Monday, October 9, 2017

I've Been Loving the Work!

     
We've fallen out of touch with a number of our investigators, which is saddening, but we're working hard with those that we still have and have seen miracles as we've tried to really have daily contact with them. The scriptures talk a lot about how we need to be continually nourished by the Word of God, and we're trying to help nourish everyone we meet.  

        I've been LOVING the work. As we've gone through our area book (we have to enter all of it into the church's app, which takes forever but will be SO worth it) we've found names and addresses of people that we've since contacted and they now have some potential. Miracles are truly coming from us prayerfully trying to find. 

     We also get to go to the temple this Saturday with Ana Maria to get her endowment, which is going to be amazing!! I'm excited, too, because since Gilbert's closed we get to go to Mesa, so I get to see what the inside's like!   

      There are so many wonderful people here. We got a call from a member in an English ward one night out of the blue asking us if we had dinner or not, and then she invited us over and gave us some great Thai food, and we got to be part of her hula class that she was teaching to some neighborhood girls. Her name is Sister Jarvis, we love her! 

      We've also made a great relationship with a number of families in the area that, though they're not interested in learning more about the gospel right now, they see us as family and we keep inviting them to social activities and things.

      Oh, the BIG thing that's been going on is preparing for the Christmas program. We got everything approved to move forward, ordered the music we didn't already have, and today I'm trying to work on putting them all in folders but realized that the arrangement I picked up from the office isn't the one we're doing ... so I'm going to have to cram it in tomorrow and Wednesday. Rehearsals for the whole choir start on Thursday and we're going to set up rehearsals with the small groups soon as well. I love being able to use my talents to work this way, we're also going to have four narrators that I'm going to have help me decide how to present everything (slightly theatrical, but not really, just telling the story more than just singing pretty songs). I'm excited about it!

    So I'm reading through the Book of psalms right now in my personal study and have been struck by a number of the verses. 27:14 stood out to me especially: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." 

  I was also really struck by the JST footnote in Psalms 30:9 - "my soul shall declare thy truth; for what profit am I, if I do it not?" That is a piercing question! Truly, we are not accomplishing our purpose if we are not declaring the truth of the gospel, not just vocally but also in the way we live. We're not just here for ourselves, but to help others!  

    Love,
Sister Garner

Monday, October 2, 2017

I Love General Conference!

  We saw miracles this week with service! We've been trying to just randomly serve people on the street, not just ask if they want help but just go ahead and start helping. It's led to some great, door-opening conversations. We even met a Spanish speaker through it! We're going to try to go back this week. 

  We had our first Facebook lesson! I was really, really skeptical about doing actual lessons over facebook, but it was such a miracle. Our investigator opened up like never before and the spirit was so strong. They then came to conference and had a wonderful experience where they said answers to questions were received. It's amazing to see the power of conference and see people progress!  

  And of course, conference was amazing all around! Just like I challenged everyone else to do, I came to conference with three questions written down. I received direction and answers to ALL of them in the FIRST session, and continued to receive more direction throughout. I know that the talks we hear in conference are inspired, that they're not just meant for the world but for each of us individually, just like the scriptures. And we've been able to share messages from conference IMMEDIATELY with our investigators because of the technology access we now have, which has been such a blessing and really brought about miracles!  

The psalms have brought me comfort this week, particularly psalms 9:9-11, which says, "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings."   

Conference! (Just highlights, don't worry 😋)  1. Service, service, service! I need to lose myself and focus on others. As a missionary you kind of have no choice but to do that to a certain extent, and I've already been trying to do so, but I felt it more as a warning for when I go home in 6 months, and I felt impressed with a promise - that the only way to find and be sure of my own path is to lose myself in serving others. 

 2. Salvation is individual, exaltation requires family. 💖 

 3. Elder Holland's explanation of the inconceivable gap between the 10,000 talents and the 100 pence touched my heart. The 100 pence is all the Lord asks of us - we CAN and MUST give it. 

 4. Just a quote from Elder Rasband: "Coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God... The Lord IS in the small details of our lives." 

 5. In many talks they stressed how we can't control our circumstances, but we can control how we react. This was stressed as well in women's conference. I need to be better about this for sure. 

