29 March 2016

The joy you feel as a missionary is unlike anything I have ever felt before.


Welp, looks like I get yet another chance to actually learn Italian because I AM STAYING IN ILFORD WITH MY GIRL SISTER EPICOCO!!!!!!!! And I am SO STOKED about this right now you have no idea!!!!! I love the people we are working with SOO much and I am so happy that I get a little more time with them:) I am so excited to see what the next 6 weeks will bring! I thank God every day for this incredible opportunity to be a missionary. I LOVE IT SOOO MUCH!!!!!!

This weekend is one that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life..... Okay STORY TIME. So Rufina and Helders baptism was on Saturday and we get there to fill up the font like 2 hours early and everything was fine until we realise that the hot water going into the font isn't working...... Fantastic. Well we started doing what we could to fill it up with hot water from buckets.... Yeah it wasn't working too well as we would run out really quickly!

Meanwhile, people started coming and oh my days it was so amazing how many people came!! As we were standing outside the chapel waiting, my heart was so full of gratitude! Not only were Rufina and Helder going to be baptised, but SO many less actives that we had been working with and invited actually came!!! When the Ruckmal family all walked in, a part member family, I almost started crying. I LOVE this family So So much!! Looking around and seeing all these people made my heart fill with joy. Bishop was so excited as well that so many people he hadn't seen in a long time where there!

Well after we took pictures, it came time for the service to begin but there was just one small problem...... Rufina was refusing to get into the freezing cold water............... She wouldn't do it. So after 20 minutes of trying to figure that out we decided to start the program while the Elders kept trying to add hot water to the font. It came time for the baptism and Helder, bless his heart had to be baptised 3 times in that freezing cold water. His face every time he came out of the water... Hahaha:) he is so cool! Well after seeing Helder having to be baptised 3 times there was no way Rufina was getting into that water. Ahhh.... I felt really bad because she was a little upset and sad. AND her family was there! But there is a reason for everything, we just need to trust God! Well, we finally decided that we would have another little service on Sunday after church in Romford. So on Sunday after church, we went up to Romford with them and wow that service was so beautiful!:) Rufina was really sad on Saturday night, but on Sunday she looked so much happier:) it was such a crazy beautiful weekend that I will never forget!!!! It's amazing the love I feel for them!!!
The joy you feel as a missionary is unlike anything I have ever felt before. It's so true that when you forget yourself and focus on helping others, the blessings you receive are beyond comprehension. So if you haven't felt happy lately, focus on serving others and I promise you that joy and gratitude and the love of God will fill your heart:)

I know that sending Jesus Christ to the earth for us was the greatest act of love this world has ever seen. I love my Saviour so much and I truly KNOW that he lives. What a glorious truth that is:)

Click here for a video of the Baptism Song.

Onward and upward!

Sister Sara Ranck

We got our inactive friend Jay to play the guitar for us for the baptism!!

The Ruckmal family!  I love them so much!!!

Dulce has been the most amazing member missionary <3


My Girl Shannon





We spent all day with Shannon and watched the Restoration movie!

Oh you know, just trying to fill up the font with warm water from buckets...




Dulce, Rufina and Sonya




Brother Figuierto was such a huge help
translating to Portuguese for us!


Sister Hagar <3. I was privileged to help reactivate her!



Elder Williams, Van Den Broek, Silva, and Jensen




21 March 2016

I just thank God that I had the privilege to be a part of their miracle

Sister Wright and my Baby Girl Sister Haynie
I'm telling yah, there is no greater joy than seeing people accept the gospel and change their life. I LOVE BEING ON THE LORDS ERRAND!!! This week was probably the greatest miracle of my whole mission and I feel very blessed to be a servant of the Lord here. I LOVE it in Ilford SOOOOO much and this past transfer has been my favourite transfer of my whole mission. I absolutely LOVE serving with Sister Epicoco and ahhhhh I am just praying that I get one more transfer with her!!!!! Transfers are next week so we shall see.

Okay, I am going to try and tell you about this miracle in cliff notes version because I won't be able to explain what happened in great enough detail for you to understand.

SO BASICALLY, Rufina and Helder didn't come to church on Sunday last week. We didn't have contact with them all week because, well, communication is a little hard via phone because they
This is Terry
speak Portuguese and they are never home...... Well the member that has been fellowshipping them felt prompted to stop by their house on Monday night and talk with them. On Tuesday, she called us and said, "sistersI need to see you today, we need to talk." She had a long chat with Rufina and Dulce (the member) told us that she didn't feel ready and she was very upset about a few different things and wanted to postpone her baptism. AHH. Long story short, things weren't looking very good.

