Monday, August 8, 2016

Herman Garner was excited to have her favorite food, Pho

I'm so grateful for what I'm learning and experiencing here as a missionary!!

It's really crazy how time flies here. Every day I'm surprised that it's been so long, and yet the days themselves seem to go on forever. It's that weird paradox of time, and I'm just trying to soak in every moment! (Which is probably why my emails are always so incredibly and obnoxiously long ...)

This week has been crazy. The craziest thing that happened was that Sister Sorenson got hit by a car!  The miracle is that she was able to walk away from it, and other than being sore (and needing a new bike) she's completely fine. It just goes to show how the Lord takes care of His missionaries! She was pretty shaken up that day and the next, but she's doing fine now!

There were so many different times this week when we were teaching that Hna Cedeño and I - without talking - had the exact same thoughts and feelings. It's such a blessing to know that we're both in touch with the spirit and can follow those promptings. As always, there are ways we can improve, and we can always become more sensitive to the whisperings of the spirit, but it's been a powerful testimony to me this week of our divine calling as missionaries that we are in sync together and with the spirit.

Thursday was a crazy day. Hna Cedeño woke up and was so dizzy and delirious that she could barely bring herself to pray, let alone stand. But being the stubborn person she is, she insisted on getting up and going out to work. But she really wasn't herself - she was hardly saying anything when we were talking to people and she was having trouble standing up straight. We came back for lunch, and I tried to convince her to let me call the nurse, but she wouldn't let me. Well, guess who came to the door right as she was laying down? THE NURSE! Sister Payne came to check in with Sister Sorenson and see how she was doing, and I was able to tell her what was going on and force Hna Cedeño to listen to her. Eventually she was able to get through to her, and Hna Cedeño was ordered to stay in bed for the day and focus on drinking water and getting electrolytes.

Since she wasn't able to work, Sister Young and I left her and Sister Sorenson at the house so they could both get some rest and went out on splits! Hna Cedeño had an appointment with a NEW investigator named Diana, so we headed over there. She wasn't home, so we just started knocking doors on the street, and for the first time I literally had a door slammed in my face (felt like a right of passage). We knocked on the door of this guy named Tim, and he is the definition of a golden investigator! He's read parts of the Book of Mormon before, he's in the process of coming to know God better, and he and his wife and kids are praying and looking for a church that they can go to as a family!!! We were able to share a message with him, and even though I won't be teaching him (since he's English speaking) I'll be able to hear about his progress through Sisters Young and Sorenson!

So after talking to Tim, we headed towards the car, and just then Diana got home and started walking to her door!! She apologized for being late and let us in, so we were able to teach her about the restoration. It was amazing to see how prepared she was, and to see the spirit testifying to her of the truthfulness of our words. We're going back to teach her on Thursday, and we're really excited because we really feel like she's ready!! It was an interesting lesson - half in English, half in Spanish, because Diana speaks English pretty well and Sister Young doesn't speak any Spanish - and it was amazing to see the Lord using the two of us, who have never taught together before, to share His word and touch the life of his precious daughter.

We'd been trying to meet back up with Vielka for over a week, and she was never home because she was so busy with work. That night we were driving to a member's house so I could drop Hna Cedeño off and she could keep resting while I went out with another member, and we decided to just drive past Vielka's house. Miracle - she was in the front yard!!   Well, I dropped Hna Cedeño off and then came back witha sister from the branch, Hna Acuña, to teach the lesson. It was a little daunting because Vielka doesn't speak any English and Hna Acuña practically doesn't speak any either, so I know I would need to rely on the Lord to help me through it. I realized that I knew more Spanish than I thought and that the Lord was helping Vielka understand what I was saying even when I didn't say it completely correctly. The spirit was there, and at the end of the lesson I invited her to be baptized. She said that if she comes to know it's true she will be, and she committed to the date of August 27th!!! It truly was a miracle! 

Overall, there were a lot of challenges this week, and a lot of people who we couldn't see, and quite a few moments where I felt down. But there were also, as always, SO many miracles. I'm so grateful for what I'm learning and experiencing here as a missionary!!

Psalms 33:18-22. I love this whole passage, but verse 22 specifically stuck out to me - "Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee" (emphasis added). We must have faith and hope in order for the Lord to be able to extend his mercy towards us, because if we don't believe we can receive that mercy we won't be able to. Having that hope makes all the difference!

Another one from Psalms - Psalms 121:5-8. I read this Saturday morning before we went out to bike all day. I'd prayed during my prayer just before scripture study for protection from the sun, as well as protection from anything else (since we've all been a bit more cautious after Sister Sorenson's accident). This was the first scripture I read, and it says, 
         "The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 
         "The sun shall not smite thee by day,
         "The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 
         "The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 
         "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
It was such an immediate, direct, and literal answer to my prayer!

  I love you all so much!! I can feel the strength of your prayers lifting me up, and thank you for your love and faith!
new necklaces with maps of Gilbert

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