Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DC Week 12!

We had a baptism!!!!

His name is Abdulai and he was golden from the beginning. I might have mentioned him before. He is good friends with the Kortu family and the first time we met is a funny story. We had gone over to Kady's for a regular visit after some service at another member's home, and saw him there in the middle of praying. It was this extremely elaborate, beautiful oration of sounds and words and tradition and movement all mixed together in one moment, (his family is Muslim). After he finished, we were still in awe, just watching him...and I don't think it was until he politely inquired of our visit that we realized he was directing the question toward us, and that we were still in a sort of daze haha.  He asked what it is we do and why we were here, and the rest is history.  Oh he is so awesome. From the beginning, he has had a sweet, humble spirit about him that set him apart as one who was ready to receive this restored gospel. The Lord was preparing him for sure. He has had quite the past too, but I won't go into that right now. Remind me sometime when I'm home and I'll tell you his story in more detail. Now we will begin teaching him the laws and ordinances of the gospel, and most importantly, the significance of going to the temple. CAN'T. WAIT.
Well yesterday was so bittersweet. Sister Lawrence and I said our reluctant goodbyes and she is, as I type, somewhere over the Pacific on her way home to Guam. Oh how I will miss her! She taught me so many valuable lessons that have truly set the course for me on this mission. Number one, being selflessness. It is the single most important thing to learn as a missionary--and the sooner you understand that, the smoother the work will go!
My new companion is Sister Nakatsuka, from Japan!! She is so great, and I can tell this is going to be a stinking awesome transfer!! I am a little anxious as I begin to realize the great responsibility for the people in this "little part of the vineyard" now that Sister Lawrence is gone, but we are ready for anything that comes our way. More as the weeks pass...

Oh, as always, I love each of you so dang much. You mean so much to me and I can't say it enough, but it means the world to have all the support I do while out on this mission. I am truly spoiled!

Make it a good week!
Sister Graff

Ether 2:7-8 "...One Nation....under God...."

PS--Pictures to come!
PPS--My Spanish is improving! Yippee :)

As promised :)

1. Go Nats!!
2. ~
3. Say, “QUESO!!”
4. Hermana Word.
5. Hermana Clement.
6. President and Sister Matsumori supporting the team!
7. ~
8. Looking a little sun-kissed and tired after the game.
9. ~
10. Deer in the headlights.
11. Zoo round 2.
12. Flamingos.
13. Flying eagles.
14. ~
15. Wear your sundae best!
16. We attended Lanelle Clark’s baptism, (a member family’s daughter). Well I get to talking with her grandmother, Sherry Ward (to the right of me), and she sees my nametag and says to me, “Graff….I knew a Graff once in Oklahoma.”  I began searching the genealogical depths of my dusty brain and just couldn’t think of any Graff’s that had ever lived in that part of the U.S.  Right as I began to put the pieces together in my mind, she asked if I ever knew a “Terry Graff”.  I smiled, realizing then that Grandpa Graff had served in the “Central States Mission”, which at the time covered a massive chunk of that general area.  I delightedly informed her that he was my grandfather, and she then commenced to tell me her mother’s conversion story, and that after years and years of lessons and rejections and repeated discussions… was “Elder Graff” who had been the last missionary to teach and ultimately, baptize her. What a neat encounter!! She was thrilled to meet his oldest granddaughter, and after getting my first name, called her mother, Virginia Stevenson, (who is still very active) to inform her of the exciting news. (She confided in me later that she actually went on a few dates with Grandpa after he returned from his mission, and apparently had her eye on him for a time.) Truthfully, I’m glad he picked the “cool-cat” gal from Mesa, Arizona! Heavenly Father sure showers us with tender mercies doesn’t He?
17. “Little John” :)
18. Abdulai’s baptism!
19. Sister Lawrence had to go...
20. The Sarpong family and their newest little edition, Gabriel.
21. Goodbye Sister Lawrence!
22. Rachel!—A good friend of mine from Rexburg years. Soon to be “Sister Boody”! She reports to the MTC on May 8th, going to Peru.

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