Holy cow! As of tomorrow, I will have been a set-apart missionary for 6 months. Time goes by so fast, and I know it will continue to go by even faster. I am not ready. I have so much more to do and become, and now I have one year left to do it!!! All the more reason to buckle down and figure things out so I can spend the rest of the limited time I have left to give everything I've got the the Lord's work! Wow. Here we go. Today is also Sister Charles' 17-month mark, which means she goes home ! She's a teensy weensy bit stressed about it, but I've been able to help her a little bit.
Anyway, so this week, we have seen a lot of tender mercies and little miracles! Good teaching experiences, and tender moments with investigators. Here are a few from this week:
We set a baptismal date for Ray! (Brother Martinez) ) He is so solid. He's so ready. We just need to get him to be feeling well enough to come to church! We are hoping that his son can help baptize him. That would be a neat experience. We have had some really neat experiences with their lessons the past week. The Spirit is always so strong when we go over there.:
We had a lesson with Peggy, and we finally taught her the Plan of Salvation, because she finally read in the Book of Moron, so we can move on! She said she will continue to read more. Woo! She had never thought about an life before this, or a life after this. But she thinks it is a beautiful thing, and really loved it. She got a little emotional at the end when she talked about her deceased husband who passed away quite awhile ago. We talked about what happens after death, and how she can be with him again, and ultimately make it to the Celestial Kingdom, through the grace and Atonement of Jesus Christ. She said, "I just want to be wherever he is. I hope it is here." She pointed to the Celestial Kingdom. It was really a good discussion, and the Spirit was there. I invited her to be baptized, because the Spirit told me to, (and we go into each discussion with the intent on inviting them unless otherwise directed by the Spirit). The discussion perfectly led up to the invitation, so I asked her, "Peggy, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ, and be baptized by someone who holds that Priesthood power and authority of God?". She thought, and then said she didn't know. She has received so much pressure from her family (who are all members except her and her grandson) and she told us that she wants to stop her brain from being defiant of that, and make the decision herself if she finds out that it is true. She felt the love that we had for her, and knew that we were not being pushy at all. So it is good that she did not say absolutely not. She loves us going over there, and always gives the sweetest prayers, thanking God for "sending these two beautiful ladies to come and teach me about you. Keep them safe, because I really do love their visits." She will be baptized, the Spirit works miracles, on the Lord's timing. :)
We had zone meeting, and it was super good! The topics were mainly planning, goals & having the Spirit, and Companionship Inventory. Ha. ha. But it was really good!
, we tried Minerva and her boyfriend, Noe (No-way). We had an appt. scheduled but they totally forgot, and felt bad, but we talked with them for a little while before they had to leave. Noe is super chill, and they both have had Mormon influences all around them growing up. But we talked a little bit about our purpose as missionaries, what we do, etc. And he asked if we spoke Spanish. I said I understand better than I speak, but I know enough to get by. Almost. I said I could introduce myself in Spanish, and he said, well let's hear it! So I introduced myself and said I was from the LDS Church, then asked him if he had faith in Jesus Christ. He said it was really good and he could understand what I was saying clearly! Woo! Then they said okay, next time you come over, I want you to teach us in Spanish. Minerva was like "yeah, you can only come over if you speak Spanish." So we said okay, we'll work on it. We'll see what we can do. So I will be brushing up on my Spanish this week! Wish me luck! Haha.
We talked to Rudy again! He is struggling. We had to be kind of bold with him though. I've been getting better at that! Being bold. It really helps if it is led by the Spirit. We told him that if he wants God to help him and answer his prayers, he needs to make some changes in his life, because God will not just grant you something if you are sitting around waiting for him to do it. He keeps quoting the scripture, "Be still, and know that I am God". He says "If I sit any more still, I'll be dead!" We tried to help him understand that it doesn't mean we sit around waiting for Him to make things happen in his life. Oh Rudy.
was pretty good once we got past the morning! We taught Elders Quorum about the Rescue-focus plan.
And after church, we met with Rudy again! Outside, in the freezing cold with the rain! Baha. We called him before, and he told us that his cat was stuck in the rafters. Worrying that it would be inside of his house where we would not be able to help him, we prayed to know what to do. We went over there anyway, and it was the rafters outside. Tender mercy! We were able to help him get his cat down, because he could not, because of his stroke that he had. Rudy was so thankful. He called us the Good Samaritans, because we seem to always be there at the perfect time to help him. We told him that it was God showing His hand in his life and that he is watching out for him!
We started to read from the Book of Mormon, out of 3 Nephi 11, and it triggered a very personal, spiritually testing experience that he had many years ago, where forces beyond the physical were combining against him. He related his experience where in time of greatest fear and despair, he cried out to God, "Lord, I don't know what this is, but please, in the name of Jesus, take it away from me!". As he remembered this experience, he was sobbing. He poured out his feelings to us. And we testified that God loved him so much. That He was very aware of him, and that He is all powerful, and can answer our prayers when we ask in faith, just as he did. We just had a tender moment with him, as he opened up his heart to us. We invited him to pray, and he said he would, but that he prays differently than we do. We told him it was okay, and he stood in front of us and held his hands out. (You know where everyone holds hands when they pray), and he proceeded to give one of the most heartfelt and sincere prayers I think I have ever heard. He expressed many thanks to God for sending us there, for his challenges, for his cat, for everything. he pleaded for our safety and blessings. Then he ended, and told us how thankful he was, and shook our hands.
We have seen so many tender mercies and miracles, and every time we do, we look at each other and say, "tender mercy!!!" God loves us so much. Look for those signs in your life! They are there! Even when things are rough, we can see the light shine in the darkness. Which is ironic, because when we were talking to Rudy in the rain, by the end of our discussion, the sun had broken through the clouds and the darkness. God smiled upon us. It is the little things.
I hope you each have a fantastic week, I keep you in my prayers daily.
I love you!