 6. Tad R. Callister's talk was AMAZING and I want everyone to hear it haha 

 7. Elder Andersen - I need to repent of not giving more heed to the conference addresses in the 6 months between conferences. The spirit taught me that there are messages contained that are specifically for me, but not at this moment - but I WILL need them in the next six months. I'm grateful for the new technology I have to help that be more accessible on my mission. 

 8. Elder Hales' words as shared by Elder Andersen: "When we choose to have faith, we are prepared to stand in the presence of God." What an incredible example and final message, as he has shown us his own faith and now taken another step towards that ultimate goal.

Love,
Hermana Garner



She was excited to have crepes because her dad always makes them.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Technology!



   Our car broke down ... three days in a row ... we've become really good friends with the guys at the auto shop ... and we now have a new car! 

   The biggest change this week was obviously the addition of technology! It's something I really wasn't sure about at first, especially with social media being brought into it all, but we've already been seeing miracles - some people just open up a lot more on social media than in person. 

having fun with their new phones
Of course, there are also temptations associated with it, and distractions. The Church has a wonderful booklet called "Safeguards for Using Technology" that we're studying, and it's something that can benefit everyone (you can find it in the missionary section of the gospel library app). Sister Showalter and I have also come up with our own companionship "safeguards" to help keep us completely focused on our purpose. There's going to be a big learning curve with this change, but it's something we're all excited about.
In district meeting this week we really focused on talking to everyone, no matter how quickly or how awkward the situation. Well, Sister Showalter and I tried to apply ourselves to that and we saw a HUGE miracle - almost everyone we talked to was Spanish-speaking! That NEVER happens when you're just contacting people on the street, especially in the kinds of neighborhoods we were in. But we definitely felt the Lord blessing our efforts and putting people into our path so we could meet them and hopefully share the gospel with them!

Most of our investigators have hit a bit of a plateau in their progress, so we're praying for them and actively working to find other people to teach as well. A couple of them moved back to Mexico this week, which was sad, but they're going to keep meeting with the missionaries there which is all we could hope for! 

We also helped some investigators work on their homework as service. I ended up working with one of them on graphing quadratic equations. Now, solving quadratic equations I remember and love (and I did a lot when I was tutoring at Huntington) but graphing them ... I think I was more of a hindrance than a help haha.

I can now draft my emails throughout the week, which is awesome, so that's what I'm doing. I'll try not to overwhelm you with information though 😁 

I'm continuing to read through the Old Testament, and I had a profound thought this week. We read so many lists of people and the numbers of their households. But as I read one of those on Thursday, it struck me that those aren't just numbers - their individual people who are loved and cared for by our Heavenly Father. It was humbling to think about how even though we don't have all their names, the Lord knows each and every one. 

Also, in Nehemiah 8:10, I was struck annd comforted by the phrase, "for the joy of the Lord is your strength." We don't often think about not being a strength, per say, but I've definitely seen that in my life. As you all know, joy can be a hard thing for me to feel, but the Lord lends me His, which allows me to move forward.

I was also moved by the story of Esther as I read it yesterday, but particularly the miraculous preservation of Mordecai's life. It's not coincidental that the king couldn't sleep and that what he ended up reading happened to be the record of Mordecai saving his life at the exact moment that Haman came to petition the king to hang him. It was a miracle, and the Lord preserving a righteous servant's life - in great part because of that faith that Mordecai had that he would do so (Esther 4:14). 

Job 3:23 is a great scripture that helps us understand the purpose of trials. Though in this chapter Job is mourning his existence, and the day he was born, he teaches us that trials are necessary. "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?" If we're 'hedged in' we cannot learn - we cannot receive light and knowledge. 

Love,
Hermana Garner

Prepare Your Heart


They got messy doing some service this week
This week honestly felt like a month. Soooo much has happened and Sister Showalter and I feel like we're tripping over our own feet trying to keep everything straight and get everything done!  

Our phones are all set up! We'll get the last of the initial training on it this Wednesday, but we're already good to use LDS Tools and other things that I'm SUPER excited about to enhance our missionary work. Sister Showalter and I had a lesson this morning where we were able to use some resources that we don't normally have in order to help our recent convert prepare for the temple. I'm so grateful for modern day technology and that I get to use it in this way, and I want to take and apply the things I'm learning on my mission to my everyday life after the mission!  

