith. It is because of him that I know that through the walks of life that I will have him as my redeemer after all that I can do. And it is also by him that I know that there is no other way. So as the Easter celebrations start, remember why it is this day that we are.

Other than that mission life is serving me well. This last week Sister Fui and I went and ate Trinidadian food...I say this for no other reason than I had curried goat (Marilyn!!! Haha!) It was so good! I love being able to find any and every kind of food that I desire on this one little island; another testimony to why I was called here and no place else...man, the Lord just knows me too well.

We continue to do the work and move forward with our calling. Sister Fuimaono and I are just so grateful to be out here serving together. I ask her everyday if she is tired of me yet and the answer is still no, it's gonna be a sad day when we are no longer companions. Anyways until then we are having a great time! The weather is warming up and more and more people are out on the street. You know what that means right?!? Haha! Ya'll just know me too well. I just love you all and appreciate your love and encouragement. Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Conference And All The Other Shenanigan​s

I always feel like PepperAnn when I use that words, but anyway...

So a couple of weekends ago was Conference weekend! How did everyone like it?!

It was amazing! And of course I would say that because I am a missionary but in the same breath it really was so beneficial, as it always is! I think the one thing that I came away with that I am going to share is the concept that Elder Holland spoke about in one of the concluding talks of the conference Sunday evening. He said that so much is covered during Conference, things that one would say aren't applicable to them or that have little to no matter to them because maybe their problems are minuscule or obscure. But then he explained that it is ok if not all the topics of Conference directly relate to you because the reality is, not everyone has problems with pornography or debt or receiving revelation. He said a couple of things that were so cool: 1. They have an obligation to address all of the world about issues that are alarming and bring us away from the Spirit, whether they are applicable to the individual or not, and 2. That they are lead to teach by the Spirit which has the ablitiy to teach us the things we need to know, if not by their words then by its edifying power. I love this! I was reading the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon when he was in the temple addressing his people and he said exactly that. In chapter 2 he apologizes to those who were looking "to hear the pleasing word of God," but then explains that he is, to his displeasure, commanded to address weighter issues.

I guess the idea here is to have patience. As we have all felt the loving patience of a parent or friend, Jesus Christ our Savior has the utmost patience with us. He sits and waits, with his arms stretched out still. He calls us through his loyal servants to come unto Him and let Him bear with us our burdens. I am always so touched to know how much the Creator knows us His children. How he will guide us if we seek earnestly for His counsel. It is such an amazing thing! Of course there was so much more to take away from a weekend of Conference but ultimately this is what touched my heart.

In other news, this last week we had the opportunity to address some of the more frivolous issues pertaining to the Book of Mormon...Musical that is. Yes, the Book of Mormon musical is playing here in Manhattan and has been the best thing since sliced bread. Not that I have seen it of course, but we do hear all about it when people come up to us and ask if we are REAL Mormon missionaries. Haha! It is so funny. We had the chance to attend an activity on Columbia University campus hosted by the LDSSA, where through a quiz that was readily made available to test the LDS doctrinal knowledge of the average Ivy League attendee we could troubleshoot some of the most misconceived topics involving Latter-Day Saints.
It was such a great time! We got to teach so many people and let them know that we are out there, not polygamist or in most cases radically extreme. The results were awesome, many people came away from this event knowing more truth about the Church than the crazy shenanigans that have been spread through the media. We introduced them to LDS students on campus and showed them mormon.org that paints more realist views of the LDS community. All in all it was a great expereince.

As always is said, life out on the mission is going well! I am enjoying my time bearing my testimony and building it up in the process. I love this calling and I love all of you. Thank you for all the support and well wishes! I just love you love you! And so it is..