Family! :) August 25, 2014
This past week is such a blur... It started out great with Elder Hamula of the Seventy and his wife touring our mission! We had a wonderful fireside last Sunday, a great Zone Conference with him on Tuesday and a special MLC with him on Wednesday! We had a big spiritual feast!!
At the Tuesday Zone Conference... the thing that Elder Hamula emphasized the most was the importance of inquiry... or asking questions. What he told us was the importance of not just asking Heavenly Father for knowledge... but asking him what we need to DO to gain that knowledge. I have been trying hard to focus more on asking Heavenly Father on what I can do, asking questions in my prayers, pausing and trying to listen for an answer or direction before moving on to something else in my prayers. It's been neat! Prayer is suppose to be a communication between you and God... so let Him speak to you and more importantly.. LISTEN! :) It reminded me of the story of Angie when she was younger and Dad went in to kiss Angie goodnight and she was kneeling in prayer... so Dad waited awhile for her to be done praying and went back and she was still kneeling so he thought that she had fallen asleep on her knees. When Dad went to help Angie into bed, Angie said.... "Shh! I'm listening!" haha :) So cute! But such a great example of how we should be communicating in prayer to our Father.
The special MLC was really neat because Elder Hamula pulled up a bunch of statistics of our mission and the surrounding southeast missions and pointed out that the effectiveness of our missionary work is double that of the surrounding missions. Elder Hamula opened up to us saying that the church worldwide is puzzling over a problem... although the numbers of missionaries has increased... the number of people baptized has stayed about the same as before... why is that?? He emphasized to us as a Missionary Council that we are to make sure that we "don't leave anyone behind". The work is continuing to move forward and that all missionaries have the power and authority given to them to create miracles but that we need to help them be more effective and make sure that they aren't falling through the cracks with the work hastening and moving forward. It was a good meeting to see the power that we can have as leaders to help these other amazing missionaries to be just that much better. Elder Hamula also pointed out that because our mission is so much more effective, it shows our dedication and obedience and that the church is going to closely watching what we do to be a model for other missions in being more effective as well. Pretty neat! I'm just so grateful for the leaders in this mission... especially President Berry. We truly do have a wonderful group of servants of the Lord here in the FOM (Florida Orlando Mission!!!) FO=M!... or in otherwords... Faith+Obedience= MIRACLES! haha :)
The Lord truly blessed us this week. I hope that I can talk about all of the blessings...here goes!!
We met Michelle and taught her the Restoration. She has such REAL INTENT and faith to find God and do His will. It's amazing. I have never had a more powerful Restoration lesson than I had with her... I recited the First Vision... and the spirit was sooo thick. After we talked about it, Michelle said that she felt the spirit so strongly while talking about the First Vision that she could literally feel it under her skin. :) We came to find out that she is from Haiti and her mom never sent her to school... so she can't read :( She has always had a burning desire to want to read the Bible and when she was giving the closing prayer of the lesson, she prayed hard to be able to read the Book of Mormon. It was so cool to realize that God knows Michelle's needs. God knows that Michelle can't necessarily read the Book of Mormon... so that's why He let the spirit touch her so strongly about the First Vision. She will be able to listen to the Book of Mormon... but still! God knows each of us and our needs.... I'm excited to work with Michelle and see where it goes from here :) She works on Sundays and she prays everyday to have it off... so please keep her in your prayers that work will be flexible for her.
We also took Marvin on a temple tour this week! =D His wife passed away from cancer… so it was a neat experience for him. We had another lesson with him later in the week and he rehearsed to us the conversation that he had with his daughter about the temple tour. He was just sooo excited with the thought of being sealed to his wife for eternity... I guess he said something to his daughter like, "I can be with her for eternity!! This church says that it IS possible!!" I just love how much hope that the gospel brings :) :) How can it not be true? I'm so grateful for the Restoration of the gospel and for these plain and PRECIOUS truths that have been restored so that we can feel of the love, hope and faith of the Atonement that Christ offers us :)
We were also able to talk about baptism with Cheyenne and she wants to get baptized! It was sooo perfect... because her mom listened in to the lesson and was very, very supportive to Cheyenne's decisions but emphasized the importance of enduring to the end to Cheyenne... perfect!! We are excited to continue working with her and helping her get there :)
After all of those miracles happened...I got hit HARD...well...actually I wasn't feeling very good starting last Monday... but Wednesday came with the special MLC with Elder Hamula and than I had an exchange on Thursday... and it just took it right out of me. I have Bronchitis…which is super fun…haha! There is something going around the mission right now... so at least I'm not the only one ;) I'm doing just fine but I'm grateful for Heavenly Father helping us still get so much done this past week although I've been so sick. Amazingly enough we found 4 new investigators this week although I had a billion meetings and have been sick. He knew I needed more of His help. Please keep me in your prayers that I will have the health to go and do multiple exchanges this week.
I love you all so much. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the happiness and hope that it brings us... amidst the trials. I truly feel and know that the adversary knows that I am willing to give it my ALL to make this work move forward. I’m not going to make a few sniffles stop me ;) haha! Good luck with school starting up. You are all in my prayers... as always :)
I LOVE YOU!
p.s. tell Kaitlyn I LOVE HER TO DEATH and welcome home :)