This week was just great. It really was. I’m so stoked and feel so humbled that I can take part in la obra misional. “It’s duh besss! I luf it” (Nacho libre accent). But really. I had a great week.
To kick it off last Wednesday night we had a miracle lesson with an investigator Denisse. She is so prepared! It blows my mind. She is living with her aunt, who is a less active (who KNOWS her stuff–she was RS president and then YW President). She has three kids, two of which sit in the lessons with us (the baby Kimberly and her 9 year old Naomi). She had a fourth, but her sweet baby boy died right after he was born. We taught the restoration and it was pretty scattered and jumbled. I was feeling sick and both of our Spanish was just not coming. It was a STRUGGLE. But through it all, she got it. She asked questions and we got through it–I know the Spirit was translating my snuffy-nosed-Gringa-Spanish into something understandable and was touching her heart. I could SEE it. When we were winding down, Denisse looked at us and then looked down. She looked back up and said, “you know, I had a dream the other night. I was in some place and it was all white. White white white. And I was holding my baby boy. I had him in my arms and I was so happy. You two were there with me.” She looked at us and kept explaining her dream and I was praying that she couldn’t see how strong and loud and hard my heart was beating as she told us more about it. When she finished, we didn’t know what to say, and then she added, “I do not think it was an accident that you were in my dream.”
She came to church on Sunday with her two little kids and her aunt, Lissette.
I am on cloud 9.
We had another crazy experience on Sunday and yesterday. The Lord is preparing His people to receive us!!! We decided to go knocking on Sunday afternoon instead of doing some lookups. We prayed and then took off toward a building near the church. We knocked and had some really interesting experiences….met some really interesting people. At one point, a lady opened up and YELLED HARD at us. She was so mad. That was the first time I’ve been yelled at like that. And then she slammed the door really hard. We stood there and I let out a little, “ok, then….have a nice day!” Ha. I was afraid she was going to come back out with a shotgun! Luckily she didn’t. We kept going. The door across from her is where we found Ada. She is so prepared. She has a new baby, is young and from the DR. She told us how she used to ALWAYS have the missionaries over when she was younger and living there. Always. And when she moved here, she attended our services. But then she had her baby so she stopped going. I was so shocked–talk about READY TO GO. We stopped by yesterday to give her a Book of Mormon and introduce her more to what we were going to be teaching. Toward the end I brought up baptism (I think it’s better that they know from the get-go why I’m there. Our goal is baptism and lifelong activity in the church. And a party in the celestial kingdom when we all get there). In response to the mini introduction to covenants with God and baptism, she randomly said, “you know I want to tell you an experience I had. I NEVER open the door. We get tons of people knocking on our door and I NEVER open the door. I’m home with my baby all day, and my husband doesn’t come home until later at night. Where we live, it’s just not good and not safe to open that door. I usually don’t even look or get close to it when someone knocks. But on Sunday, I went over to it and asked who it was. When you said ‘the missionaries’ I wasn’t going to open, and then something told me, ‘open the door.’ And I did. And on top of that I invited you right into my home. I never do that.” My jaw about hit the floor as she sat and thought about that. That opened up a whole conversation about the Holy Ghost and identified that promoting, that feeling of peace and confidence in us, as a revelation from God through the Holy Ghost. I was SO stoked coming out from that lesson. It was just another miracle–another evidence that the Lord DOES prepare people, even here in Olmstead, to receive us. To open the door and let the Spirit into their lives. It blows my mind how little I actually do. It’s called the Lord’s work because He, really, is the one working! He prepares the way and I am so grateful I can be a part of it and witness these miracles. Witness His hand so delicately leading His children here home to Him.
