We rounded the street corner in the chilly sunshine after Friday's district meeting. "Hello!" we called to the grandmother, occupied with her charming grandson- both about 20 ft away. A little surprised, as we were sure would be the case. So, we kept the conversation rolling to make light of it. A few more casual questions about weekend weather, etc... when suddenly the grandson's agenda decides to manifest itself a little more plainly than before. The kid scoops up with his shovel a heap of the snow debris with an expression in his eyes that said "hit the highway," and launches whatever he can at the surprisingly agile sisters, more adept at dodging threats of a toddler than he thought. Three can play at this game. "Come on Sonny, be nice," the grandmother urged, still trying to chat with us. The child continued his revolt, as we endured all of 4 snow firings--before the woman understood it could be used as a way out. "look, he really doesn't like when I talk to stranger," she caved---only empowering him and weakening her future defense as an authority figure. Pity. Salvation anyone? Looks like toddler temper tantrums would be 1-0. She began to laugh. Seeing that the missionaries were retreating due to inclement spouts of weather and receptions of the gospel message.
"Whadduya bet that kid gets a raise in allowance as soon as they're home?" I asked Sister Hancock. Her laugh solidified the suspicion.
Words cannot express how incredible the past week went with regard to a precious pearl named Natasha. This woman, who Sister YOUNG and I met with way back when, has finally come out of the woodwork, after months of us still making the attempt to stay in touch.
Natasha is an interesting woman--always with a look of distress, glitchy eye contact that happens on rare occasion, with dark circles under eyes as she works so much to support her less than perfect family. A mother of three, whose husband is a heavy drinker, is hopeful of discovering truth and getting things right as she enters the later stages of her motherhood-- that is to raise her last daughter differently. This time, "with God."
Natasha words come fast, as she describes minor details about the things and efforts she has made in order to seek out truth, amongst all the other corrupt churches she has come in contact with over the years.
We had 3 lessons with her over the course of this past week, each making leaps and bounds of progress. She prayed in each--- the first, most heart warming last Monday-- as she thanked Heavenly Father that "these girls have not given up on us. Forgotten us. We should and need to talk with them more."
She has been reading the Book of Mormon assignments we've been giving her. She told us on Friday of how she invited Kasusha, her 16 yr old daughter, to pray and read it with her. We finally watched the Restoration film this past week--- and there was nothing more exciting than the endearing scene of Kasusha coming in to sit on her mom's lap, up to the crowded table, to view it with us. And then, to hear her express that she didn't see the point of so many things in so many other churches. How it didn't feel like real, sincere, and committed worship the way her friends at school did certain things.
And then, Natasha re express her desire to be baptized. Here. In this church. After expressing, that after more than a year of meeting with Jehovah's Witnesses, they still had not invited to her join. Just to quietly study and be patient. She asked us why we had been so seemingly hasty- and the spirit guided each of our answers-- if it is right, and one feels that through the help of the Holy Ghost----why wait??
Natasha really, really liked that.
So,it is. Which, happened to be the day before her birthday. I'd venture to say rebirth could be a rather fitting birthday present.
I didn't care about the burnt tongue from the tea on the way out----I could not keep quiet as I just gawked at Rustam, our guy friend member, and SIster Hancock, as we headed out and home on Friday---- doing victory dances of shock and disbelief, incredulous joy. WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!!!! ahhahaha, I cannot believe how blessed we are being, to know and see this process. AHHHH!!!
Have a great week!!