09 June 2016

Imagine an army of the Lord all gathering together

This was one of my favourite days with Sister Epicoco!
Dearest friends and family!

This week (and a half) was amazing. I never want to leave Ilford and leave my companion Sister Epicoco!!! The past 4 months of my life have been amazing and I am sad that it might all end next week with transfers... My last transfer.... What is happening in my life! I am writing on Wednesday because today we are going to see WICKED! So we got permission to move our p-day to today! So excited:)

Yesterday, we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from a living apostle of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Elder Dallin H. Oaks. We have been preparing for weeks now and to really make this a special experience, President Stevens invited us to treat the Hyde Park chapel as a temple open house. Reverent. So what happened was we all arrived at 9am, the entire England London Mission and also the entire England London South mission. So around 400 missionaries! Imagine an army of the Lord all gathering together to hear from an apostle then going out to bring people into Christ! Beautiful!!

We went inside and got our seats, we arrived early because I wasn't going to sit at the back, so we got to be right in the 2nd row. And we had the chance to have personal study for about an hour while we were waiting for him to arrive. A sweet sweet spirit filled that room:) In a very real way, I felt like I was preparing to meet Jesus Christ.

As Elder Oaks walked into the room, we all stood. He stood at the front and each of us had the opportunity to shake his hand, and hug his sweet wife! Then the meeting began. Singing the opening hymn, #41 Let Zion in her Beauty Rise, was so powerful singing with 400 missionaries!! We heard from President and Sister Stevens, my days I love them! The south President, and also President and a Sister Kiran, the area president. Before Elder Oaks spoke with his wife, we sang #85 How Firm a Foundation, and during the 3rd and 7th verses, the Spirit completely overcome me and I just started to cry so hard to the point where I couldn't even sing!

"Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not afraid. ..... I'll never no never, I'll never no never, I'll never no never no never forsake!"

We went for Sunday dinner at the Stevensens
with our friend Bobby!
Then Elder Oaks spoke. It was powerful and it was fun to hear him in a different setting than general conference! He was actually quite funny and when he would make a joke, he would laugh and his huge shoulders would Bob up and down! Hahaha it was great:) He spoke about teaching repentance. The overall feeling I got was that we are in a war. Sometimes in my missionary life, you get so caught up in your responsibilities in your little area, but he spoke about how religious freedom is under attack all over the world, even starting in the US. He told us that some preachers in Canada were arrested for speaking against gay rights. He spoke about how the world desperately needs a belief in God, whether they are baptised or not, because it affects the way we treat others and how society is run. He spoke about how political leaders around the world are not God fearing and how scary that is. Overall I left with the feeling that I need to do more and be more! We need to stand for the truth, no matter what! We need to stand for Christ. It is only the gospel that can save the world from calamity and destruction..... And the way we do it is one by one!!!

My three sweet daughters <3
I will never forget that beautiful day. There is someone we are working with that I want to tell you about as well:) His name is Bobby and he is from India!! Sister Epicoco met him on the street on an exchange and nothing happened for 3 weeks until he finally came to church! Well, Bobby struggles with the word of wisdom and has bad addictions, but he wants to change SOO bad! So for the past 6 weeks, he has faithfully come to church! But his addictions were standing in the way of him progressing. He received blessings, we did the stop smoking program, taught him about Jesus Christ because he didn't know anything about Jesus... Well, his baptismal date is for the 18th of June... So next Saturday (It's almost the 18th of June already are you kidding me??!). To be baptised you need to be living the word of wisdom for 2 weeks! So we told him that to be baptised on the 18th (which he really really wants to! I have never seen anyone with a stronger desire than him!) he needed to stop smoking and drinking by last Saturday. Well, last Friday night we saw him, and he still smoked on Friday, but he promised us that that was it. Well, Saturday came and went and Sunday rolls around, we ask him, "Bobby, how was yesterday?" He smiled, "I didn't smoke!" And he still hasn't to this day! He reads the Book of Mormon every single day... Even though he barely understands it. Probably more faithfully than we do sometimes! And we are SO SO SO proud of him! His faith in God is incredible. I LOVE BOBBY!!!!

Well, I sure do love my life as a missionary. Not every day is sunshine and roses. There are hard days, hard moments, days when I (still) don't want to talk with people... And you think that by now I would be a pro at that. But these experiences I am having and relationships I am building I will never change for anything.

I LOVE MY SAVIOUR! So so so much. My heart is full today <3.


Sister Sara Ranck

PS! Sorry for the forever long email.

PSS! Birthday shoutouts to my cute mama and wonderful gramps! I love you both more than life! 💜💜

I love Sister Powell oh so much!

This is Elder Ricciardi from Italy! He wrote the Ricciardi letters
and Sister Epicoco and I have been trying to model
our service after his! #IFEARNOMAN

Magda will be the cutest missionary one day!

Bobby is our favourite!

This is down at Covent Gardens

Real life Gelato with my Italian sister!

We were FRONT ROW!

Three of my all time favourite Elders!
Elder Falke, Williams, and Van Den Broek

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