We're so grateful for grandmas this week! Hermana Garner has had real physical challenges with unexplained abdominal pain the past few weeks. As a result of that and with a need to rest her sweet Grandma Garner (who lives just across the road from Gilbert in Mesa) became Hermana Garner's companion for several days at her home while Hermana Garner rested. The rest has been helpful and today Hermana Garner was able to see a specialist who found evidence of a possible ruptured cyst and was abel to then refer her to another specialist who she will see on wednesday. She is still hurting but it is improved some and we're finally getting some answers and feel certain that she will receive the treatment she needs to move forward! She is back with Hermana Cedeño with limited activity as she continues to recover.
From Hermana Garner
This week was really, really weird. I did a lot of resting at Grandma's house, and because of that I'm a little behind on exactly what's happening in my area. I know that Luis didn't go to the baptism, and that they weren't able to get a hold of Laura. We have two new investigators from this week, Nereida and Ricardo - Nereida's brother is a member and just barely had the opportunity to baptize their mother, and though Nereida wasn't actively looking into the church they invited us in and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! Their family came to the branch's Trunk or Treat on Saturday, which is awesome. Apparently the branch was really good about bringing non-member friends to the activity, so hopefully we'll see some work spike up soon!
Even though I didn't get to teach a lot this week, I had other cool experiences and grew a lot spiritually. I'm learning more and more to rely on the strength of the Lord, not just spiritually but physically as well. In Grandma's ward on Sunday (it was SO weird going to an English ward again!) an RM gave his homecoming talk (he just got back from Brazil) and the bishop talked about enduring to the end, using an example from the 1992 Olympics when a runner collapsed 100 meters before the finish line but got up and hobbled his way to the end, even though everyone else had already finished. It fired me up even more to make it to the end of my mission! I was always determined to do so, but I'm even more determined to face and tackle the physical challenges involved, not just the emotional/mental challenges.
Me: "Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ..." What does that say?
Roman: It says, "Hope!"
Me: All right ... "and also concerning the resurrection of the dead ..."
Roman: Umm ... "Be kind!"
Me: "...and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood."
Roman: "Heavenly Father loves us!"
It made me laugh and smile, but as I went back and reread the verse with his "translations" in mind, I was struck by how it made me think about it in a more profound way. When Aaron talks about the coming of Christ, Roman said that what he meant was "hope," which is what all the prophecies before Christ were about - spreading that hope of His coming and the power of redemption! I haven't come up with a great connection between the resurrection and "be kind," except to think about doing temple work for our ancestors to give them the opportunity to receive these saving ordinances. But the one that really struck me was, of course, the last one. Aaron speaks of the atonement, and Roman said, "Heavenly Father loves us!" It's true! Just as John 3:16 says, He loves us, so He gave us His son, that we might be able to return and live with Him if we are true and faithful!As hard as this week was (and as incredibly weird as it was) I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to grow closer to my Savior, and to learn to rely on Him more. My faith is definitely growing on my mission, and I know that this trial with my health is just one more way the Lord is helping me refine and exercise that faith to be a more worthy and effective servant and always follow His spirit!
On Thursday when Hna Cedeño picked me up at Grandma's house, she told me that they'd stopped by the house of one of our potentials, the Ruela's family. We've been there quite a few times, but they're not actually investigators yet because we usually don't get the opportunity to teach them and it's all kind of back-and-forth. But we've definitely developed a relationship with them, and the little boy Mateo (Matthew) who's seven years old was showing me his rock collection the last time we were there. Well, when they visited the family without me (Hna Cedeño was with a young woman in the branch) Hna Cedeño told them that the reason her companion wasn't there was because I was sick. Mateo gasped and said, "Hna Garner's sick??" I'm really surprised he remembered my name, but then he immediately ran inside and grabbed this rock from his collection and told Hna Cedeño to give it to me and tell me to feel better. It was sooooo sweet and really touched my heart!! It will definitely always be one of my most treasured possessions from my mission.
I finished Acts today, and Paul was so amazing.
Love you all!