Friday, July 4, 2014

Week 68: God is Our Loving Heavenly Father

Hey all!

This week was pretty special. Here's why:

The Change Meeting

When people who are getting transferred find out their new areas, the new missionaries arriving to the mission bear their testimonies, and we all say goodbye to the ones who're finishing their missions and going home. This all happens on a Wednesday morning every six weeks, in what is known as the change meeting.

We didn't have changes, and I totally didn't want to go (because I've been to the last several ones, and the next time it comes around, I'll be the one going the first week of my last change, I just wanted to go out and visit people, which is what a missionary is for!). But, for being sister leaders, they had us go so we could help keep people reverent and know where all the sisters are going, etc. 

It ended up being a good thing, because the family of one of the APs had come to pick him up from his mission. He sat in between his mom and his dad, translating for them, but his sister was on one side and couldn't hear. My companion noticed and nudged me, so I went over and translated for her. 

¨Oh, thank you,¨ she told me. ¨You don't know how lost I was!¨

It's nice to be needed, and it totally humbled me! Maybe what I wanted to do that Wednesday morning was go out and save the world, in my own way of thinking. But what God wanted me to do was something else, something really simple. I'm grateful to Him for gently reminding me that my will is not His. 

The Closed Area

There's a bunch of new missionaries coming in September, but until then, Mission Reu is short on missionaries! This time around, President had to close five areas, which means there's five wards or branches in mission boundaries that now don't have missionaries where there used to be some. 

Our ward is one of them. Hermanas Rodas y Carcamo, two really good friends, are now elsewhere in the mission, and my companion and I are alone in the ward. It's the first time in the mission that I haven't shared a ward with other missionaries! Totally feeling the weight of responsability. 

But we spent Tuesday night in the rain hurridly learning where the other sisters' investigators live, and then the rest of the week trying to teach them. It's been really fun, actually, the hand off. We've been blessed to get to know some really cool people, and I know God will help us teach them in the way they need. 

The Sister Training Meeting, Talks in Church, Ward Movie Night, and Changing Houses

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: everyday a different task! It's rare in the mission that there's so many big things to do all piled up next to each other! I think Heavenly Father is reminding me what life at home is going to be like. I can't say I don't miss those ¨good old days¨ in the mission, days I used to think were boring, weeks of just teaching day in and day out. That's when I learned SO much. But I'm learning a lot now too, learning and loving every single day. There's so many moments where I just stop and thank my Heavenly Father for being where I am. Two years ago I would have said you were crazy if you told me I'd be finishing a mission in Guatemala right now. But now I'm here, without a single doubt in my mind that God lives. He has worked a miracle in my life. And he works miracles every single day. 

I echo Moroni's words, in Moroni 9:19 in the Book of Mormon: ¨And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you that he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.¨

The Best Part

There's one more amazing story I have to tell you.

For a while we've had a hard time bringing people to church. Almost all the less actives and recent converts we're working with are coming, but investigators... not so much. This week just one person came, but it was a miracle, because he was a reference from the other sisters that we hadn't been able to get ahold of all week, but who came by himself to church on Sunday after we invited him that morning at 7:30 a.m. 

Anyway, after church and lunch, before going out to work again, we prayed to Heavenly Father, thanking him that Thomas came, and asking him to help us find someone we could teach who would want to be baptized in July. I remember when I said the words in the prayer, I kind of doubted a bit. Maybe we were asking too much of God. Maybe He had other plans for us... But I asked anyway, halfway trusting that this time, the blessing would come. 

Four hours later, we're walking in the front gate of Cristel's house, when her aunt stops us. ¨Sisters,¨ she says, with tears in her eyes. ¨You're like angel's falling out of the sky for me right now.¨

She proceeds to explain that she and her boyfriend of almost a year were just about ready to go out and look for us. After who knows how many months of listening to different missionaries and going to church activities, but battlings with fears of how his very Evangelical family would react, 20-year-old Kevin has decided to get baptized. He wants to recieve the missionary lessons and prepare himself for July 12th.

It is the answer to the prayer I should have uttered with more faith.

I repeat: God works miracles. He lives. He knows us. He answers prayers. 

I testify that when we humble ourselves and sincerely repent, the blessings come quickly. There's so many more miracle stories I would love to tell you to prove that, but... times' up!

Until next week :)

Hermana Ison

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