So a few things have happened this week, a few miracles, and lots of spiritually rewarding experiences! I'll share a few with ya!
Very Spiritually rewarding day, I'll just share one experience:
This morning we had a lesson with Ida. (She is the less active that we found a couple weeks ago through a random prompting to try that house- did I tell you that story? Here's a briefing: We still hadn't taught the Restoration to anybody and it wasor so, and we were going to try a referral, but the lights were all off, except it looked like someone was watching a movie. Maybe. But we needed to turn around, so we were in the driveway of the people next door. I had to back her, of course, so I got out, and then a man came out of the front door and stared at us, like "what are you doing in my driveway, and why are you backing her?" I just said hello, and went on my merry way. But then we decided against trying the referral because it was dark and late, and then we prayed to know who we should visit instead. I kept thinking and getting the idea that we should try the people that lived at that house where we used their driveway. So we did, and it turns out that there was a less active that hadn't come to church for a long long time, and has had missionaries come knocking, but never really inspired her to come back because she felt like a project, etc. Anyway, her name is Ida.)
Well last time, we challenged her to read her patriarchal blessing (I know, not a typical invitation), but when we came back, she had done a complete 180. She prayed, and read through it 4 times, then once again that morning. There was something in particular that she had a concern about her whole life, that she had gotten an incorrect answer about, so she said, "well, if it doesn't matter what I do, and I won't be blessed with these things for trying my hardest anyway, then I guess that there is no point in trying in the first place." So she gave up going to church, and the temple, everything. But then she said she read through her blessing, and it changed her life, and her whole perspective. She prayed about it it earnestly, and pondered, and continued to read it. But she shared her experience with us, and she just testified of how inspired this whole things was. She said, "I think you Sisters was inspired to come to my house at the time that you did. You didn't even know who I was. You didn't know what I was going through. And yet God told you to come to MY house. I wouldn't have let you in if you had sopped by earlier in the day. I let you in, because it is dangerous for you girls to be out this late, especially around this neighborhood when it is dark." Then she basically told us that she knows we were sent from God to help her do what she knew she needed to do. we shared with her the Easter Video: #Hallelujah (you can find it at FollowHim.mormon.org ) it is a powerful message about how we can find new life through Jesus Christ, no matter what phase or stage we are at. You should go watch it! But the Spirit was so strong in that room, It almost brought my companion and I to tears. I had a lump in my throat though. We asked her what she thought her first/next step was in finding new life and increased faith in Jesus Christ, and she said, "I feel like I really need to get back to church." and that if we hadn't have invited her to read her Blessing again, and teach her the lessons, and show that we care about her, then she probably wouldn't have had the desire to come back.Now, she remembers WHY she needed to.
Really neat experience. :)
Also, we had cheesecake and I also had a marie calendar's chocolate silk individual pie to celebrate my birthday :) She made my day special.
: Relatively good day, weekly planning day.
My upper back had been super painful the past few days (stress, maybe? nah) And I taught her how to pop people's backs haha :) She was excited about that one. And then she found almost all of my knots and tried to work them out. Let's just say that my back was not happy AT ALL with me the next day. But then the day after felt a lot better, and i am grateful for her for doing that for me :)
: Hooray for miracles!
We were going to see Jace and Annemarie this morning, but it wasn't a set appointment, and we needed to do weekly planning. But I said we should go anyway, because we said we would try to.
Well, we drove by, and it didn't look like they were home. We saw the neighbors, and Sister Charles said that they were very much anti-Mormons. Well, Jace and Annemarie were not home, we knocked on their door anyway, but we saw an younger man walk by, and then an older man start to scoot his way over. I said to him, "Hello! How are you doing?" He said that he wasn't doing too good. He said that he had recently had a stroke, (as in September of last year), and that his car wouldn't start, and nobody was home to help him, and that his grandson had been trying to find people to help jump his van, but nobody would/was home/had any cables. So he was stuck.
His grandson walked up, too, and we were talking about it. The older man kept talking about how he didn't know why God kept making these things happen to him, and how he went to a church around here, and donated money and everything, but the more he donated, the worse luck he had, so now he is out of money and luck. We asked him if he believed in God, and he said he didn't know, and asked if He was in the same category as Trump, (as in Donald Trump). We just laughed and said no, he's a lot better than Donald Trump. This old man just seemed very confused about what he was even here for. He lived alone, and just sort of survived. His name is Rudy.
The grandson, whose name is Lawrence, said that he knew most of the neighborhood, but nobody would or could help. We said that we might know some people that have jumper cables, because we talk to a lot a lot of people. We know a ton of people that could maybe help them out. They were so grateful, and said man, if you could help us out, that would be amazing, we can't find anyone to help us. So we called a couple people, and found out that the Beals who lived at the end of the street might have some cables. So we told them we were going to see if we could borrow some from them. So we did, and they let us borrow them. Then we needed a car, so we went next door, and a little girl opened the door, and we asked them if their mom was home. She said she was busy, but then another woman came out... A familiar face! A lady named Tracey, who is a member, but kind of rough around the edges (she has to be, I mean she works at the prison and graduated her training in second place, second only to a man. Yeah, overall, men and women, she got second highest rank.) But she came to the door and said she could totally help. Turns out she knows something about cars, and told the man what was wrong with his van, and helped him to kick-start it. Tracey had only been visiting her sister... She was only there for a short while. That was a miracle in and of itself.
