Miracles and Tears

Monday, January 27, 2014

First of all, I HATE PACKING. Nuff said.

But let me start with another quote :) 

"Through my biggest trial came my greatest tender mercy" -- Sis Morgan, Sept 2013

This week has been so insanely wonderful! We have just been seeing miracle upon miracle and I can't seem to fathom it all. I will share some experiences with you :)

Shirley Guffey: We visited Shirley on Tuesday and as usual she went on and on about the stuff that she was learning from the manuals and pamphlets we gave her. And then she says, "...and so the Mormon religion has some of the same things I knew growing up. Some things are so new to me, like Joseph Smith, and that's why it's hard for me to believe it sometimes. But I keep studying and praying. And now I understand why God had to call Joseph Smith to be a prophet. Joseph probably didn't even know God was going to do that. But I understand why it was important". We're sitting there like "wait, WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" ahahahahahaha Shirley is so awesome! SHE HAS A TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH YAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Dale Haynes & Carla Johnson: Sis Linton and I had street contacted Dale a couple weeks ago. We dropped by last weekend and did a super short restoration/BOM lesson. He said he'd read the book. NOW, this week, it was just Sis Clements and I who went to visit Dale. We get into his apartment and the BOM and restoration pamphlet is sitting neatly on the table. He tells us to sit down, like he was so ready for this discussion. I ask him how his reading went and he had a couple questions, so I answered them. And he starts telling me "Yeah, i'm just letting you know that people know me to be really stubborn because I won't just listen to anybody. You can't just tell me something and expect me to believe it. Whether its a woman..." and i'm thinking woahhhh k buddy, don't got there. He pretty much sounded like I needed to convince him real hard but I wasn't capable because I was such a young girl. Oh dear. But I let it go. I just agreed to what he said where i didn't expect him to believe me. But we expected him to study and pray like he knows how to do. And so we're about to start the lesson (doing it with the photos in the pamphlets like we've been told to do) and right when I say, "When you look at this photo on the front, what do you see?", Dale says, "Those pictures don't mean anything to me. I only believe in the WORD (like he has said a billion times already)". I was honest with him and told him strait up "ok, i'm not a perfect teacher and you probably know the bible a lot better than i do. But i'll try my best". As i'm saying this my head is like whizzzzzing and my heart is pouding cuz A) WHAT THE POOP DID I JUST SAY? I dont know ANY scriptures in the bible in reference to the restoration! and B) Where the poop do i start?!?! I'm so used to starting off with discerning where they are at by how they describe their feelings towards the photo of Christ holding the lamb. OKAY, so this was all happening in the span of a minute, so you can imagine how fast my thoughts were going. WELL, i took a deep breath....AND HEAVENLY FATHER MADE THE MIRACLES HAPPEN. OH MANNNN IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! The Spirit was totally helping me out with inspired questions. None that were hard, but simple ones that just got his mind thinking simply about bible stories but still allowing him to make connections to the big picture. It just came out with the flow. And OH MY GOODNESS, i was asking him to turn to scriptures left and right! THANK GOODNESS FOR SEMINARY. Seriously. All these scripture mastery verses started popping into my head and i was just flipping to them like it was noooo big dealllll. Like one of the questions I asked was "why was Christ sent to earth?" and after people answer, I usually outline 3 reasons. And when it came to the last one, that "most people don't realize Christ did was..." and I explain that Christ DID set up His church and here comes Ephesians 4 popping into me head. And then it happened again, and again, and again for all the questions and answers Dale and I were giving to each other. And then at the end of the lesson I testified of the BOM and how much Heavenly Father loves Dale and Carla. GAAAAAAH. By the end of it Dale wasn't arguing, being defensive, or being stubborn anymore. Like he was just pondering the depth of the message. He said he would most definitely continue reading and praying. I asked him what it would mean to him if all this stuff was true. And he says "that'll mean i have found what i'm looking for". GAH. I just love people. Sister Clements and I left their apartment AND I WAS JUST SO FREAKING HIGH ON THE SPIRIT. Like I was literally spiritually exhausted from what happened inside. I couldnt even comprehend what had happened. And i was sweating cuz it was sooo hot in there cuz the SPIRIT WAS BURNINNNNNNNG. Sis Clements was like "GIRL YOU WERE ON FIREEEEE". I'm like IT WAS ALLL THE SPIRIT. I dont even know where all that stuff came from!!!!! And you know what's so cool? I just instantly fell in love with Dale and Carla. It's funny, cuz once the Spirit penetrates from one person to another, you kinda just instantly fall in love with them. Cuz you're experiencing just a smidge of the infinite love their Father has for them as He trusts you enough to deliver His message. SO INCREDIBLE.

