Where do I even begin. This week was AMAZING. Seriously. I am just so happy and grateful and stoked on so many levels. The Lord is so good and this is HIS work. I KNOW he loves His children. I know it. Because, if not, why would so many incredible things be happening to us? Why and how could we ever find and meet and help people and serve and be so happy all the time?
Men truly are that they might have joy. I am taking that for all it is worth.
To be brief on some of the miracles of this week:
We’ll start with Connie. You all know I have been working with her for a LONG time. She has come so far. This week we had a member with us, Hermana Leon, and made some serious breakthroughs with Connie’s understanding of the law of chastity and her desires to come unto Christ. The marriage is literally all that is holding her back. It was so awesome to have Sister Leon there with us, she helped and encouraged and counseled in a way that neither I nor Hermana Geiger ever could. It was incredible. We had another lesson with Connie last night, and – again, to be brief – we were SERIOUSLY UNSETTLED about what we should share and teach last night. We walked in seriously on faith, trusting that Heavenly Father would guide us to what she needed to hear that would help her make a leap of faith … and our prayer was answered. GLORIOUSLY. She had questions about the sacrament, of which I had felt impressed to study about the day before. We had a wonderful lesson that answered her questions and then, for the last part, her boyfriend came in and joined us – MIRACLE. He never comes in or is even home!! But he sat down just as we were closing with the Mormon message called “Recordarle Siempre” (seriously my favorite). He really liked it. I was praying the whole time that his heart would be touched and opened, and I really feel like it was. He opened up a little about what he believed and was very open to hearing us. On top of that, Connie testified and shared what she believed to be true, and the Spirit was so strong. It was incredible. Connie closed with a prayer and we came out walking on sunshine.
Some cool things that I learned in my studies about the sacrament (just some thoughts because I don’t want to type it all, sorry).
The sacrament sandwiches the atonement. I went through and read the accounts of the sacrament in the New Testament right before the atonement, and then right after the atonement in the Americas. How interesting that this is what sandwiches the atonement. As I studied and thought about it, it kind of hit me that the Savior’s words in the Book of Mormon are more geared toward the resurrection. To his redeemed and perfect body and the reality of the atonement. Of what he just went through. The New Testament seems more anticipatory. “Which is shed for you.” More like a present thing/action. The BoM he says “which I have shown unto you” referring to his body. He is there and redeemed.
Also, it just pricked my heart as I studied and thought and pictured and pondered about Him–Jesus Christ, Himself–breaking the bread. BREAKING it. Ripping it apart. How did He do it? Knowing and then explaining that this is His body. Passing around that little basket of shredded up bread–“This is my body”. Ouch. Wow.
Truly, He walked as a lamb into the slaughter. Knowing what was coming, and anticipating the agony. And still, WILLING to go. And do.
I love Jesus Christ. He is my strength. I will always look to Him, to His example and strength. I love how Nephi describes him in 2 Nephi 25 – He shall rise “with healing in his wings.” How beautiful is that? After being torn and ripped and broken–BROKEN–he shall rise with HEALING in His wings.
I love Him. Sorry the thoughts were so scattered.
Hermana Geiger is THE best. Seriously. She is such a hard worker and just a star. A happy camper and positive and SO FUNNY. I am so grateful. I really don’t have words to express – I am stoked for this cycle. Everything is just wonderful, with and without the rose-colored glasses!
We have tracted so many doors this week. Yesterday was tracted 99. President Morgan had implemented a “3 hours of finding daily” thing, and I love it. And I am so grateful Hermana Geiger loves it too. We have been milking that and going hard, and miracles have come forth.
I am about to get personal….so those with faint stomachs or low opinions of me, skip this part because the opinions may drop even lower (ha).
First of all, any tips on how to stand so at your legs and knees don’t hurt?? That is the only bummer of tracting – my knees KILL as I just stand there.
Anyway, here we go:
It is Saturday night and we have just eaten dinner. I felt a little unsettled after dinner, but was fine. We walk into the building we had decided to tract and I immediately felt SUPER ILL. Really bad. REALLY. My stomach was in knots and I was hunched over about to throw up and have the worst diarrhea EVER. I don’t know what happened. It hit me so fast. Sweating and just…I’ll save you from the details. We would knock on a door, then before we could move on I had to lean over again and breath and PRAY. I eventually just looked at Hermana Geiger and said, “Ok, all I have right now is the ability to stand. This is all you, I can just stand here.” We kept going and then I felt a big wave of SOMETHING BAD just as we knocked on a door. I said a fervent and very to-the-point prayer to Heavenly Father and asked that I would be able to finish the building without having to sacrifice my bag or destroy the hallway. The door opened and we were invited in (NEVER HAPPENS). It was a nice Dominican lady with clear blue eyes. Just gorgeous. It was probably the first time in my MISSION where I have dreaded getting invited in. I was afraid. I took a literal step of faith through the doorway and was HEALED. It was amazing. The light-eyed woman’s name is Maria. She is just visiting from the DR, but she introduced us to her cousin, Miriam, and her baby son, Ulysses (how cool is that?!). We sat down and started talking about the Book of Mormon (we have been focusing on using Book of Mormon verses while tracting and have a goal to hand out a box of Books of Mormon this cycle). We moved into prophets and Miriam just had a MILLION questions. Why hadn’t anyone told her we had a prophet? “Who is he? Where is he? I’m googling him right now…” We directed her to the church website and just had a AWESOME visit with her. We gave her a Book of Mormon and have an appointment with her tonight. We’re stoked.
