Tuesday, February 16, 2016

RAYMOND 2.15.2016

Hej Hej-

Well. holy cow. Hägersten is just...its blowing up.  

I am in love with this place....it finally hit me yesterday that this is probably definitely my last area i will be serving in...like…I felt super calm and grateful for that…I have gotten to know each member sooo well..I dont wanna leave. I really feel like theyre my family. I loooooove themmm.  I am just obsessed. 
I was more tired this week than other weeks...but im praying the Lord makes up for it..which i know he does...
i got a couple SUPER motivating emails this week….they're keeping my head above water. I love you all so dang much!!! 

First of all. MALREK. that is a name i didn't even know existed. We contacted this adorable old man named Malrek a couple weeks ago, he has a mustache like a lorax and its a beautiful sunsetty color because of his tobacco use. haha He is about 65 and he is from Poland....he. is. obsessed. with the Book of Mormon.
We didnt know how genuine he was though....so we thought we will see if he comes to church...then we will ask him to take another step...
well...we taught him on tuesday and didnt talk to him all week...

The night we taught Malrek we had dinner with mama Phyllis. My mom from Ghana. We invited Raymond to come with us and he did!! It was so awesome...
I dont know if I have given you any back ground on Raymond, but Raymond is from Nigera, he is about 40 and has two kids. He is divorced and is a recovering everything addict. He is a music producer here in Sweden.  We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson...it consists of

faith in Jesus Christ
recieving of the gift of the Holy Ghost
enduring to the end

We challenged him to be baptized even though it was our second lesson with him and we challenged him for the 27th of February....so in two weeks...

A huge smile came across his face and he just said that feels right.. yes. the 27th.
So he along with the elders investigator Cedric, will be getting baptized on the 27th!.
They are becoming friends so its gonna be such a fun double baptism. 
I love Cedric and Raymond soooo muuchhh.

Well. we have two weeks to prepare Raymond for baptism....We started saturday night with a 3 hour long lesson of the plan of salvation....we covered all the commandments while teaching the earth life part of the plan of salvation....We told him we would be teaching him all of these and if he had anything he disagreed with that he needed to tell us...he said okay of course, if there is anything all I ask for is proof that it really is from God.  Perfect. 

We taught the law of tithing and fast first...then the law of chastity...then the word of wisdom..Now this we were a little nervous for...because he totally bought a coffee before we sat down to teach...like his coffee cup was in his hand guys hahaha.  I grabbed the word of wisdom pamphlet...on the front it has two people jogging..i said
Ray. I’ve got a load of questions before we cover this next commandment...you ready?


good. here we go. 

-Raymond do you trust us?

- yes

- do you believe that we have been called by God to serve in this country and that we have been sent to you, to teach you and bring you closer to your savior Jesus Christ?


-do you believe the Book of Mormon is true?


-do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God?


-Ray do you trust your Father in Heaven?


-do you believe he loves you?


-do you love him enough to keep his commandments..

-...yeah..i do.

i said....

Ray... look at these two people ...what are they doing..

-smiling...jogging haha

…Ray...as a disciple of Christ, I have been sent to you..to tell you that YOU ARE FAT. 

ray is literally like the fittest dude ever. 

i broke the ice with a good laugh and just said 

Ray listen.. in this church we believe very strongly that our bodies are an incredible gift from God and that we need to keep ourselves healthy and active. There is a little segment we would like you to read to us...read that box right there...

sneak peak: 
the box says this:

we obstain from:

1. alcohol
2. smoking ciggarretes or tobacco
3. coffee and tea
4. any harmful substance

Raymond doesn’t have very good eyes for small words..so each word is literally a surprise until he focuses on it and reads it hahaha

this is exactly what happened. no joke. 

" 1. mmhm yes of course..
2. yahh ok duh mhm...



HIS EYES WERE POPPING OUT OF HIS HEAD. his voice was like a high C note. his jaw dropped and he for about 15 seconds looked at me...back to sister Banks...to me...to the cup of coffee in his hand...to me.....mouth catchin flies. 

Banks and I just start cracking up. We put out our hands and we are like just wait okay. hold on.
...we taught him about the doctrine and covenants....

He went on to tell us about how he has a serious addiction to coffee...
we console him and stufff...then i remember this study that was done forever ago by UCLA... people who get addicted to coffee get really comfotrable with the scalding temperature in which it is served. I told Raymond about how coffee literally cooks the inside of your stomach, making digestion difficult and painful!! 

he threw his hands up in the air and said
OMYGOSH. SISTER GILES. ...i am on stomach pills for that reason specifically..about 4 months ago i went to the doctor for stomach pain and they told me i needed to quit coffee...i didn't listen... but I'm listening now.  And thats where my mouth dropped haha. 
Raymond said that he was going to make "tomorrow my last coffee day" we said deal.  We ended that lesson with him rapping and singing to his coffee cup about how he is done with it and is changing and moving forward lol

Well...the next day he came to church and said…Sister Giles..I am so tired..I decided last night, today wouldn’t be my last day of coffee...but that the cup of coffee i bought last night would be the last. Well this just made my day. I told him, you know....doctors are pretty smart but women are smarter. ;)

I got to party twice this week! we had a super fun valentines party friday night with our ward!! and something incredible happened...56 non-member south americans showed up... we called the office elders and asked them to bring down boxes of spanish copies of the Book of Mormon... they did...and we handed them all out at the end of the night. It was awesome. 

We then had one with our young people Sunday night at our ward mission leaders apartment. We had so much fun. We played mafia and the Guess Who You Are game....where you have like the name of a character on your forehead and you have to ask questions to figure out who you are. It was a blast!!! 

In fact, Sunday was just awesome. Cedric put on a tie for the first time and Raymond didn't drink coffee, I even was asked to speak!! Which i was excited for because VALENTINES DAYY!!   I spoke on chapter 3 of Howard W. Hunters book that we are studying this year and it is on adversity...trials...trust...faith...it was by far the best talk I've given. I shared my side of the story of when Coleman was in the hospital...everyone was crying..it was so sensitive and powerful. I could just testify SO HARD that trials make us stronger. I've literally seen it. 
I watched coleman crawl up the stairs his first day home, just four steps to get to the front door.  It was incredibly painful to watch every day for the next couple weeks as he regained strength in his body and his mind. I told them about how he is my best friend and how when i was scared, i would go sleep in his room because ...angels...he is surrounded by them.
The kid is so wise. I also watched my little sister grow and change. We went through everything together and it will be something that is always a bond for us. We grew together and she will be my best friend forever...even though i am almost 10 years older than them both..we are so connected by spirit and i know we were so excited to be reunited on earth.. I mean i had to wait 8 and 9 YEARSSS just to get to see them again!!!  I’m grateful i’ll never have to worry about losing them :) thanks to my parents worthiness and love to be sealed in the temple to us. 

I felt really strongly that I needed to sing...like always haha...but this time felt really different..totally unplanned I turned and asked bishop if it was okay...
and the i sang...and we cried. It was awesome. 

I am so grateful for the experiences I have had as a human... 

Last week was killer. We will see what happens this week :)

love yall!!!
Sister Giles

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