Oh, but there's more. The next day we stopped by to drop off another BOM and Joseph Smith pamphlets, and the moment they open the door Carla has this HUGE smile on her face and she's like "what time does your church start? We were talking about it last night and we want to come check it out". I just about pooped my pants. I was kicking myself in the butt cuz i had forgotten to invite them to come, but here she was asking about it herself!!! Hallelujah! When he got back to the street Sis Clements was laughing at me so hard cuz i was preeeetty much jumping like Zaboomafoo cuz i was so dang excited.

Andrea Hardy: We stopped by to see Manual, but only Andrea was home. So we followed up with her. She's been struggling to read the BOM. BUT this is what she said: "I've been reading the Book of Mormon! And last night I read the restoration pamphlet. And for the first time in a long time, I've been able to sleep (she has a high blood pressure scare and her doc said she could die in her sleep). But while i was sleeping i had all the bad things i've ever done come into remembrance. It was kinda scary. But the weird thing is I had a really really good sleep. And I think God is showing me the things I've done wrong in the past...which is a good thing. So I KNOW that it a true book." Once again, Sis Linton and I were like WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!??! Ahahaha oh i love everything!!! And thenn we went back a few days later so the Elders could give her and her boyfriend, Randall (Eleanore's brother) a blessing (remember, they all live in the same apartment). Elder Smith says "so are you guys married" and Randall says "no, not yet". The whole room looks over to him and we're like "YET?! YOU MEAN...?!?!??!" And so we discussed briefly that the bishop could marry them. When the Elders left Andrea goes to Randall with the biggest smile on her face and she's like "did you hear that?! We can get married!" OHHHHHH MYYYYYY GOODNESS. I could not stop jumping and dancing ahahaha. WEDDING AND BAPTISM. HERE WE COMMEEEEE. oh life is too good. 

BUT, let me share with you what I wrote in my journal Thursday night:
"We told Sis Garber about transfers coming up and she looked super disappointed. I told her I didn't feel like we were leaving just yet... BUT, on the way home Sis Linton said, for the 5th time this week, 'this area was so dead when we got here. And now we have so many people we are teaching! And 5 with a baptism date!' The moment she said that, I felt in the pit of my stomach that I was done. I flashed back to the first week I got out here to Glen Carbon and how stressed I was because there was nothing going on in this area and I didn't know what to do. But Heavenly Father assured me that I DID know. He reminded me of what Paris was like and that we were going to be capable of helping this area out too (refer to 1st blog post from this area). And it really has been a rough 3 months. New area, new ward, new companion, finding stuff out, the holidays, getting physically sick, and just a whole bunch of trials...but the Lord has been so true to His word. Its amazing cuz He ALWAYS is so true to His word. And He tries us so hard sometimes to make us prove we're worthy of the blessings. I can't fathom h ow extremely lucky I've been to be a part of the blooming of this area; that Heavenly Father has allowed me to see it unravel before my eyes. Like, who am I to be this lucky to be part of such a great work? I'm seriously forever in debted to the Lord. But that isn't a bad thing :) Cuz it means the gratitude will push me to continue to serve Him for the rest of my life. Oh, life is so beautiful!"