When the van started working, both Rudy and Lawrence were so grateful. Tracey was going to give us a ride back, then we said, we should try to contact them.
So I told Tracey, and she said okay, I'll wait. :) but then after a while, she got back out of her car, and basically did it for us. She said very boldly that God loves him, that He is watching out for him, and that He has the power to change and love anyone. She testified about how this experience was a manifestation of Gods hand in his life. She said, "Can the sisters come by and share a message about Jesus Christ? Can I come too? I'll tell you what. I will come over and make fried chicken, and the sisters can share a message. Will you be there? I gotta know how much chicken to make." Lawrence said "Man, my mind is so blown right now. I've never really been a firm believer, but I still look for those signs that He is really there. This is so crazy!" then he began to testify (without knowing it) to His Grandpa that it was God's doing.
Miracles happen when you do good things. We weren't supposed to see Jace and Annemarie. We were just supposed to be at the right place at the right time.
Later, we had an appt. with Peggy, at which Sister Passey was our member present, and it started off as "I'm not gonna join your church, I haven't really come to believe it" to "Well, I will definitely read and pray about the Book of Mormon, I know this Book has to be true." It is, Peggy. It is. :)
I will just share some of my notes from the meetings:
"One by one" is a pattern established by the Savior.
The Atonement is very much an individual thing. Each Christ took their children, one by one, and blessed them. He talked to His apostles one by one, and blessed them. He took their sick and afflicted and prayed for them and blessed them one by one. In Gethsemane, we each had our personal moments with the Savior. He took each of us, one by one, and Atoned for each of us. We will have this moment once again, after this life, where we will stand before him, and report back how we have applied that sacred and personal atonement in our lives., we take the time for each person in the congregation to partake of the sacrament. When the people saw the resurrected Lord, they each came up, one by one, and thrust their hands into His side, and felt the prints in His hands and feet.
Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep!
Likewise, Sister Inman, lovest thou me? Show me. What are you doing to show that you love me more than the things of the world?
- True conversion requires humility, even in the 3 days of darkness following the crucifixion, after physical evidence of His reality is gone.
- Do not just put in the time, but take the time to study and ponder, and prayer will come naturally.
- Pray to be filled with the love of Christ, which pulls our thoughts and desires away from yourself, and is centered on the service of others.
- As we become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will no longer just be an influence in your life, but rather the way of life that you live!
- We must become converted to each principle of the church and of the gospel, and allow each step to push you forward to strengthen you to be more converted in other aspects.
When we covenant with God at baptism, we also covenant to help others to keep their covenants as well.
Come unto Christ, and Invite others to do the same.
As we lift our own burdens, look outward, look for someone else who needs help bearing their burdens, and we can all lift each other up wherever we stand.
When we reflect upon and feel gratitude for the Atonement, your desire to share it will increase immensely. Consider Lehi. As soon as he partook of the fruit, he immediately looked around to see who he could share it with, that they might also taste of the sweetness of it. He had the spirit of "I've got to SHARE this with someone!!! Who can I share it with?!?!?!" We must have our own conversion experience! Once we have that experience with the Savior's Atonement in our own lives, our desire to share that with everyone we come in contact with will increase greatly.
Also, look up the talks: "The Mediator" by Boyd K. Packer in 1977, and also "Redemption" by LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. in the October 2011 General Conference. In fact, study the life of the Savior this week. Prepare for Easter, consider and reflect upon the great miracle and blessing of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Savior. "Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"
Something to ponder, and something that opened my eyes:
Feast upon the words of Christ continuously!
Do we look at the scriptures as a raw potato and raw meat? Unlike a feast that takes little effort to partake of and enjoy, the scriptures require careful preparation, lots of thought and effort, you really want it, and you diligently strive to gain something out of it. It is then that that raw potato and raw meat turns into a savory, juicy steak with fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, that we can partake of, and appreciate, and enjoy to its fullest, and be filled with goodness.
Don't ruin your appetite! Let the scriptures be your first meal of the day, rather than Facebook/other distractions, etc. Don't allow other things take the place of the nourishment you need!
The more we learn, the more filtered our spirits can be. If our filter is the scriptures, we will have our lives centered on Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost will be more prevalent and recognizable.
As we approach this Eater, I invite you to ponder upon the Savior's influence in your life. Consider the miracle that it is. Remember that you mean so much to the Savior, that during His great moment and what probably felt like an eternity of pain, He remembered you. He thought of you, and everything you would go through, and selflessly offered himself for you.
May we each find New Life in Jesus Christ! Have a great week! :)
|Happy Saint Patrick's day! Me and Sister McCombie|