We found TWO new investigators this week! One of them is a sophomore in high school and is really interested in learning more about the church. We met her on Tuesday, and when we went back on Thursday she opened the door, and through the screen we could see a book in her hands. Sister Showalter asked, "What are you reading?" trying to strike up friendly conversation, and she said, "Oh, it's the Book of Mormon," completely nonchalantly. That made our day. 

 There's a new sister in our house! Sister Neahusan is from Nevada, and she's in a trio with Sisters Hanson and Fuimaono. She's awesome! She's pretty much already fluent in Spanish, and she's also fluent in German.  She's really funny and witty and I look forward to getting to know her more!  

One of our investigators is doing great,  he's set September 30th as a goal for himself for when he'll stop smoking. We're proud of him and praying for him a lot! He was touched when I told him that you've been praying for him as well. 

 The other sisters' car has been having all sorts of problems - they were almost stranded on Thursday night going to dinner because their car was going to break down. We've had to rescue them a few different times this week, including right when we started emailing today - they called because their car wouldn't start and they were stranded with all their groceries in the Wal Mart parking lot. So that's been an adventure! But at least our car's not having problems now so we're able to help! 

 I've been learning a lot about hope this week and how to continually have hope in our lives. Moments of despair are going to come, but they're just moments. They will always pass. In the moment, it's often hard to look past it, but if you just take a breath, take a nap (if you're not a missionary, lol), you'll be refreshed and it won't seem like such a big deal. It's not something that's easy for me, but it is something I'm learning. Happiness really is a choice! 

A few quotes from Ward Conference yesterday. It was a really impactful Sunday for me, I felt the
with Brother Mitchel 
Spirit so strong and feel like I better know what the prophets are talking about when they tell us to "feast upon the words of Christ" and to "hunger and thirst after righteousness."   ​The Stake President said a few things that stood out to me - "The Church and Kingdom of God will go forth with or without you" and "Let us not live below the privileges." In other words, ​you choose whether or not to be a part of this work and enjoy the resulting blessings. It's entirely up to you.  And then, Brother Mitchell said a few things that really stood out to me (well, more than a few, but I couldn't record his lesson haha). The quotes I wrote down were, "The power of the priesthood is the power to organize - to create" and "When your heart teaches you things that your mind doesn't know, listen to your heart." talking about his testimony and how he puts aside his doubts in favor of what the spirit has told him is true. He's really a great example, it was such a privilege to be in his class!

The one scripture I wanted to share this week was Ezra 7:10. It's a perfect example of how we qualify and sanctify ourselves. Ezra 1) studied, 2) applied what he learned in action, and 3) shared the gospel. But before any of that, he "prepared his heart," which meant that he was willing and ready to receive the counsel of the Lord in humility. He was open to the spirit, and it was because of that that he was able to qualify for the spirit and to be a servant of the Lord.

Love,
Hermana Garner

Sunday, September 17, 2017


This link is a pretty funny video of Hermana Garner doing the "Untalent Show", she got second place and won a rubber pig nose!


It's been a good week! We're all kind of on edge right now though because everything with transfers is still completely up in the air. We have TWO new Spanish sisters, and President also wants to do zebra companionships (one Spanish sister, one English sister together covering a Spanish area and an English area) so there are too many factors to call it. I don't know where I'll be this week then haha but just go ahead and send letters to my current address, if I move the other sisters will get it to me.


I know I say this almost every week, but I don't know what happened to this week. Time is going by so fast.

We roasted marshmallows in our backyard (we have a firepit) and Sister Norgrant had the brilliant idea to put the marshmallows between oreos instead of graham crackers with chocolate.
They were AMAZING. It was also just super fun :)
I've definitely felt myself humbled this week and felt the Spirit prompting me to be a more and more dedicated servant, to increase my own testimony so I can help others. And my testimony truly is increasing. It's a wonderful experience. People think of change and repentance as something painful, but it's wonderful and joyful when it's done with pure intent.

We were antied by a couple people on Tuesday. One of them insisted that we don't believe in Jesus Christ ... I repeated the full name of the church, and he said, "No, no, no, you're Mormons." So ... that made no sense. But we just testified to him and left. Sometimes that's all you can do.


