Friday, November 22, 2013 12:42 PM
Thank you all ya'll (practicing my mission language) for the sweet letters, and for your prayers. I have so much mail I can hardly keep up, but I love it! It's even worth getting teased by the district for getting so much mail! ;)
We had a lot of study time, and district and zone classes. A sister in the zone told how she had been struggling and had received two priesthood blessings. She was wondering why she was having such a hard time when she was here to serve the Lord, and began to pray. She felt that one of the reasons was so she could help the Elders by allowing them to use the priesthood to bless her, and she had told the Lord she would do whatever he asked. I was really impressed by her faith and endurance. A few days later this sister actually had to go home. We will miss her, but are grateful she was able to be with us as long as she was. I began wondering if I could have that kind of faith. All of a sudden I realized that I too was having a hard time, though not as extreme as her. I was feeling really homesick, especially when things slowed down at night.
I decided to ask for a blessing. I was a little unsure since I thought the blessing with my setting apart told me I wouldn't be lonely for those I loved while I was away. The more I thought about it though I realized that often Heavenly Father promises us blessings when we act. So I acted. It worked out in a perfect tender mercy that at breakfast all of the Elders except for the District Leader, Elder Wadswroth, went to put their trays away. I was able to ask for a blessing and asked that he talk to the Elders to see who could use that opportunity to bless me. Sunday was truly the best day! We enjoyed a walk around the temple and afterwards came back for Sacrament meeting.
Everyone in the district had been asked to prepare a talk on the Book of Mormon and two of us would be called on to speak. The "veteran zone" said they would probably speak. Surprise surprise when one of their sisters was called on, and the second speaker was me! It was supposed to be 3-5 minutes. . . but my sisters told me mine went on about 10 minutes. . I felt the spirit when I was speaking and I hope the rest of the district did.
After sacrament meeting I received a blessing. Elder Kuamoo (Koo-ahm-O-O) did the anointing, and Elder Pace gave the blessing. It was short and simple, but just what I needed. He said I wouldn't be homesick, that my family would be alright, and to remember that I have people here who care about me. It was beautiful. I haven't been homesick since! I still miss everyone I love, but it's not that aching lonely feeling! I'm also grateful to have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord by allowing the Elders to use the priesthood. I was wondering why my forehead was oily the rest of the night (apparently Elder Kuamoo's reaction when the oil came out too fast was priceless), but it was perfect!
The sisters got up early for aerobics which was so fun! I felt like I was actually dancing at the MTC! We went to meet with an investigator and had an amazing experience! We actually met her husband in the hallway first and started talking to him casually. We talked with both of them about prayer, and why children don't always choose the right when their parents pray for them. It was a beautiful lesson. I felt Heavenly Father's love so strong, and at the end when this man prayed and spoke to his Heavenly Father it was amazing! I LOVE teaching about the gospel and helping others come unto Christ!!!
We actually slept in until 6:30! In District class we were given an exercise to open the Book of Mormon to a random page and see how it answers one of the "questions of the soul." (Where are we from, who is God...) Sister Hillman and I were working together and were used in the Lord's hands twice. On our way to the couches we were able to comfort a sister going to our mission who is really having a hard time. When we got to the couch a man was sitting there looking at his phone. We said hello and started the exercise. Surprisingly, we were able to find scriptures that fit most of the time. Then this man said, "I don't believe that works. You're not using real questions." Bolder than I thought I would ever be I asked if he had a question he wanted answered. He explained that in his country some wanted to rebel and take over the government. He supports them, but doesn't know if God will agree with his choice. He said the Bible teaches that killing is a terrible sin and he is afraid some men will have to die. He told us to close our books and open them. Sister Hillman shared first, and honestly it didn't work. I was praying, and then the scripture I was looking at fell into place. It was 3 Nephi chapter 12. I explained that Christ was teaching the "Be attitudes" as he did in the Bible, then read verse 10: "and blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." We invited him to pray to know if the choice he was making was right. If he felt it was what God wanted, the God would be pleased. We talked about how we're taught it's better for wicked men to die than for righteous to dwell in captivity, but he need to pray to know if this was right. He tried to get a more direct answer, but we stuck with it. He shook our hands and told us he had some thinking to do. I truly believe that we were lead in this missionary experience! Who knew I would have such real experiences and such hard questions in the MTC?!
Sister Yeakely and I have continued to teach the couple we mentioned previously, Jose and Hely. They have such sweet spirits, and it is so easy to talk to them. Jose showed us a fortune from a fortune cookie he got that said, "There are angels among us, teasure their presence every day." He said we are his angels. One of my teachers had actually told us that in Hebrew angel means "messenger from God." So in reality, we are! I think that is amazing! I also believe that all of you can be angels by that definition! Don't be afraid to share your testimony! I know that if you do you will not be alone! The Lord will put words into your mouth as he promised time and time again. I've seen this in my short life as a missionary, and I trust it will continue to happen.
We spent ten hours in an "In-field orientation." Basically, we learned things we'll need next week (When I'm in FLORIDA!!!!!) I learned a lot, and it was really fun! There were some great demonstrations, and they even put on a play for us (which one of the guys who was on the District was in!!!) It was long, but worth sitting all day!
Service again! Which was the same as last week (sweep bathrooms and stairs) except we added cleaning glass doors and stair railings. We went for a run, picked up a sack breakfast (since we can't go into the cafeteria in work-our clothes), and when we went back to our room we found a bunch of people sandbagging the hall in front of our room. Ok, they were actually using sheets, but there was a huge puddle in the hall! One of the shower pipes broke, and some of the water got in our room, but not far enough in to get to any of our things gratefully! But we got to listen to carpet cleaners and fans all morning! Hooray for floods! And an even bigger hooray to the wonderful workers who are cleaning the carpet for us!
It's time for lunch, but know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers! I am loving serving the Lord! I don't think I've ever felt closer to the spirit. I receive revelation everyday and there are people who don't even know they have a Heavenly Father. I am so excited to go to Florida to teach some of those people so they can choose to come back to our loving Heavenly Father!