Whew! What a week. What do I even say and where the heck do I even begin?
How about here:
I wrote about Denisse before in one of my letters, but here’s a little refresher: she is about 30, from Puerto Rico and trying to get her feet under her with her cute little family. They just moved here and are staying with her aunt, Lissette, until they get their papers and a job and a home. Denisse has three kids–John (who I’ve seen only once), Naomi (my favorite little thing and an absolute delight), and Kimberly (an adorably fat little toddler that’s 1 or 2 and absolutely GORGEOUS, too). Denisse had another little baby boy, but he died an hour or so after he was born. Denisse had a dream about Hermana Molina and I and her and her little baby boy all in white 2 weeks ago. Last night we taught the Plan of Salvation–it was just incredible. So much peace and hope and SURETY just swept over Denisse, and Naomi, too, even though she is only 9. They had wonderful questions and were just eating it up. I felt the spirit so strongly, and I could visibly SEE the change of heart and understanding come over Denisse and Naomi. At the end of the lesson, Naomi asked in her sweet little voice and beautiful Puerto Rican Spanish, “how does God choose what families we go into?” Oh man. I don’t know doctrine on this one….no scriptures came to mind and nothing really…so, I just looked at her and said, “Naomi, when you were up there with Heavenly Father and everyone, you had a bunch of friends and people you were really close to. In fact, you and your mom were SUCH good friends that Heavenly Father put you in the same family. He knew that Denisse would take care of you and love you and protect you, and help you come home to Him.” I explained a little more, and both Denisse and Naomi looked at each other with such fierce and pure love, my heart about melted. It was such a tender experience as they learned together, a little more, about their divine relationship as a mother and daughter.
Naomi looked at her baby sister Kimberly and thought out loud with the same reasoning we had just explained. She and Kimberly were so close and such great friends that Heavenly Father put them in the same family so they could be together forever and help each other on earth. Naomi said the closing prayer and it was so pure.
It was just such a tender and holy experience. I felt like the veil was a little thinner for everyone, especially me. I thought about my family and my dear loved ones. About us being so tight up there that we made promises to each other that we’d find each other down here and help each other through life. The good, bad, and ugly of times! It made my relationships with my siblings and my parents and friends so much more sacred to me. It made my relationship with my Father in Heaven and Christ so much more sacred and personal to me.
I love you! All. So much.
We recently found a new investigator, Ada, from the DR. I wrote about her last week, I think. Anyway, we saw her yesterday and had an AWESOME lesson with her. And we even caught her mom at home, too (I had no idea her mom lived there, too). We taught the restoration using this little map thing that Hermana Molina made. It is super nice and really lays out the pattern of apostasies and prophets and the organization of the church really well. They loved it, and we are really hoping and praying that they will come to the women’s conference on Saturday night–they live right next to the church so the distance isn’t the problem! I just felt the spirit so wrongly testify during that lesson, I know they did, too. And I just hope and pray they choose to act on those promptings of the spirit.
I bet that’s how Heavenly Father feel every time he sends a miracle or a prompting our way. “Alright, Hermana Boud….you’ve got this! Here it comes! Pay attention! Act! Follow it! Please! I have blessings I am just waiting to give you!” It really is all on us–we choose to receive blessings or not. And we choose how soon we will receive them. I thought about that a lot this week with our investigators–we always invite them to pray and to read the Book of Mormon. To look up this website or whatever. A lot of times we get shut down and they say they will pray later that night. At first I would believe the sincerity of their hearts. Now I see that a lot of times people aren’t sincere (what a rude wake up call I’ve had in the mission field!) and a lot of times, they just forget. Now, I am a little more pushy and firm with them praying or reading or whatever–I know that sounds bad but hear me out: it’s because the prayer said or the scripture read is a spiritual experience. I want them to have the spiritual experience, hence I’m inviting and asking THEM to say the prayer or read the scripture. Even if they really are going to say a prayer tonight, I would rather be there for it so that I can assure that the spiritual experience will happen.
It’s made me think–when I have the impression to fast or to pray, why do I EVER postpone it? Why do I postpone my fast until fast Sunday–sometimes a month away–when the desired blessing is an immediate desire? I am just postponing the blessing waiting for me at the end and during the spiritual experience.
It doesn’t make sense.
Moral: don’t postpone a prompting. Don’t postpone a spiritual experience. You postpone your growth and the blessings waiting for you.
You have more faith than you think you do. Every class you attend, every time you go to the gym, every bite of food you eat and hour of work you put in–these are all acts of faith. Going to school with the intent and the faith that you will learn and grow. And achieve your goals of who you want to be and what you want to do. Going to the gym with the faith that you will be in better shape and live longer and better and healthier. Eating food with the faith that it will give you energy. Working with the faith that your boss will pay you.
Praying with the faith that Someone in listening. And Someone is ABLE to bless and help you.
Reading the scriptures with the faith that you will learn and receive guidance as to what to do.
Partaking of the sacrament with the faith that your sins will be forgiven and you will receive grace as you strive to overcome your weaknesses.
It’s all hope. It’s all faith. So don’t doubt the ground you’ve already won! Stay strong! Keep going! Blessings will come and you will grow. It’s an investment, but the results are beautiful and glorious. The end is eternal life and home and family. It is happiness.
Just keep swimming!
I love you all! Have a great week!