We had a great lesson that night though with some investigators! I don't know if I've talked about them at all in previous emails, but their son is a less active and they've been investigating on and off for a long time. We read 3 Nephi 11 with them and talked about the role of baptism, and why we're talking about it if they've already been baptized in other churches. Christ Himself speaks of giving authority to them and of them baptizing in ONLY the way that He teaches in this chapter, and that seemed to hit them. Sister Showalter had invited them to be baptized before (three times, actually) and they'd said no, but as we were talking I felt very strongly that I needed to invite them again. So I first invited them to pray to know if our church had the authority, and they said they would. Then I said, "And when you receive your answer that it is true, that the priesthood has been restored in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through Joseph Smith, will you be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" They were both really quiet, but they nodded their heads. Hna Showalter was thrilled when we got back to the car, because it wasn't a flat out 'no.' We feel like theyr'e opening up and beginning to understand the gospel.

We've seen an amazing change in Jimmy this week. He has more hope and is really beginning to rely on the atonement to help him change. It's amazing and humbling to see him allowing more light into his life.

We also found a new investigator this week! He has a lot of questions and we're excited to get to teach him.

Saturday night was stressful - we were about to go out and try to visit some people when we got a somewhat panicked call from asking us to come help her fill out some papers. She got a new job that's going to pay better, so we were more than happy to do it (they were all in English, so she needed someone to help translate). Well, we got there, and it at first was the standard job forms that are easy ... and then we had to fill out tax forms. TAX forms. First of all, we had to read and understand them in English, and then we had to TRANSLATE them. My head hurt so much by the end of the night, it was definitely slow going! We were able to help her, but we still have to finish it tonight (there's a whole handbook she's supposed to read, and they didn't have a copy available in Spanish so we're translating it all to her ... I'm realizing how limited my Spanish vocabulary is.)

I've been repenting of not studying enough from Preach My Gospel. One thing that stuck out to me this week was that I need to pray less for the Lord to give us guidance and more to recognize that guidance, that I can be sensitive to the Spirit and follow His will.

 There was a verse that really stood out to me in this study - Isaiah 58:13-14, which has some great counsel and promises related to the Sabbath Day: "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Also, I love the Old Testament. If I tried to share everything I've been learning from it I'd never end my emailing time haha, so I'll just exhort you all to study it :)

Love,
Hermana Garner

Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Been a Really Amazing Week!


 I can feel my heart changing more and more as I continue in the Lord's service, and am truly humbled that I have the privilege and opportunity to be here serving Him. 

The highlight of the week was definitely Elder Andersen's visit. It's always special to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord, and I was reminded of President Wheeler's admonition last zone conference that, "Every time you're in the presence of an apostle, if it doesn't change you, it's your fault." So I went there with the intention to change and striving to have a humble heart and follow the counsel he was going to give us. He talked a lot about having the faith to find, and about how faith is a real power that can cause things that normally wouldn't happen to happen. He told us we needed to raise our expectations, especially in a place where people are already so familiar with the church and generally have a lot of friends and family who are members. It was very inspiring, and he gave us a few ideas about what to do to increase our finding.

 At the end of the meeting, he focused on how we can have a bedrock foundation in Christ, and about how if we have that bedrock foundation - if we really believe and know that Christ is our Savior, the Son of God - that we will never fall from the church. He made us a lot of promises relating to that, and told us to take a few steps to strengthen our testimonies not just for our missions but for the rest of our lives. They're steps I would like to invite you to take as well. 

1) Take some time to sit down and write what you really believe about Christ. Not what's always been taught to you, not the rote answers, not just quotes from the scriptures and apostles. What you really believe. When I did this exercise, I started with, "I believe that Christ is my elder brother," and went on from there. Before writing down each item, I paused and thought, "Do I really believe that?" And each and every time, I felt the spirit confirm to me once again that it's all true. It was an amazing experience. 

2) Read the New Testament, and constantly ask yourself, "Do I believe Christ did this? Do I believe He said this?" 

3) Search for scriptures that are the essence of your testimony, scriptures that cause you to feel the spirit testify of their veracity each time you read them. Elder Andersen invited us to choose ten from the New Testament and ten from the Book of Mormon, and then to memorize them, so that we could always have them in our minds and call upon them at a moments notice to share with other people and to support ourselves in moments of doubt. That's a lot of scriptures to memorize, so my invitation to you is to choose three from the New Testament and three from the Book of Mormon. He promised us that as we did these things we would never fall away, we would have more opportunities to share the gospel, and we would be happier in our lives and gain more and more knowledge of the gospel. 