Church was AWESOME and absolutely action-packed. We had 6 investigators come, as well as several less active members. The sun is out in Olmstead and I think a lot of people that were either away in the DR or were just cooped up staying out of the cold are coming back. We are on the edge of miracles in our ward, I can feel it! They opened up the second half of the chapel during sacrament meeting because people just kept filing in. Relief society was a RIOT with SO many loud and sassy ladies there! It was incredible. Hermana Molina and I are trying really hard to be exactly obedient and invite everyone and their dog to church, and we are being blessed so richly. I am so grateful! The Lord is so good! He is only good.
Primary, too, was legit. The highlight of this week being one of our darling pupils throwing up in class. She was totally fine, and then OUT OF NOWHERE grabbed her stomach and said, “I don’t feel very well. I feel like I have to vomit.” I threw the trash can in front of her and bolted to find her mom–totally ditching Hermana Molina….oops. She sat with the door propped open and I could hear “Ok, everyone stay calm, I’m just going to say a prayer really qui—never mind! Everyone go to your next class! Get out!!!” And then the kids barreling out screaming “EW!!”
So….never a dull moment, really.
Probably another highlight of the week was one of our less active members, Miriam, thinking that we were actually undercover police agents. Why she was worried about that and then confronted us about it….I don’t know. She was really concerned, and I’m glad we got that cleared up…Bless her heart. It was super super weird as she got all worked up about it and Hermana Molina and I had no idea what she was talking about. When it was made clear that she was talking about us, man. I almost burst out laughing! I know that isn’t the right way to handle these types of things, but I was just caught so off guard. Sooooo random.
Now for some goodies:
A couple excepts from a talk I love: “Finding Joy in Life” by Elder Scott.
“Do you take time to discover each day how beautiful your life can be? How long has it been since you watched the sun set?…Your joy in life depends upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His holy Son, your conviction that their plan of happiness truly can bring you joy…Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want. To the sightless or hearing impaired, He sharpens the other senses. To the ill, He gives patience, understanding, and increased appreciation for others’ kindness. With the loss of a dear one, He deepens the bonds of love, enriches memories, and kindles hope in a future reunion. You will discover compensatory blessings when you willingly accept the will of the Lord and exercise faith in Him…attempt to be creative for the joy it brings…Select something like music, dance, sculpture, or poetry. Being creative will help you enjoy life. It engenders a spirit of gratitude. It develops latent talent, sharpens your capacity to reason, to act, and to find purpose in life. It dispels loneliness and heartache. It gives a renewal, a spark of enthusiasm, and zest for life.”
Love it. So much. Be creative, everyone. And go watch a sunset. Or a sunrise!
I know Heavenly Father wants us happy. I know that He is there in the midst of trials. I know that, and I am so thankful for that. I was reading in 3 Nefí 17 this week and so many things stuck out to me and just touched my heart. It pierced my soul and it all became so real to me all over again. Especially the part when Christ is praying FOR them. And right after, he wept. That hit me-why was he weeping?
His joy was full.
Why was his joy full?
Because he had JUST endured the atonement. He had literally just done it. Given it to us. Converted into the Savior.
And I think this was one of the first, if not the first time, that he made intercession for the people–for us–with this new mantle as the Savior of the World. He prayed for them and I bet he pleaded to the Father for them–not that He hadn’t done so before, but now with the experience and authority of the One who truly went through ALL for us. And here He was–looking at them and having just tasted so intimately of all they had gone and will ever go through–and He prayed and pleaded for them.
And he wept. That is evidence to me that it was worth it. Those pains and sufferings that were so sore and so difficult to bear were worth it. He loves us so!
I imagine that to be a little bit like judgment. Us there. Him there. Our Father there. And Him praying, supplicating for us with authority as our Savior. Granting us life. It reminds me of this in D&C 45
4 …Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.
“Come unto ME and have eternal life.” Come unto HIM and by HIS grace and love, his supplications FOR us, we may have everlasting life. He truly is eternal life.
I love my savior. I really do. I want to be like Him.
I hope all is well with everyone! I really do. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I miss you. Happy Birthday (yesterday) to the world’s best Dad! I love you, pop.