We just had a great week! It has been very hot here, but it did rain a few times last week. I LOVE rain so much. Rain restores any happiness that wasn't previously inside of me. Life is good also because I get to stay in Hot Springs for one more transfer! I pretty much know that I'll leave Hot Springs next transfer though. I'm so glad President is keeping us here together because there is so much work to be done. Wonderful things are happening. When we told Tiffany and Cheyenna that we were staying and would definitely be at their baptism, Tiffany burst into tears, and Cheyenna just hugged us and said how much she loved us. She is a special little girl. Tiffany asked if Sis Gladden and I would make sure to keep in touch with Cheyenna because of how much she looks up to us. Cheyenna said that we were like big sisters to her. We will also be there for Bro Bledsoe's baptism. It has become this huge deal because everybody and their dog wants to be there so they are all trying to get him to change the date to one that they can come to. I don't really care what day he does it, as long as I get to be there.
Wednesday: The 4th of July was..well..I'm not gonna lie. Disappointing and not very 4th of July like-even at all. Oh BY the way! Happy birthday to Melissa, Hannah and Elliot. I thought about you all when it was your b-day. Anyway. As for missionary work-the day was really good. The best part was when we went to Antwon's house. Antwon is this really cool black guy that sounds like he's rapping every time he talks. :) We got there and there were a ton of kids running around. Like 7. Some of them were his, some were nieces and nephews. When we came in, he said, "Who wants to do bible study?" 5 out of the 7 kids shot their hands up. The two that didn't were the ones who can't even read. How awesome is that?! They all wanted to read from the Book of Mormon with us! We passed out BOMS and those kids sat with us and read a whole chapter. We read and discussed for a good 45 minutes. I was honestly astounded. I loved those kids so much and was proud of them for wanting to read the scriptures.
Friday: We had two baptisms! It was a wonderful experience. Craig Baldwin was baptized. It was great to see how happy Nancy was. She bore her testimony at the end of the service about the Holy Ghost and how she knew in her heart that this was the path to her Savior, and that now that Craig is baptized, he can be on that path as well. We experienced first hand the truth that attending baptismal services is the best converting tool. Tiffany Martin attended on Friday and was very touched. She said that as she witnessed the baptism, she was completely overwhelmed with the peace and love she felt. She said that she now knew what that "energy for God" that she was looking for felt like. We helped her identify it as the Holy Ghost. She felt confident of that feeling and said that she knew this was the right church for her to be in.
Saturday: Weekly planning got a little...long. Somehow we got off on the tangent of how it's funny sometimes when people get mad and start yelling. It really is funny. I always feel a little bad for laughing, but it's not as bad as when I laugh when little kids get hurt. I'm awful, I know. Sister Gladden re-enacted her mom comin at her with a coat hanger yelling. It was super funny. Then, I remembered the time that I was little and our cousin Hannah was even littler and she got mad at me and came charging at me like a bull. We started laughing really hard, and then somebody from downstairs was like, "Sisters...are you okay?" hahaha. It was the Griffin's niece, Chantel. She said we weren't making normal "sister noises". We kinda aren't normal sisters. :)
Sunday: All our dreams came true because Valerie came to church. She is doing so good. She has gotten a lot of criticism from her family and the deaf community about studying with the missionaries and wanting to go to the Mormon church. (If I've already told you all this, sorry). She was nervous to come to church because of what they'd say, so she always made excuses why she couldn't. Yesterday was finally the day that she came. She told us of a conversation she had with her 10yr old daughter, Maegen.
Maegen: "You really need to be in church, Momma"
Valerie: "Even if it's the Mormon church?"
Maegen: "Momma, I see Christ in them"
WOW! That was cool. Valerie is prayerfully considering a baptismal date.
Well, time is ticking. I love you all. I really do.
love sister annalisa wilde