We had a bomb week. I wonder if any of you heard about the tornado in Hot Springs yesterday. We really had one! It was downtown and it knocked over trees onto power lines and there was a huge hole in one of the hotels. Funniest part was that we didn't even hear about it til after. :) Were you worried? We were in the nursing home playing dominoes with Charlie and Margaret the whole time. A lot of people lost power for a few hours but everything ended up being fine. I don't think anyone really got hurt. So you don't even need to worry after the fact.
This coming sunday, we are having a devotional that the whole community is invited to where we share about our basic beliefs. A lot of people think that we don't believe in Christ. The title of this devotional is "Because you asked..We Believe in Christ". Our stake president and his wife are the keynote speakers. Afterward there will be an exhibit with pictures of Christ displayed. They had the same devotional in Little Rock last month and it was a huge success. We are excited about it. Yesterday at dominoes we invited Charlie to come. Now. Here's a little background. Charlie doesn't believe in God, but a higher power or force greater than us. He respects us and our religion because he says we aren't hypocrites, though. Anyway, we invited him to the devotional. He basically said thanks for the offer but no thanks. Now. Here's a little background on his wife. She works for Bishop Hugentobler as his secretary. Okay, so after dominoes, Charlie called us and said, "Hey, about that devotional ath the church...My wife is going, so I will probably be there". Hahaha. The power of a wife I guess..
We had two baptisms on Saturday! Tiffany's daughter Cheyenna Williams and Antwon's son Marrion Amos. I think these baptisms are the beginning of a miracle for the two families. I really liked the baptism because it reminded me of the talk that Boyd K. Packer gave last conference "A Little Child Shall Lead Them". They are the sweetest kids who recognized truth-even when people were pulling against them. For Cheyenna, it was her own mom. Tiffany has gotten antied and was about to tell Cheyenna she couldn't get baptized because her aunt told her she was joining a cult. A few weeks ago Tiffany asked Cheyenna what baptism meant to her. She said..now keep in mind that this is a 10 year old talking..."It's being re-born. Starting a new life and following Christ. It means to repent". I was blown away then, but didn't realize the significance of it until after Cheyenna's baptism. We were talking with Tiffany at the DeVaux's house and she was relaying that story. When she got to the part about Cheyenna's answer, she said, "When I heard that, I said to myself, okay, she's getting baptized. I can't keep her from what she knows in her heart". That was what changed her mind. Since then, she has been able to step back and see that baptism is still what she wants. She wants to be part of this church because she knows it's true. She also told us a cute story from the night before Cheyenna's baptism. Cheyenna said, "If people come up to me and try to tell me that my religion is wrong, I'll tell them that I don't wanna be right". :) Child like faith.
We have been going over to Antwon's every day this past week to get Marrion ready for baptism. It seems that every time we come over, there are more kids than the time before. We have really grown to love them, and I think they might like us a little bit too. Last time we left I said, "Sister, I think we have a fan club". They always want to wear our tags and look through our scriptures, and best of all, sing hymns with us. Once we taught them "I am a Child of God". Last week when we were over there, I was touched to find out that they had looked up the song on the internet nd learned all the words. We all sang it together, and even 4 yr old Bubbie (he's named after his dad Antwon but we call him Bubbie) knew the words. I felt the spirit. Nothing could have made me happier than to know that those kids can feel and know that Heavenly Father loves them when they sing that song. Bubbie makes it into an R&B style song, switchin up the rhythms and stuff. It's funny. 5 yr old Amir was talkin to Antwon about baptism and said, "Daddy, I want you to baptize me". Antwon said, "Naw naw, I can't baptize you.." I said, "Yeah, but when he gets the priesthood he can. By the time you're 8 Amir, your daddy can baptize you". She said, "Good, cause I want my daddy to baptize me". I can't wait for that to happen.
Craziest thing happened. The elders were teaching a girl named Danielle a few months ago, but then she went through all this crazy stuff and none of us saw her for a few months. She loves the gospel though, and has wanted to be baptized for a long time. She has just barely been back in touch with us and we have begun teaching her again. The other day she texted us and said that she just found out that we know one of her best friends Antwon. Our Antwon!! They have been friends ever since she moved here a few years ago..it was awesome. Apparently they hung out the other night and they were sittin around talkin about their favorite books in the Book of Mormon. Her's is Alma and his is Nephi. So great.
I have realized that Heavenly Father lets me have little piano times every so often. I have gotten to play in zone conferences, at people's houses, at the nursing home..remember when I went and recorded a song for Sis DeLong's preschool program at the baptist church? Well I also recorded a Janie Kapp Perry song that they were using at girls camp. I recorded the piano part and then went up in the studio and sang the words with it. I thought it was just a practice CD. Come to find out yesterday, they used it for the real thing at girls camp last week. Haha..I was a little embarrassed to find out that my voice was blasting for the whole stake to hear because I feel like it wasn't a very good recording, but it was still really cool cause I got to help them. The girls had a marvelous experience. I really think that girls camp is inspired of the Lord because it is truly a place where testimonies grow. I have sacred memories of girls camp and the way the spirit touched my heart while I was there. I grow increasingly grateful for the leaders I had who helped me. Because of them and my family, I was able to testify to Antwon that I know that if he makes family prayer and scripture study a daily habit, great things will come to pass. I wouldn't be on a mission if it wasn't for small and consistent efforts of those who loved me enough to teach me the gospel.
I love you all. God is real and Jesus Christ is real.
love sister annalisa wilde