Ok, so it's one thing for me to write it as I'm talking to myself, but it's a whole other story when you're reading it out loud to someone else. The next day when we were doing weekly planning, I told Sis Linton that I knew I was being transferred. So I read what I wrote in my journal and there I am choking back tears, barely able to get it all out cuz i'm CRYING CRYING CRYING SO HARD. Seriously, like Sis Morgan says "from my biggest trial came my greatest tender mercy". I can't even explain how difficult the last 2 transfers have been. But it was all so freaking worth it. I have come to love these people so much. Oh wait, before I keep going on and being sappy....TRANSFER DOCTRINE: I am moving to Farmington, Missouri with Sis Rouse (been out 4 months) and Sis Linton is whitewashing into St Charles, MIssouri with Sis Scott (MY MTC COMPANION!!!!!). Anyway, back to sappiness. I can't even explain how much my heart is crying crying crying. No matter how stinkin' difficult it has been, I have just learned to love them all so much. And it's soooo hard to leave them. Like in Paris, we had 3 baptisms right before I left. And even though I loved Paris, I knew it was time for me to leave. The funny thing is, we have 4 solid baptisms in February and I wont be here to see them! BUT, I still feel like my work here is done. And Heavenly Father is assuring me of it. I didn't get that epiphany for nothing! I know I came here to do what I needed to, and it's time to move on. Sis Linton said she hates how in every area she's been in, right as it's starting to progress, she gets taken out. I get what she means cuz I've noticed the same way for me. But I told her that it's a compliment from Heavenly Father cuz he knows that we're the missionaries to get it done. That's why He trusted us specifically to do it. 

Anyway we are getting whitewashed out by Elders. gaaaaah. OH THE NERVE. THEY BEST TAKE CARE OF OUR GATORS OR ELSE. I've been praying so hard that Heavenly Father will help them. Like, before I left home I was telling Sara how I had the slight worry of "who's going to take care of all my loved one?" But she reassured me that because I was doing the Lord's work, He was going to take care of them. And I've felt that comfort multiple times since I've been out...when Stan got into his accident, when Laura got engaged, when there were family health scares, with Holly leaving for a mission.....I've felt the comfort time and time again that everything was going to be ok. But its so much more difficult to let people go when you don't know when you're gonna see them again!!!!!!!! Like I feel like I'm giving my children to people I don't knwo (which i don't. i have no clue who these Elders are)...but I just keep praying and praying and trusting Heavenly Father that our investigators, these people that I have just fallen in love with, will be taken care of, just like my loved ones back home.

Other tender mercies:

* Abbie Hawk gave me a stuffed envelope after sacrament meeting. inside were these pages she coloured and a little note telling me that she was going to miss me. She is 7. GAH. I turned to Sis Linton and i'm like "oh just rip my heart out already". I love little Abbie Hawk! She's my little buddy and everytime she sees me she's like "hi EH!" ahahahah i love her. 

* Elder Smith gave all of us letters after our last district meeting. On mine he wrote "I can honestly say that in the 10 1/2 months as a district leader I have never seen a sister work so hard!" Well, that was nice to hear considering me being sick made me feel like such a PILEEEE. Whew, at least i know my leaders know i'm working ahaha

* Sis McGuire told me on Sunday that even though we were here for only a short time, the ward is definitely seeing the fruits of our labours. I was a little surpirsed to hear that, but also very grateful.

Aaaaaaaaaand, that's all I have for now. I gotta go cuz its just going to be crazy the next couple days. 

Just know I can handle all the tears. I'll be ok. BUT I CANT TAKE IT WHEN OTHER PEOPLE ARE CRYIIIING. Oh just rip my heart out already. Gah.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week :)

Sister Limas

Photo 1:

 Sisters Zundel, Johnson, Limas, and Linton

Andrea, Randall, Eleanore, Lina, Zhaiya, and moi

 Me with bro and sis Jamboretz

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