Monday, April 27, 2015

English, Burmese and Chin, who knew in Iowa you just might need all three?

This a Taco Bell birthday cake for a diabetic elder

So this past week was pretty stellar! This might be all over the place because I don't have much time left on this public library computer and so much happened that was just amazing!
First off, you know you're serving in Des Moines when it's hard to find an English pamphlet in your car. Nothing but Burmese, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese!
I made pesto chicken linguine for the first time in my life and it was delicious! I am so thankful to serve in the states where all ingredients for cooking are available, especially when I find them leftover from other sisters!
We taught our first American investigator since I've been here. His name is Richard and he is just "so excited!" Seriously, he is so excited about church and the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon! He read 13 chapters in the Book of Mormon in three days! I don't think I've ever done that. He is so so cool. Our recent convert who lives at the same group home as him is pretty legit as well, she resolves concerns about polygamy and was teaching him the word of wisdom yesterday after church. Pretty cool.
We taught relief society and the lesson was on the talk "We'll Ascend Together" by Linda K Burton from this last General Conference. That was unique because the talk was a lot about marriage. It was nice though and I think Sister Fro and I leaned a lot, hopefully the sister did too. Ask the self test questions from it if you haven't already! "Guilt is to our spirit what pain is to our body—a warning of danger and a protection from additional damage" David A. Bednar.
So these past few weeks we've been teaching a cute Burmese family. They don't understand much English and their daughter tries to translate for us. They are so sincere, have amazing faith, and really want to be baptized. The Assistants are also teaching a lot of Burmese people but the language barrier is thick for them as well. We decided we needed to fast. The day before our fast, Wednesday, Sung, who is the mother of our Burmese family, gave us an offering for tithing. Their faith propelled us into our fast humbly. We fasted for a translator to be found or even the gift of tongues. I had never fasted for something so specific and with as much faith. We went through our day hungry and optimistic. The day was almost over and the last half hour of the day we met a man named Then. He is Burmese and speaks stellar English, but not the very specific language of Chin that our investigators speak. We were still so happy to have seen a glimmer of hope, a Burmese that can have a full English conversation! That night we went to the Hermana's apartment just around the way from ours and they said they had a referral for us. They opened their mouth and talked to Maung Shwe earlier in the day. When they told him they were missionaries he said "that's amazing!" He speaks fluent English, Burmese, and Chin! We taught Maung Shwe and three of his friends yesterday. They all want to come to church and be baptized. Maung Shwe is going to bring more young people that know English. He is ready and willing to translate for our Burmese family.
My friends, this work is no joke. The hand of the Lord is evident and the law of the fast is real. Miracles happen. In a city of almost 200 thousand the Lord knew who spoke Burmese, Chin, and English. We can do all things if we but include the Lord.
Love y'all,
Sister Skaggs
P.S. I love the Burmese people!

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