Boozhoo!! (that is hello in native Ojibwe language). It has been a great week! Lake Bemidji is freezing over and it has been about 0 degrees with windchill every day. It is the coldest cold I have ever even felt and the locals just laugh and say, "you have seen nothing yet!" I am terrified for when it gets to twenty below. How is that even possible!? But I have been very blessed by Heavenly Father. It is a lot easier than I thought it would be so far. My coat is warm and it really doesn't feel much colder to me than it did when it was forty degrees outside. I am really adjusting well but you have no idea how nice forty degrees sounds right now! Seriously, I just wrote a whole paragraph talking about the weather. Can you tell I have been in Minnesota for a couple months?
|Standing on frozen Lake Bemidji|
A mouthpiece for the Lord
This week was busy but my most favorite part was when we taught a man named Will. Will is a 77 year old Native American man from the local Ojibwe tribe. He lives in an assisted living home. He is in a wheel chair and physically isn't doing so well, but mentally and spiritually, he is the coolest man! He told us, "if you keep coming back you might convince me to become a Mormon." Awesome, right? He can't hear very well though and I really don't like raising my voice so that has been a struggle for me recently. I have been getting kind of impatient during lessons because I am thinking in my mind, "this man can't hear anything I am saying unless I raise my voice and I don't like doing that!" I was being very prideful and I didn't even realize it until we were there on Sunday teaching him the plan of salvation. He couldn't hear anything we were saying and so we just decided to sing some songs about the plan of salvation. We sang "If you could Hie to Kolob", "Families can be Together Forever", and "I am a child of God." Will especially liked "I am a child of God." After we sang I had the strongest impression come over me to bear my testimony to him about the truthfulness of that song. A voice said, "Sister Park, it doesn't matter if he can hear you or not, just tell him what you know." And so I did. I share my testimony of the gospel and after I did it was just silent. The spirit was so strong and I wasn't sure if he heard a word I said, but I knew he felt the spirit. Will broke the silence by saying, "I think I would like to say a prayer now." So without a word, we all bowed our heads and he began to pray. It was the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard and I didn't understand a word in it because he said it in his native tongue. He said it in Ojibwe!! It was such a powerful experience. Will has had a hard life and he just wants the truth. He is physically handicapped which could make baptism difficult but I know if he doesn't get baptized in this life, he will in the next life. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts me to act as His mouthpiece so that Will can hear the powerful messages we are teaching him and so that he will know and understand that he is a child of God who loves and cherishes him. What will you do to act as the Lord's mouthpiece? It can be done in many ways. You can share the gospel, give somebody words of encouragement or comfort, or just say hello to a person who might not hear it from anyone else the entire day. Our inspired words and actions might just be exactly what the Lord needs from us so that all of His children can feel loved.
Grandma and Grandpa Wellman and Grams and Mac, thank you so much for the letters. I am blessed with amazing grandparents!
I know that this is the true chuch and that Jesus is the Christ. I know it more than I have ever known it in my life. Being able to serve a mission is such a privilege and basically I never want to go home! I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!