Monday, November 19, 2012

Down the Via Dolorosa: Our Own Little Miracle! (#62)

It’s been quite an eventful, inspiring, and fun week. We had a visit from the Freddie Nicero who is our CES leader, and he brought Brother Kinjo with him, who is the head of CES for the entire region. Karen Johnsen, our daughter and stateside missionary facilitator/companion, arrived for a brief visit. We had an inspiring district meeting, and Melody was baptized. 

So let’s start with the last first. Melody is a Filipina in her early 40s.  She is the house keeper for one of our less active members.  Saturday night was her baptism.  Her conversion has been marked by inspired teachings of Elders Gubler and Fullmer, and frequent stories related by them of her amazing progression.  We have followed her progress from hiding from the missionaries to become a member and fellow citizen with the saints with awe and wonder.  Sister Johnsen had the privilege to sing Via Dolorosa at her baptism.
Two weeks ago Melody had a dream, and in the dream she heard beautiful singing by a large group. She was enchanted by the song that they were singing, but she’d never heard the song before so she asked (in her dream) one of the singers the name of the song.  They told her it was Via Dolorosa.  She promptly awoke, and later told Elder Gubler and Fullmer about the dream.  So when Elder Gubler told us that story he asked us if we knew what the Via Dolorosa was.  Of course we knew not only about the place, but also about the song.  We got a copy of the sheet music over the internet, but we couldn’t find a minus track so Elder Johnsen played the melody while Sister J sang the song as a surprise to her at the baptism.  As Sister J was singing during the baptism, we noticed that Melody leaned over to Elder Gubler and excitedly said something to him.  Later we learned that this WAS the beautiful song that she heard in her dream.  Melody is such great convert that her boss Rinehart Silas attended the baptismal service with his wife (a nonmember).  Rinehart is such a quality educated man and he seemed touched by the story Elder Johnsen related in his baptism talk (Scott Anderson’s story about the 74 year old 3 PhD professor who converted to the church in Germany). Nevertheless, Elder Johnsen was surprised and happy when Rinehart came to Sacrament meeting the next day, stayed for Sunday school, and participated in Priesthood meeting on Sunday.

Here are the words to this beautiful song about the Savior:

Down the Vía Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street,
But the crowd pressed in to see
The Man condemned to die on Calvary.

He was bleeding from a beating, there were stripes upon His back;
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head.
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death.

The blood that would cleanse the souls of all men
Made it's way through the heart of Jerusalem.

Down the Vía Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King
But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me
Down the Vía Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

On Wednesday our fearless CES leaders came to visit us. In the morning we talked about the work, and then went to Kramer’s for lunch. We sat outside so we could see the beautiful view of the ocean. It was a lovely day. We all really enjoyed our food.  We found an interesting sign hanging near the door as we left. (This person has interesting priorities).
Then we lent both men exercise clothes and tennis shoes and we took them and five institute age young adults to the waterfall at Ngardmau. It was fun and a great hike. We got some outstanding pictures.
On the hike back up, Sister Johnsen was determined to beat the tram that was carrying our visitors to the top. She had to hustle because there are over 250 steps from the bottom to the top. But she beat the tram by about 5 minutes. Both Freddie and Brother Kinjo called her Iron Woman for her climbing feat.

On Wednesday night we ran out the airport to get Karen who we decided to bring to Palau on impulse decision. She has helped us so much on our mission with errands, packages, shopping etc., that we thought it would be nice to have her come. Sister Johnsen was nervous all day about having Karen make her connections in Hawaii and Guam because they were pretty close, but she made every one of them. We were so excited to see her.

Karen came with us on Thursday to our district meeting. Elder Gubler asked each one of us to talk about a different Christlike characteristic that are mentioned in Preach My Gospel. After the meeting we showed Karen Koror High School where we taught the drama class, and Meyuns Elementary where we did our spelling bee. We took her out to Palau Pacific Resort where Elder Johnsen stayed when he was working in Guam and on a business trip to Palau.

We have had a wonderful and miraculous week here in Palau.

No comments:

Post a Comment