Well, we have been fasting and praying about it all week long and doing everything we could. We were getting a lot of advice from our leaders and members and this week was really confusing as we tried to figure out what was best. After fasting, Sister Epicoco and I had the feeling that everything would make sense when we see them on Saturday.

Dulce, Rufina, and Helder! I love them.
So now that I poorly explained the background......, HERES FOR THE MIRACLE! We went there on Saturday with Dulce (who is AMAZING by the way! There is no way this would have worked without her!!!). We got there and just told her how much we loved her and Helder! We asked her how she was feeling and she said that she didn't feel ready at all and was stressed about everything and wanted to postpone her baptism until JULY......... But the thing is she totally was ready!!!!! She had the desire and she was living the commandments and making changes in her life to follow God!

After she explained this, Dulce, the member stood up and bore such a powerful testimony about baptism and how she was ready to make this step and literally in that ten minutes that Dulce was testifying to her, I had no idea what the heck she was saying but the Spirit was SOOO powerful. We saw such a change in Rufina's whole countenance! Sister Epicoco and I just looked at each other in amazement as we watched! I will never forget that moment. Dulce was crying and the Spirit really touched Rufina and Helder and changed their heart. They told us they were ready to be baptised on Saturday and then for the next two hours we somehow were able to teach them everything we needed to.

I love Sister Williams!!!
Well, cramming the past two weeks into three paragraphs doesn't convey to even the smallest degree how amazing this was. I'm telling you it was such a miracle and afterwards Sister Epicoco and I felt such great joy, greater than I have ever felt my entire mission. AHH GOD IS SO REAL I JUST KNOW IT!!!! I'm telling yah... There is no greater joy than seeing someone accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. The beginning of the lesson she wanted to postpone her baptism to July, and because of the Spirit of God touching her heart, by the end she was so excited to be baptised and start her new life! AHHH I AM SOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!

You wouldn't believe the change in her since we first started. And Helder, bless his heart, he is doing so well also! He is only 14 and his dream is to pass the sacrament. AHH! I LOVE THIS FAMILY SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA. We didn't really do much, we were just in the right place at the right time to witness this miracle and I just thank God that I had the privilege to be a part of their miracle. The gospel truly is the most wonderful thing in the world!

This girl has my heart <3
You know the scripture that says, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear?" Well, I have been thinking about that a lot this week with this experience. We fasted for them and have been praying for them and planning for them for weeks. So much of our time, thoughts, and prayers have been for them. Because we did absolutely everything we could, we prepared, we didn't have to fear and knew that whatever the outcome was, it was Gods will for them.

I have been thinking about that in terms of our own life. If we are faithful and doing everything we can to follow Christ.... We are diligent in our scripture study, prayers, keeping the commandments, we don't have to fear. As long as we are doing everything we can, we can trust that whatever happens is the will of God.

My testimony has grown so much over the past few weeks. I know without any doubt that this is the work of God. I am thankful that I get the opportunity to be on His errand. AHHH I AM SO HAPPY I COULD CRY!!!!!!

Thank you for the prayers this week!!

ONWARD AND UPWARD.


Sister Sara Ranck


We all crammed into the elevator after
treating ourselves to the
Global Buffet




14 March 2016

Don't keep it to yourself. Share it!

You guys........... Our friend "Mouses" (like Moses but Mouses....) had a family. Yup.. Our mice problems aren't over. And with the new exchanges, all the sisters come here and sleep on mattresses on the floor....! Oh, my days my life right now............!!! Hahaha.........

On Wednesday, we had zone conference, which is when 3 zones come together, and we have training. Well, there were over 50 missionaries at this zone conference, and Sister Epicoco and I gave a training on planning to teach people not lessons, with the focus being on how to plan to teach your investigators according to their needs. WELL....... We had finished the training on Monday when Tuesday morning came around and Sister Epicoco, after we ran in the morning, said to me... "I have received inspiration, and we need to use our mouse story in our training......" Umm, what??? Yes so she explained how it connects to our training (I'm not even going to attempt trying to explain to you because it just wouldn't work), and we definitely told the parable of our mouse to teach
all of the missionaries why it's important to teach people and not lessons..... Hahahahaha everyone was dying! Everyone loved it and afterwords President was like, "that was some parable!" Hahaha, he loved it as well and asked me to send him the picture of our mouse with the tulips. Oh, my days I still can't believe we used our mouse in our training. I think I will laugh for the rest of my life about that!

Soooo Rufina and Helder are doing well...! They need our prayers. They would be baptised today if they could, but we have had some problems come up, but I have faith that everything will work out!!!