 The testimony he shared at the end of the meeting was especially powerful. He said, "I never thought I'd have the opportunity to look beyond the veil." As much as this statement brought the spirit and filled us with some awe, what he said next was even more powerful to me: "I didn't think I needed that to stay faithful." The reason he and the other prophets and apostles throughout the dispensations have been granted the privilege to look through the veil is because of the greatness of their faith, and that they didn't need to see through the veil to believe and know it was true. And we don't either. I can know it's true with certainty without that great privilege, and know that one day all things will be revealed and we will have the opportunity to see our Savior face-to-face. 

So now for how we've tried to apply the things we've learned this week. We've had a lot of service opportunities with members and non-members (Sister Showalter was praying for service all week). Friday was the biggest one - we were in the middle of weekly planning and one of the other companionships announced in a bit of a panic that they had a part-member family who needed help moving - they had to be out of the house by 7:00PM that night, and only had the moving truck until 5:00. It was noon. So we finished up our planning and got there as soon as we could.  Sister Showalter and I somehow ended up in charge of packing up the master bedroom, We were happy we were able to serve, we were able to be the Lord's instruments in helping His children who were overwhelmed and stressed. 

while tracking they came upon a
star wars themed party
We haven't been able to get in touch with a lot of our investigators, but we've been working really hard with Jimmy. We saw him almost every day this week. He's really struggling, and is feeling discouraged about his smoking and unsure of whether or not he can actually do it. Every time we talk to him he feels a little better, and motivated to continue, but it's been really, really hard for him. We're praying for him a lot and doing what we can.  Just keep him in your prayers - he's earnestly striving to change his life.

 As a side note, I'm starting to work on the Christmas concert, which is exciting and fun. I'm really enjoying the opportunity to use my musical and directorial talents to bring the spirit and bless lives.

D&C 18:13 - speaking of the Savior, it says, "And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!" It hit me so much just how much the Lord rejoices when we turn to Him and leave behind the sorrow of sin. I feel that too as a missionary when I see people changing their lives. The Savior has so much love for us, and this work is so important to Him!

Love,
Hermana Garner

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hermana Garner's mission
will be the first to use smart phones,
she has her new phone
but won't be using it until training.

The Lord Guides Us!


The best way to describe everything that happened and everything that I've learned is just to type out my journal entry from Saturday night.  It gives you a feeling of exactly what this week was like for us.---

Sabado, 26 de Agosto, 2017
Today was an AMAZING day!
First, we had rehearsal for the musical number for Elder Andersen. It's sounding so good! And I really do love directing the music. It reminds me of working on Little Women and how proud I was of my cast as they performed. We have one more scheduled practice before the meeting, and I have no doubt they'll be ready ... the Spirit will be strong. It was so strong during the practice today!

We were supposed to have a lesson with Letty and Diana at four, but they weren't there when we showed up ... but Rodolfo was, and we were able to share a scripture with him! 

Dinner was at Panda Express with Hna Ruelas, which was really a miracle because we have almost no food left ... But now I have left overs for at least two meals. The Lord truly does provide for His missionaries!After dinner we went to a baptism with Jimmy. It was really amazing, and incredibly spiritual, and he felt that.  Just before the service started, the oldest of the three getting baptized was embracing friends and crying. Jimmy turned to us and asked, "Why is she crying? Is she nervous?" I responded, "No, she's probably really happy and excited." He was a little surprised by that, and was really engaged and focused throughout every single part of the service. 

