I feel like I say it every week, but this week was wonderful and taught me so much! It started with transfers. Since one of my companions went home it was a little different for us and we actually had four sisters in our area for a couple of days and we split up so we could do twice as much work! I got to spend time with Sister Smith and it's so cool because even though we only spent a day and a half as companions I just know that Sister Smith and I will continue to be great friends! The mission has an amazing way of helping you meet your best friends. We definitely had some crazy adventures. We decided to park our car and just walk around the streets of Southwest Philadelphia. It was a learning experience, for sure. We were able to talk to a bunch of different people as well as become a little bit more cultured with what goes on in the streets... We eventually made our way to our English class where we began teaching the African women "I am a Child of God." I cannot tell you how full my heart was as they sang those sweet truths. It is so amazing to be a witness of a Heavenly Father who I know loves each and every one of His children. Serving in this area has taught me so much about how valuable and powerful charity is. I have come to love these people and this culture so much and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve them.
And Sister Shaffer and I are staying together this transfer and it's just the two of us! I had fun in my three months of being in a trio, but I'm very grateful to be back with just the two of us. We had sort of a rough week. There was a little bit of sickness and then a lot of cancelled appointments and empty door approaches. Basically what we've discovered is that the sun comes out and everyone leaves their house! But it really taught me a lot! By the end of Friday night I was feeling a little bit discouraged because of how little I felt we had done this week, so I decided that Saturday was going to be a good day regardless of who was or wasn't home. This, however, was our sick day, so we stayed inside a few extra hours taking care of my companion, and then once we got out it was the same thing, no one was home. But I knew we had done everything that we could, and that made a difference. A successful missionary isn't one who baptizes every week or teaches tons of lessons. A successful missionary is one who does everything in their power to do as the Spirit directs and is enthusiastic about doing their very best. I need to get better at making every day like that, but I'm getting closer. :)
And then....ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seat belts because SUNDAY HAPPENED. After this bully of a week Sister Shaffer and I truly saw miracles happen. And I testify to you that not only does Heavenly Father reward you for faithfully serving him, but that FASTING BRINGS MIRACLES. To begin I need to tell a little background story. We've been teaching this woman named Esther. Esther is someone who I made us stop the car and get out to talk to her on the side of the road. She just came from Africa and she is incredible! We've been teaching her for a couple of weeks and she just loves it all and has a baptismal date
for June 7!! Pray for Esther, please. :) Anyway, she told us that she would ask her husband for permission to come to church and church had started and no Esther. And the right after sacrament meeting began Esther came waking in the door dressed in beautiful African garb! AND HER HUSBAND CAME WITH HER. And the fact that is was a testimony meeting made all the difference for them, they stood up in our Sunday school class and the husband said that after seeing how everyone plays a part in this church he too is interested in joining. Miracle!! I could go on about Esther for days, but basically they both loved church and I love them and they're wonderful! :) That day we were also able to get in contact with two investigators who we haven't seen in a very long time and resolve major concerns that they have had. We were also able to end the day with Helen and Davidson. We showed up at their house and they were locked out, so I asked if we could keep them entertained. So we watched the Finding Faith in Christ video on my iPad and then they both bore beautiful testimonies of the Savior. Those two just warm my heart, they truly have become members of my family and it was the perfect way to end the night. I again testify that fasting brings miracles. And long suffering ends with pure joy. :) And although I'm really still working on developing it, we are rewarded for our patience. This work is such a joyful one and I
encourage everyone to pray about ways that you can step a little bit out of your comfort zone and share the good news of Christ's gospel with those around you.
I love you all! Thank you for all of the prayers and support, it really truly does mean so much.