Monday, August 26, 2013

Child Snatchers or Missionaries?

This week has been a busy and exciting one, as we've been helping a lot of families prepare to be baptized and follow Christ. We are working with the cutest family, where two of the kids are preparing to be baptized. They're only 8 and 10 years old, but they're already talking about serving missions. We watched a Mormon Message and it showed a clip where a missionary and he opened the Book of Mormon then held it upside down. They asked why he did that and we explained that he was probably about to hand it to someone to have them read from it. We do that a lot. A few minutes later, Ruby started "practicing" opening up her Book of Mormon and turning it around for someone else to read. Then she flipped through the pictures at the front and started explaining each one to her brother. She's a natural!

Funny story! First off, I am so mad that I was gone on exchanges so I missed the hulabaloo, but it's a good story anyway, even though I wasn't here. Sister Silva and Sister Mendenhall were driving along with a ward member in the back seat when a cop started following them. He followed them for a couple miles until they were out of the neighborhood and in the middle of nowhere and then he pulled them over. Asked what they were doing, if they were selling books, and to see I.D.. Sister Silva explained who we are and what we do. He called in reinforcements until there were three cop cars, and a detective and her personal body guard. They asked her to get out of the car and the detective starts asking what we're doing, how many of us there are.... She tells them there are 76,000 of us and states our purpose, "We are here to invite others to come unto Christ..." She shows them her certificate from President Monson (we all have one) that authorizes her to teach the gospel. The woman asks about the "boys on the bikes" and it looks like they've been keeping tabs on all the missionaries in the area. As Sister Silva continued to testify and share our purpose and explain what we do, the detective started realizing that she made a big mistake, and that she looked kind of silly, questioning missionaries. So they let her go. After the fact, we figured out what was going on. Apparently there's a woman in the area who's been going door to door "selling children's books." She asks about people's families and their children. She is actually a human trafficker and has been using the information she gets to kidnap children. The cops have been tracking the missionaries, thinking that we're child traffickers! It's a little bit scary but mostly hilarious. I'm so sad that I missed out on all the excitement on exchanges!

This week we led a leadership training on stress management. Believe it or not, missionary work is actually very stressful. The greatest thing about teaching is that you get to learn, and as we prepared what we were going to teach I learn so much. I learned that life will always have its turmoil and storms, but our focus is what will make or break us. When Peter walked on water, there were storms all around him, but as long as he kept his eyes focused on the Savior, he was able to continue to do the "impossible." But there came a moment when he took his eyes off the Savior to watch the crashing waves and the lightening and the rain. Once his focus changed, he began to sink. He had to refocus on the Savior, by crying out for His help, in order to get keep from drowning. When Peter focused again on the Savior, He "immediately" reached out and took his hand. With that renewed faith, Peter walked, arm in arm with the Savior, back to the boat. And so it is with us. When we keep our minds and heart focused on the calm and peace and support of our Savior, we can do the impossible and accomplish anything the Lord asks us to do.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember to keep smiling!

Sister Biancardi

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