So Much Going On
There is SO MUCH going on I feel like I can barely wrap my head around it! Each day has felt like a year this past week, and we've hardly had any time to catch a breath or two.
One of the biggest things that happened this week was going to the temple with Claudia. She was baptized about a year ago, but when we got to this area Hna Hanson and I discovered that somehow she'd been forgotten about and no one had talked to her about going to the temple. The Spirit was INCREDIBLY strong. After she'd changed and we were heading out of the temple, she expressed, "I feel - weird. I feel this joy and happiness that I didn't even know was possible. It's almost bursting out of me." She expressed how she could feel gratitude from those she did the work for, and I told her I felt the same. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience that strengthened my testimony incredibly, and hers as well.
Tuesday afternoon was a bit rough - we got in a car accident. I tried to pass someone who looked like they were pulled over to the side, but it turned out they were turning left and just hadn't turned their turn signal on. They drove off, and neither us nor the sheriff's department could find them - they probably didn't have insurance. It wasn't a bad accident, the car was still drivable and neither Hna Hanson and I got hurt, but it was definitely a little scary! We felt protected by the Lord and were grateful for that!
That night we had a great lesson with a part-member family, and the father committed to come to church. Of course, then they went out of town for two weeks ... but we feel confident that he'll start progressing when they get back!
Wednesday we stopped by Luis (the new investigator we put on date last week) only to find that he
Thursday morning we met two new potentials who told us they'd really like to learn more, that they're looking for a church to go to, so we're excited about that! And then Thursday night we had an interesting lesson with our new investigator Ana - her husband came downstairs and basically anti-ed us while we were sitting there, but she was tuning him out and reading the restoration pamphlet, and when he started talking about how we worshiped Joseph Smith she interrupted him and said, "Dejame hablar," (Let me talk) before rebuking him and saying, "Reading this, they don't worship him, they just see him as a disciple." Sister Hanson and I were like, "EXACTLY," and her husband quieted down a bit and we were able to commit Ana and her mother to both read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and they seem to have a sincere desire to learn
Friday we had an incredible experience with Angelina - she's progressing slowly, but still progressing. She understands what she needs to do, and what she's not doing, in order to receive her answer. She was another investigator who went out of town for the weekend, but she committed yet again to come to church next week. We feel so strongly that if she comes to church she'll receive her answer about if the church is true! She wants to know, and keeps asking us about how she can develop more faith, and how she can help her family members do the same.
Sunday was our busiest day this week, but it was also a day when I saw one of the biggest miracles of my entire mission! None of the people we invited came to church, and we were pretty disappointed, but were moving forward in the faith that we would, somehow, have four baptisms this transfer. Well, just after sacrament we hurried up to introduce ourselves to a less active who's never answered her door for us, and she says, "Hey, thanks for coming over - I have two kids that I want to get baptized." We were floored, and met the kids - they want to get baptized too, we just need to make sure they understand everything and aren't just doing it as a 'cultural' thing but understand that it's a promise with God - and that their parents understand that part of their kids keeping that promise will be coming to church, so they have to recommit to their own covenants and bring them. But as of now, they're scheduled to be baptized on the 29th!
And then there were two new people in the Gospel Principles class, relatives of recent converts who are getting sealed this week in the temple, who are having us over for an FHE tonight, so there's a lot of potential there as well!
There was SO much I learned in my studies this week, I feel like I could write a novel. I'll do my best not to.
1 Samuel 1:18 - I was incredibly struck by the faith that Hannah had. The moment she'd received her promise from Eli the priest, she went away rejoicing with no doubt in her heart that she would be given the promised child and blessing.
1 Samuel 2:10 (footnote b) - "anointed" is translated from the Greek "christos." So "Christ" is a variant of "anointed," meaning his name and title signifies His calling of the Lord.
2 Nephi 16:6-7 - The Seraphim put a LIVE coal on Isaiah's mouth to cleanse him. Repentance is not a painless process, though it is worth it - as a result, Isaiah could see and converse with the Lord.
1 Samuel 4 - The Children of Israel brought out the Ark of the Covenant to war thinking it would protect them, but they were unworthy, so instead they were smitten and it was taken. The Lord cannot protect us if we are not keeping our covenants.
1 Samuel 15 - Saul justified sinning against the Lord by not destroying all of the Amalekite's flocks by saying he did it to sacrifice to the Lord. But our wisdom is not greater than the Lord's - we must obey in all things and not yield to our own desires and judgements, even if they seem righteous (vs. 22)
(Last one, I promise!) 1 Samuel 17:40, 49 - Even though David only needed 1 stone to kill Goliath, he prepared himself with 5.