Fast forward to Monday night: we are tracting again. This time I am not sick and don’t have diarrhea (ha). We tracted literally the whole building (some 90 doors) and just about no one opened up. We got to the bottom floor and knocked on one of the last doors. It opened up. It was a nice Dominican lady with clear blue eyes. Just gorgeous. We sat down and started talking about the Book of Mormon with her. Her name is Belkys. From the back bedroom, her sister was talking SO LOUD we could hardly hear Belkys. Between Belkys and her sister talking and Belkys telling her to close the door and be quiet, I felt impressed to switch gears and talk about the Plan of Salvation. We did so. It was the strangest thing because I remember sitting there and literally feeling the words coming out of my mouth and testimony of the Plan of Salvation–particularly resurrection and eternal families–and thinking as I spoke, “why am I talking about this when we had a goal to share the restoration with as many people as possible…?” I finished my sentence and Belkys’s sister came out of the bedroom. She was in the dark hallway so I couldn’t see her, but Belkys told us her name was Maria. She came into the light and IT WAS OUR MARIA. OUR Maria that had let us in to Miriam’s apartment!!!!! THE LORD IS SO GOOD!!!! As we kept talking, we found out that a dear family friend was killed in a car accident on Wednesday and they were on their way to the funeral that night. And they had just hit the anniversary of their niece’s death.
The Plan of Salvation. Maria being there. It was more than perfect.
Belkys will be at our lesson with Miriam tonight.
I have prayed so long to teach a family. I feel that my prayers have been answered. I am so grateful. I love is work. I know that if we will just DO IT–do the work–the Lord will bless us. If we hadn’t tracted for 3 hours we wouldn’t have found Miriam. And if we hadn’t tracted for another three on Monday, we wouldn’t have found Belkys. So prepared and so excited to learn. I am so grateful and so stoked.
Sunday was awesome. Herman Geiger went on an adventure! Ha. After church we were going to go to a less active member’s house–Maria (there are a lot of Maria’s out here)–for her birthday dinner (just like Natalie!). We got there and she was IN TEARS because the member family that was supposed to be coming and cooking for her had called ten minutes ago and said they weren’t coming. She literally had three chicken breasts and a package of yucca in her fridge. She told us that she felt so bad that she told us there would be food and now there wouldn’t be, so she had started cooking the chicken and yucca. Then she explained how she had ordered a birthday cake for herself, but couldn’t go get it because of her arthritis (it has been hot and then cold here, and I guess she has been struggling a lot with her health recently and her arthritis). She was SO SAD that she wouldn’t have her cake. So off we went to go pick it up for her. I am glad we got it, because it was quite a walk. We got to the little bakery and everyone was yelling in Spanish at each other and what they wanted and were ordering. Someone told us that for pickups (it was paid for already), we were supposed to go to the front to the left. So we left out place in line to do that and then the people behind the counter thought we were just cutting everyone in line and were just two stupid white girls. Man. I finally got their attention and asked where I should go and how to pick up the cake, and the WHOLE bakery stopped and looked at us and was all freaked out that we could speak Spanish. That is seriously so funny to me. Ha! It throws everyone off. It’s hilarious. With the points we earned for speaking Spanish, we got the cake no problem and we got out of that little bakery. We came back and had dinner with Maria and some cake. IT WAS TRES LECHES — my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. It was just great. We shared a short message and really just tried to lift her spirits after being ditched on her birthday, bless her heart.
This was funny–as we were leaving, Hermana Geiger was trying to put the cake in the fridge as Maria hovered next to her shouting directions of where to put it. Hermana Geiger didn’t understand very well and thought she had a better place to put it. So she put it on a certain other shelf, and then the shelf broke and the cake fell and Maria was SCREAMING, “sácalo ¡SÁCALO!” Over and over again. Hermana Geiger couldn’t understand so I ran to the rescue and told her to take it out and put it somewhere else. We lifted the lid of the cake box and it had slid and gotten the frosting all over the side and Maria was BEYOND disappointed. She went into the other room and we both just about wet our pants trying to shield our laughter of the ridiculousness of the day.
We just have too much fun.
I am doing so well and I love my life. I love my mission. So good.
Have a great week!
Love you. Oh so much.