After the baptism, it was almost 8:00 PM. We hadn't done any of our plans for the day and were at a bit of a loss, as we always are at that time of night. Sister Showalter felt prompted to go to a specific neighborhood and tract. A few things about that - we don't usually tract in this neighborhood because it's littered with members and doesn't have many Spanish speaking residents. So there's not a whole lot of potential there. Also ... it was 8:00 PM.  I was surprised by her suggestion, but decided to trust her - it wasn't like I was getting a different prompting. So we went, and eventually stopped in part of the neighborhood where there were a decent amount of lights on. The first house we knocked, we saw someone look out the window, but they promptly retreated and didn't make another sound, probably hoping we hadn't seen them. So we left after just the one knock.We knew it was late, so we felt awkward and very unsure of what to do. So, standing on the street in front of the house where we'd just been passively rejected, we stopped and said a prayer. We were both praying we would find someone, as unlikely as it seemed.When we finished the prayer, I looked back up at the house right next to us, one door over from the one we'd knocked. I'd been thinking about going there next before the prayer, but after the prayer it seemed undeniable that that was where we were supposed to go. Without a word to one another, Sister Showalter and I simultaneously walked up and knocked on the door.  A kid about 10-years-old answered ... and immediately said, calling out to his parents, "It's the Sister Missionaries!" They were members, two families actually, gathered together to watch a football game. Just before we left, we asked if there was anyone they thought could use a visit, and they sent us to some other members just around the corner.  As we walked back to the car, I was pondering why we'd felt so prompted to knock their door. It really wasn't our jurisdiction. The members they'd referred us to were not only members, but English speaking. I almost told Sister Showalter we should just pass the information along, but something stopped me.  So, we went to the house. At this point it was 8:30 PM. I was sure we weren't going to find anyone, but trying to trust in the Lord and that He had a purpose for leading us there.  We knocked. We waited. No one answered. I was feeling a bit discouraged, to be honest, but knew we'd been trying to follow the Spirit.  That was when we saw a man walking to his car. We watched him for a moment, and Sister Showalter muttered, "Should we go talk to him?" But we both hesitated, and soon he was in the car, door shut, starting to pull away from the curb.We both felt awful, and chastened. Sister Showalter sounded so disappointed in herself as she said, "We should have talked to him." I was quiet as we started to walk towards the next-door neighbor's house, feeling guilty and wishing I'd been more ready to follow the promptings of the spirit.  His headlights hit us as he turned around, and I waved and smiled, hoping to leave a good impression of friendliness if nothing else. He passed us, but then, to my surprise, we heard a voice calling out to us from behind. He'd stopped his car, rolled down the window, and he was trying to get our attention.  Unable to understand him from the distance we were at, we hurried over to his car. He was asking, "Are you LDS by chance?"  We quickly answered in the affirmative and introduced ourselves. When he spoke next, there was a mix of relief and excitement in his voice, the kinds of emotions one feels when a long search is over. He said, "I was meeting with some LDS missionaries in Missouri, going to church and everything, but when I moved back home I didn't know how to find them here, and I've been looking."He introduced himself as Derek. He didn't live in that neighborhood - he was only there to watch the Merryweather fight with his coach, so we're assuming he's a fighter for his job. In fact, he doesn't even live in our mission - he lives in downtown Phoenix.We exchanged numbers and got his address, and promised him missionaries would get in touch with him soon. We told him that he could walk into any church tomorrow and find a service to go to. He seemed excited and grateful, and after a few minutes he laughed. "You know, it's crazy because just today, my LDS friend sent me a text to see how I was doing."The Spirit washed over me, and I said, "Derek, we were praying really hard tonight about where we needed to be, and this was where the Lord directed us. That's not a coincidence."The whole interaction lasted less than five minutes, and he left. But in those five minutes I had one of the most powerful experiences of my life. There was no logical reason we should have been in that neighborhood, on that street, at that time. The odds of us ever meeting this man were so small I don't think you could calculate them. But our lives crossed paths for 5 minutes - 5 minutes that will allow him to get back in touch with missionaries and continue on his journey to accept the restored gospel.  

It could have been any missionaries that were there to bring him back to the church. But the Lord knew we were available, and were trying to be dependable, so He used us. He directed our paths, because He knew where Derek would be and what he needed, and He loves him immensely. The worth of souls is truly great in the sight of God, and my testimony of that grew with this experience, as did my testimony that this is the Lord's work and we need to let Him direct it, always, and not rely on ourselves.  Every single part of that story was essential to lead us to exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Feeling led to that neighborhood. Saying that prayer. Visiting with those members. Going to the house they referred us to. It was all to lead us to one of God's beloved children - to Derek.  I am so humbled by this experience. Sister Showalter immediately grabbed me in a hug when he drove away, and we were both filled with gratitude in seeing the hand of the Lord in our lives. We said a prayer, and Sister Showalter was so overcome with emotion and gratitude that she didn't even try to say it in Spanish. "I need to accurately express my feelings," she said.This is the Lord's work. He used us to find one of His elect and help him come back to the fold. It is such a privilege to be His servant and see Him work miracles first-hand.

Love,
Hermana Garner