Friday, May 5, 2017

Lots of Miracles, and Lots to Pray for!

This week was a humbling week for me. I've been able to see more and more the Lord's hand in my life and how He is lifting and supporting me. I've also been able to experience an incredible amount of peace and comfort from Him, and I'm so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the love of our Father in Heaven!

We were privileged enough to go to the temple twice this week - once on Thursday to do initiatories and once on Friday to do a session. It was really, really wonderful. I feel like I learned SO much, and reinforced the spiritual armor that I have to help me face trials, doubts, and discouragement in the mission. Go to the temple often!!

All week, we were cramming in practices for a musical number this past Sunday (the whole theme of Sunday was missionary work, and they had all the other sisters speak and we all did a musical number together - I didn't speak simply because of time and because I've spoken in the branch before). It was a bit overwhelming for me - I'm the only one of us who plays the piano, so I of course was the accompanist. We chose this song at the beginning of the month and I've been practicing it when I could throughout the transfer, but as missionaries we don't have very much time for it and the piece was a bit more complicated than I initially expected when I glanced over it.  As the week went on and we really didn't have time for me to practice, I started to get more and more stressed about performing it on Sunday. Saturday night I spent an hour practicing while my companions studied their Spanish, and I just felt discouraged afterwards. But I decided to rely on the Lord and the Spirit to fill the congregation regardless of my abilities. Sunday morning, I prayed for the Lord to guide my hands as well, and when it came time to perform, He really did. I still made some mistakes (and simplified a few things in the left hand), but they were hardly noticeable and the focus was able to be on the Spirit and the words of the song. 

That was just one of many humbling experiences this week! On Wednesday I was in Queen Creek again, with Hna Hanson and Hna Showalter. I was kind of a third wheel - they were MTC companions - but still enjoyed my time. It was a good day, and we got to teach lessons to a couple of investigators who are SO well prepared - one of them is just waiting for her 'esposo' to agree to legally marry her so she can get baptized, and the other has a baptism date for this Saturday (the 6th) that she's still on track for as far as I know. They're both so sweet, and it was wonderful to see how the gospel is working in their lives and their true desire to learn and grow!  

Hna Fuimaono was really sick this week, so there were a couple times when we did impromptu exchanges with them so that Hna Weyand could go out and work (she leaves a week from tomorrow ... yikes!). One of those was Thursday night, and we had an INCREDIBLE miracle! I think I told you briefly about the family that we helped move into their house, when we just happened to be there at the right time? Well, we'd only met the husband and the daughter, and earlier in this week we bumped into the mom, Susana, as she was coming out of the house and heading to work. We introduced ourselves, and almost immediately she invited us to come back another time. So, we went by Thursday night, and she was home, and turned off the TV to listen to our message. We taught the first lesson, and she had SO many questions, and expressed a sincere desire to know for herself if what we were teaching was true. We promised her that she could know, and she said that if and when she does, she will most definitely be baptized!! So it was one of those lessons that missionaries dream of, and we have another lesson scheduled with her for later in this week. Pray for her!

We had a lesson with a former on Friday, Mayra, that was interesting. She was talking about how she was already baptized in the name of Jesus Christ by someone having authority, believing that the Catholic priests had the authority, but acknowledged that we couldn't both be right. We challenged her to pray, and I shared the story of Apollos from the bible, as well as Acts 19:13-16, which talks about men who - without authority - were trying to banish devils in the name of Christ, and that the devils did not obey them because they didn't have the priesthood. She found the stories interesting, but we don't know if anything will happen there. But we testified of truth and gave her something to ponder!!

And then yesterday, we had the opportunity to go to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center with Luis - AND his WHOLE family!!!!! It was SUCH a miracle - his wife hasn't really liked us but we talked to her and she agreed to come to the visitors center with us, and they brought the kids! It was wonderful. We talked about eternal families and how we can be together forever, and Hno Cuello - the brother who brought us there, with his wife - talked to them a lot about the temple, using some of the screens in the Visitors Center to answer their questions, without us even prompting him to. Rosa (Luis's wife) was very, very interested in learning more about temples, and we see so much hope for them moving forward! They took a family picture in front of the statue of Christ and all I could think was how much I want to go to their sealing one day haha. Hna Cuello invited Rosa and Jocelyn, their 10-year-old daughter, to come to her granddaughter's baptism next week, and it sounds like they just might! Also, Rosa AGREED to have a FHE with us! It was seriously SO amazing to see her opening up to at least being friendly with the church, even if she's not ready to quite investigate it herself, and we think that that will help Luis feel more comfortable with the witness he's received and moving forward.So, lots of people, lots of miracles, and lots to pray for!

I have a goal to finish reading all of the standard works before the end of my mission. I'm learning so much and coming so much closer to my Savior!

Hermana Garner

Sister Young (now ASHLEY) surprised us by dropping by the house for a visit! It was fun to see her again. She's been home since December.

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