Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teaching Experiences with Cassia

By far one of the most interesting experiences I have had as a missionary has been in teaching Cassia. As an online missionary I do not get the opportunity to meet many of the people who I come in contact with. While pictures are nice, it is always a rare opportunity when the investigator comes here to be baptized; or when they come to visit even after they have been baptized. Such meetings serve as little boosts of light and energy and help to keep the whole mission excited and moving forward. I had such an experience recently when I met Cassia. Cassia was brought to church with Pricila, one of the leaders over the women in the single adult ward I was attending. Pricila mentioned to me she had brought her friend who was not a member of the church . . . to make the situation even more unique; Cassia and I were not able to communicate very well from the start. She was from Brazil, and had recently moved here to go to school and to learn English. She spoke very little English, and I spoke even less Portuguese.

Fortunately there was a “munch and mingle” after that Sunday for everyone to socialize a little and enjoy a snack. I was very excited about the prospect of being able to teach someone in person, and I was not dissuaded by the language barrier. I remember trying to follow her through the snack line and doing my best to seem cheerful and optimistic until Pricila could catch up with us again to help translate for us. With Pricila’s help we were able to communicate. Cassia agreed to meet with Elder Moxley and I after the munch and mingle to have a lesson. Being nervous about the two of us meeting with two single sisters, I made a quick decision to include the only other person who was male, spoke Portuguese, and whose phone number I had –my brother.

I see Chad quite regularly as he often will drive me to the doctor appointments I have in Salt Lake. I figured it would be easier to ask for forgiveness then permission, as most missionaries try and limit contact with their families while they are on their mission. Chad was of course very eager to help, and provided a great help and support as we taught Cassia. The lessons were I am sure very unique as Elder Moxley or I would say a sentence of two then Chad or Pricila would translate.

Cassia was a golden investigator from the beginning. She already had a strong faith and determination to follow Jesus Christ, and was quick to recognize and follow the spirit as she learned. She made her conversion something personal for her. The Oliveira family from Brazil was also very instrumental in helping us teach Cassia as well. Being from Brazil, and having more experience in the church, they were able to provide some meaningful help for Cassia in explaining questions or concerns she had as we talked. Even though we were able to share the words of the lessons with her, it was her own steps of faith of attending church, reading in the Book of Mormon, and remembering her prayers which opened her to the spirit and allowed her to find an answer that this church is true.

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