Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chicken Feet

We always eat at this one member's home, who loves to cook chicken feet.  Since transfers were coming up, I decided that I had better take advantage of this 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience and eat a chicken foot.  The Irmã wasn't so sure that I should try, but I explained to her that this might be the last opportunity I ever had in my entire life to eat a chicken foot, in Brazil, in her house.  She agreed with me, and put the chicken foot on my plate.  I picked it up, and stared at it for awhile.  The rough texture of the skin was still visible even though it was cooked, and the toenails staring back at me almost made me lose my courage; but I took a deep breath and bit down on one of the toes.  When nothing happened, the Irmã told me that I had to bite down on the joint of the toe because it was weaker there.  I was able to pull off the end of the toe with my mouth, and I began to chew.  The Irmã had explained that the chicken foot has a lot of ligaments and isn't very tender, so the crunching of the toe in my mouth didn't disturb me...that is until the Irmã looked at me kind of strangely and said, 'you know you don't have to eat the bone; normally you spit the bone out!'  Thanks!  That would have been nice to know 2 minutes ago!! hahaha!
On Friday, my companion and I planned an activity with our branch.  We taught everyone how to make cookies, and taught them how every member has an important responsibility in the Branch and that we need every single one of them; just like we need every single ingredient to make a delicious chocolate chip cookie!  I didn't know how our activity was going to turn out, but I should have known that an activity with cookies would be well attended!  We had lots of members, a couple less actives, and three investigators!  As my companion and I stood up in the front making the cookies, I felt like I was on a Paula Dean cooking show, and I wanted to say, "Welcome to another day of cooking with the Sisters!!" heehee

It is truly amazing to see how the Lord is blessing this work in Sousa.  Sister East and I have been trying to teach more simply and more powerfully over the space of 2 1/2 transfers in Sousa.  We both had the strong impression, that if we could get our investigators to understand the reality of the great apostasy and the importance of the Book of Mormon in receiving an answer, that we would have more success with our investigators!  Well, it is working!!  Right now, we are teaching a terrific family whose sons, 11 and 14, began coming to church first.  The 14 year old always rides his bike to church, and the 11 year old buys a bus ticket a week in advance to go to church.  When we began to teach the family, the father said that it was very likely that they would move soon to a city that doesn't have a church.  However, the next week, he told us that he had been praying to receive a job here in Sousa, and his prayer had been answered!!  He told us that it was like he had received a 'light' in his life, opening up the way that he should go!  Another investigator who has been investigating the church for some time now, but never accepted baptism, finally read a part in the Book of Mormon and prayed about it!!  She described her answer as a feeling of pure joy and she had the desire to cry with happiness!  It is truly incredible to watch as the spirit of the Lord works in the lives of these people!  I know that this Gospel is true!  All we need to do is 'experiment upon the word', open our hearts and minds, and follow the promptings that we receive.  Sometimes, the promptings are very subtle, but they are always clear.  For example, one day, we were making contacts in the street and nothing was going right.  All of a sudden, I had the distinct thought come to my mind, "You are in the wrong place."  My companion and I moved to a different neighborhood, and within 30 minutes we had made 3 great contacts, one of them being with a family!!!  The spirit is guiding our lives in every aspect.  If we have the faith and courage to follow, we will witness miracles, and we will have the confidence that we are doing the Lord's will!!

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