Friday, March 8, 2013

DC Week 4!

Hey Everybody!! 
Gosh, sorry for the delayed email! --Mama to answer your question, yes my P-day is typically Wednesday but allow me to s'plain myself... I want to laugh so hard because people here don't know what snow really is! For the last three days, everyone has been warning us to "brace ourselves" for the storm. When it finally "hit" we got one fat inch of nothing but slush. Nonetheless, everything still shut down (including the public libraries where we usually email from. President said we could send off an email as soon as we got the chance this week so I'm in the Visitor Center now doing just that).  The good news, is that people are actually driving at the same speed as me--the actual speed limit. I guess living in snow for the last two years really paid off after all--thank you Rexburg! 

In other news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG ROB!!! :) Dude I can't believe you are 12! Priesthood, passing the Sacrament, and going to the TEMPLE and all that jazz! I am so proud of you, Bud. You'll have to write me to tell me all about your celebrations, okay? --By the way I sent you off a letter a few days ago so be looking for it in the mail!

Anyway...So I just want to share a few experiences that I had this last week.  
Sister Lawrence and I decided to check on a referral of ours that we had some trouble getting in touch with earlier. Paul and Iris Ghand from central India.  

They have been here for about a decade now and have since converted from Muslim to Christianity. They both have such deep testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Bible. And the spirit when you walked into their humble home was so strong. So neat. Everywhere you looked there were pictures of Christ, and various Indian trinkets. It smelled sort of musty sweet. We commenced to teaching them lesson one and had a great discussion about Christ and what He has done for each one of us. We then turned our focus to the Book of Mormon. This was a struggle for them, especially Iris who strongly believed that anything added to the Bible was false doctrine. But the Spirit was with us, and we testified boldly. We explained that the Book of Mormon was not meant to take away, twist, or even add to the Bible, but was meant to enhance it. That the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ from an ancient record found.  That it depicted those dealings with the ancient inhabitants in this land...the Americas.  That our Heavenly Father loved us so much, He blessed us with multiple accounts of Jesus Christ's ministry..including the crowning event in this book...which was when Christ visited the Americas. This seemed to intrigue them, and we left them a copy to begin reading. We meet with them again tomorrow!
On Tuesday, we met with a less active, (Kady Kortu from Sierra Leone) and her daughter, Nadia. She is Ashy's age and hasn't been baptized yet. Sister Lawrence and I have begun teaching her the lessons and have a B-date set for her on the 14th of April! It was so funny because as we were talking with her, (I was sitting on the floor) all of a sudden I feel little fingers on my feet. They started pinching and pulling and snapping my sheer black nylons I was wearing. So I look down out of the corner of my eye and see Kady's other two little children (Dalton and Susu, 4 and 2 years old). They were looking from my feet to my face in awe, apparently bewildered that a person could be "two different colors"! The innocent thought made me smile and I tried not to giggle as Sister Lawrence and I continued to teach Nadia.
On another note, we had a small media team come in from Salt Lake City last week to take some still shots and video footage of the Visitor Center for training purposes in Salt Lake. We learned that this video is to be shown to many of The Twelve for analyzing purposes (just to see how things are doing at our humble VC out east :) So exciting.

The spirit the mission wonderful. Where the surroundings and people and cultures all mesh...the gospel is that constant golden thread woven into the material. Every single day, we see ways our Heavenly Father shows His awareness and love for us. This is, of course, dependent on our willingness to serve and do His work. Our mission here in DC North is an obedient one. Obedient to exactness. I have never understood that term as well as I do now. Nor will I understand it better now than I will a year and a half down the road. The blessings (and miracles) that come from being obedient are priceless.  Elder Bednar said, "Miracles are the natural result of the correct application of true principles."  Kids remember that. I'll tell more stories when I'm home.   
Oh it's time to run again. I love you all so much. Every time I get the chance, I share my testimony of my family and the knowledge I have that we are forever, and the importance of temple attendance. You are always in my heart and thoughts.

Make it a good week! This church is so true.

Sister Graff

PS--I was on floor in the VC today and things were running a bit slower than usual, when in walks Ann and Steve Tucker! They had no clue I was serving and we had a pleasant conversation before they left for a temple session. Carly! They mentioned that Emily was just set apart as a temple worker in San Diego! I told them to have her look for you! This world is so small. I love it :)  

Pictures: (Stole some of these from Sister Matsumori)
1. (3/6/13) Zone activity!
2. (2/12/13) Our first day in the Mission! Leaving the airport.
3. (2/12/13) Temple pic with the new arrivals.
4. (2/12/13) Mission tradition: Lunch at IHOP the first day with President and his wife. 
5. (2/12/13) Dinner at the mission home our first night.
6. (3/1/13) Vietnamese! 
7. (3/1/13) The ambiance...of "PHO AN"

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