We had another cool miracle this week. I met this Portuguese mother called Maria on the bus and got her number. So we called her on Tuesday morning and asked if we could stop by that day and boy that was a miracle!!! Her English isn't that great, but she told us that she just moved here and was looking for a Catholic Church originally, but then she met us and thinks that there was a reason she did. She is SOOO good and has two kids, and the whole family came to church!!!! I think God wants to build a Portuguese branch here in the Romford stake. We are meeting sooo many Portuguese people it is amazing!!!

Wow! It was a really great week:) Zone Conference was my favourite part of the whole week, though. We started the conference in the Hyde Park chapel and wow the Spirit was very powerful as President and Sister Stevens spoke to us and testified about the atonement of Jesus Christ. We watched this video of the last week of his life.... And I had never seen it in that much detail before and man I just lost it. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room as we watched our Savior suffering for every single one of us. It made me want to serve with greater faith and consecration in this amazing work so others can come to know and feel of His love for themselves.

We are so blessed to have a great knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ. DON'T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. SHARE IT! And great great joy awaits you as you do. I LOVE this work with my whole heart and soul.

Click here for a video of missionaries singing.

ONWARD AND UPWARD

TRUE TO THE FAITH.


Sister Sara Ranck




The Romford Zone



Brother Beasley


07 March 2016

Words do not express how I feel about the gospel and this work! It's all so true I know it :)

I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT...... I am not sure whether to laugh or cry....Our friend Mouse has just passed to the other side of the veil on this beautiful Monday morning on the 7th day of the 3rd month of the 2016th year........ I will miss that little guy and his little surprises every morning on our kitchen counter. RIP Mouse.

Wow! This week was absolutely crazy but soo great as well!!!! You are never going to guess what happened. On Saturday, we were going to do a blitz in Dagenham with the zone leaders (Elder Jensen from California and Elder Silva from Brazil), and I had recently found out that Laisvis moved back to Dagenham so I have been on the look out for him every time we are there. Well, Before we started the blitz Elder Silva was going to say a prayer and right before he started I told him to pray that we can find Laisvis.

Well we got finding and I was with Elder Jensen (no worries Elder Silva and Sister Epicoco were close by) and we were talking to this Portuguese lady when out of the corner of my eye I saw him............ I couldn't believe my eyes. My jaw dropped and I looked at Elder Jensen with a shocked look on my face, said "Laisvis", and with my heart pounding, I quickly made my way over to him....... Ahh, once again it broke my heart. He was happy to see me and we just talked for a little bit and I asked him how he was doing.... Then in the middle of the conversation, his "friend" came over and then He started being
Thanks for the Easter Box Mom!
super weird and tried to leave really quickly...... Ahh so yes nothing came of the conversation but man it was just a miracle that we saw him. Once again my heart broke as he acted to be okay and happy but you could just tell that he was miserable inside. I still pray for him every single day. I sure LOVE this kid!!!!!! He will come back one day I am sure of it!

Well after the blitz we went with the zone leaders to meet Rufina and Helder and that was sooooo good! Rufina was so excited to meet Elder Silva because they both speak Portuguese:) we found out that she can no longer meet us during the week because of work and she can only see us Saturday's now..... Well her baptism is on the 26th and we have so much we need to teach her still! But Elder Silva said she is sooo excited for her baptism!!!! Well they left and the member that translates for us came and then we had a 2-hour lesson with them both so we can be able to help them be baptised on the 26th! Ha it was crazy..... I am pretty useless in those lessons because it is all in Portuguese and Sister Epicoco can understand most of it too just can't speak...... But man the love I feel for them is soo great! They are doing so well :)

We had MLC and zone meeting this week also and as a mission, we are really focusing on the sabbath day. That is something we are struggling with.... helping our friends to come to church. Sister Epicoco and I prepared a powerful training about the Sabbath Day for zone meeting. We focused a
lot on us as missionaries becoming more converted to the Sabbath Day. As missionaries, Sunday's sometimes feel like every other day and I realised during MLC that I really need to do something different to make that day special and show God a good sign on the Sabbath.

So as a zone we came up with a goal where every Sunday morning we will wake up a little earlier and study about the atonement, pray, and set goals to prepare to take the sacrament. Wow! That really changed everything about the Sabbath Day for me as I took 30 minutes to study about the atonement. It made it such a sacred time to be able to focus on my relationship with God. I felt his love and strength so much more.

I just wanted to invite you all to think about the sign you are giving to God each Sabbath Day. Do something different to make it more sacred and holy. When we are too casual on the Sabbath we miss out on so many blessings!!!

Words do not express how I feel about the gospel and this work! It's all so true I know it:)

ONWARD AND UPWARD.

video


Sister Sara Ranck

Elder Haysman and Elder Packer, My Buds.







Sister Epicoco and her chocolate... always!

This is Rufina:)





We definitely had a funeral for our dear friend.

"All creatures of our God and King!
We killed our mouse so let us sing!"