Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 42: Miracles Never Stop

I don't even know what to say.

Which details do you want? 

Hermana Lola's entry into the baptismal font was sandwiched with smiles. Before and after, she was beaming.

In the moment, I think I might have been a little distracted making sure she had a towel and that the next person was ready to enter the font, but looking back... the Spirit was so strong.

In the very end, Gabi didn't want to be baptized. She was so excited, but when the minute came to enter the water, she got scared. She made them let water out, which made Elder Crookston almost have to go swimming to find the plug. While he was doing that, she was trembling and trying to leave. So, remembering a story I'd read in the Friend once, we said a prayer. Asking God to help her feel his love and have the strength to take the step. As soon as we said amen, she stepped into the water, and when she came out, it was with a smile that rivaled her mom's.
Sometimes, it's hard to make covenants. For kids, because of the water and the new white clothes and that everyone's watching. Kids have a lot of faith they can serve God all life long. As adults, the water doesn't scare us so much as the gravity of promising something to God. But I have a testimony - and in that against the wall moment with Gabi in the font - I felt it in me growing, that covenants are essential in our lives. Christ atoned so that we can live again with him - if we're willing to do the necessary things, even when they're hard. 

So proud of Gabi.

And then, maybe the miracle of miracles:

We stopped teaching Yosselin's little sister Heidi a month ago, after an incredible lesson in which everyone present felt the Spirit and cried, in which Heidi couldn't stop smiling, because afterward she still couldn't make up her mind and decide to be baptized. 

On Thursday during weekly planning we reviewed our lists of old investigators and chose three names of people we wanted to visit again. Heidi was one of them. That night, without us calling her or anything, she showed up at a ward activity. The next day, when we went to visit her, she asked us to be baptized. Gabi happened to be with us during that lesson, and invited Heidi to be baptized with her the very next day. 

And that is exactly what happened. She was the third person to leave the baptismal font smiling that Saturday, a day I will never forget.

God is so, so great. The month that we were teaching Heidi, we were also teaching a whole bunch of incredible people, we thought they were going to progress, and did so much for them. But in the end, none of them chose to be baptized. We were disappointed, but now I know for a fact that it was all part of the plans of God. Things don't happen on our timetable - who are we to think we're greater than God to command the miracles and blessings when we want them? He knows everything, and will take care of us, every one of us, if we diligently seek him with faith. 

I love the Lord, and am happier than ever, here to serve him with all I have.

This week, like every week, was not all peaches and cream. I was also witness to some details that reflect pretty ugly parts of life, that made my softened Spirit want to cry. But I know that I do not know the answer to everything yet, and the Lord does. The Atonement takes care of it ALL. And everything will be okay. 

Because beauty triumphs. And because of that, I have to share one more gorgeous detail, for my mom, more than anything:

Sunday was the Primary Program in our ward, where all the kids go forward to give talks and sing songs. They weren't going to give Gabi a part, because she was just an investigator when they were assigning them, but she begged for her piece of paper, and memorized it the next day. Every time we went to teach her she practiced it for us. Naturally, she shared her testimony perfectly when her turn came in the program.

But the part that most made me cry tears of Spirit-infused joy was when the Primary President came up to bear her testimony at the conclusion of the program. All the primary kids had gone in a bus to the temple on Saturday, to walk the grounds and hear a message from a temple worker in the waiting room. In her testimony, Hermana Itzel talked about Gabi, how she, without even being baptized yet, was answering and asking questions, recognizing and participating in the Spirit so strong in that holy place. Hermana Itzel said that Gabi will be able to be sealed in the temple that day, and Heavenly Father, in his infinite mercy, sent the Spirit to testify to me, her missionary, that it's true.

There is no higher gift. 

Mosiah 2:17.

I love you all, and I love this missionary life.

Until next week,
Hermana Ison 

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