Living on His Grace

Monday, June 30, 2014

You ready for this? ;)

So as I said last week, it has been pretty rough with all the dropped appointments. What's worse is that we aren't getting any sparks of inspiration to be somewhere specific. So we've just been trying to stay anxiously engaged by visiting the unknown people on our ward list and contacting potentials. Last week I kept saying, "a miracle is about to happen because we are being tried sooooooooo hard right now!" But there we were working and working and waiting and STILL nothing. By Thursday I was completely wiped. My heart was just yearning to teach somebody, but my mind and body was just so exhausted. I remember sitting in the car Thursday evening, 30 mins before curfew, and Sister Craig and I are just looking at our books, so confuzzled, because we just didn't know what Heavenly Father wants for this area anymore. I remember crying internally and asking "what needs to happen?! Where do we need to be?! We're staying anxiously engaged, but still nothing." Friday morning we did our weekly planning and checked our goals for this week. We had two lessons. ONLY TWO LESSONS. Gah! Our goal was way higher than that and we were just there pondering, and praying, and practically begging Heavenly Father for a miracle to happen.

After weekly planning, we were driving to an investigator's house when Bro Mihlfield calls. He asks, "are you teaching a lot of people?" We had just dropped a ton of people, but I didn't want to sound negative, so I say, "we are teaching a good bunch." Then he says, "well, do you want more?" ECUMEH?!?!?!?!?! YES YES YES YES YES PLEAAAAAASE! He had a friend that he gave a blessing to before he went in for surgery. His friend has fully recovered in the span of a few weeks. He then asks Bro Mihlfield, "ok what is it that you guys believe?". Wooooo, baby! A miracle had come :)

Next we had planned to go and contact a potential/member referral. Her name is Divine and she's from the Philippines. Sis Thomas had met her at the Hampton Inn and they started talking and she gave her a Book of Mormon. She took us to the inn a month or so ago to introduce us and we got her address. We've tried to contact her before but she was never home when we knocked. But today we brought Sis Thomas out with us. We knock on Divine's door and her husband, Mike answers. He says she'll be back later. So we decided to visit Matt Westrup, our 17 yr old investigator. We were able to teach him inside the house for once because Sis Thomas was with us. Originally Sis Thomas was going to drive separate from us, just in case Divine wasn't home. But we figured maybe she could come with us to the rest of our appointments. Which was totally inspired because even though she's way older than Matt, they ended up getting along so well! Sis Thomas is a convert and all the questions Matt was asking were similar ones Sis Thomas had asked when she was investigating the church. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit in there was just soooo strong. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted. YEEEEEEEEEUS! Plus, he said he was getting a phone for his bday so now we'd be able to contact him about church and rides and meetings. FINALLY! I was just so freaking happy and high off the Spirit after that lesson. We went back to Divine's and her husband says she's still not there. But Mike invited us in. Apparently he knew an LDS family who had given him a Book of Mormon and he's read part of it! So we did the Book of Mormon lesson and he invited us to come back. Boo yeah! Oh man, that all took less than two hours and on the way we were like, "what?! how did that all just happen?!" It was awesome!

On Saturday, after we did some service, we went to quickly contact a potential before we went to meet Bro Mihlfield and his friend. Tanya and her daughter, Shelby, came out to meet us and sat down on their steps while we taught them the Book of Mormon lesson. We asked if she had any questions that her heart was yearning answers for, and she says, " is this all there is?". We testified of the Book of Mormon, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how she can find answers and receive revelation to any question she has. Return-appointment for this week! Yeeeeuh buddy! There goes miracle #4, all in less than 24 hrs! Next we meet with Tom Sloane, Bro Mihlfield's friend. We taught him the Restoration. Sis Craig, Bro Mihlfield and I taught in unity like clockwork! It was awesome! And the Spirit was so strong, I started getting so dang emotional! At the end Bro Mihlfield asks Tom, "how do you feel?" He says, "it's true." There goes #5!

After them, we went to see Roy and Neola Haynie. They are a friends of the Patriarch Dale Wright, and we've been seeing them every so often. They are pretty much my adopted grandparents hahaha. They don't really want to learn more, but they love having us visit them every so often. We brought them a Book of Mormon and invited them to come to church on Sunday. Afterwards, Roy says do you mind if I say the prayer? And he gave such a beautiful, heartfelt one on our behalf. After he grabs my hand and says, "you girls keep doing what you're doing. You bring a special spirit in our home and we enjoy it. Bring it to other people."

Sunday comes along, and BOOM BABY, there were 6 non-members at church! Woo! Matt Westrup came early. He attended the Potosi Branch youth Sunday school, and then came to Sacrament with us. Sis Kerfoot had brought her neice, Matisse (who looks, speaks, and talks like Lacey Rose Ulloa to the teeeee), and her neighbor, Hannah (who we've been wanting to pick up as an investigator, but have been letting one of the YW fellowship her first. We were supposed to remind the YW to invite her to church but we forgot, BUT SHE CAME ANYWAY! YES!) Meagan, one of our investigators we recently dropped (just because they haven't been able to meet with us for a while) came too! And Roy walks into the church in this nice suit and I got so excited I almost jumped on him (but not really. Just imagine what I do when I see people I haven't seen in a while. That's what I did, minus the jumping on LOL). Bro and Sis Blum had brought with them a man named, Ed Wylde, who learned about the church is prison and ended up just loving it. He has tons of questions, and we get to meet with him this week! And then Sis Dempsey brought her other niece, Ananda, and we got to teach her after church. Ohhhhhh man. IT. WAS. AMAZING. That all counts more than just one miracle right there.

As I was sitting in Relief Society/Priesthood, it just dawned on me how tired I was. I don't remember how this thought popped into my head, but I was like, "wow I'm literally living off His Grace right now". I am so drained, I can hardly think or muster up my thoughts. It shows in the way I'm speaking, it shows in my journal entries, and it shows in my scripture studies. I am just struggling. But somehow, some way, I've been able to talk to the people I need to, teach the lessons, and even keep moving around! And I know it's not my doing. I'm so drained I don't feel an ounce of my energy being used. Like this moment is what I would describe as "the light leading me through the tunnel" because I know I'm not doing this alone. That's the Atonement. That's the Saviour's Grace. And oh how grateful I am for it! Then all of a sudden, I got emotional because I remembered Lolo.  And then it clicked that Lolo is helping me right now as well. I don't have any proof, I've never seen him, nor felt his presence. But for that one moment I knew I wasn't doing this by myself, I knew Lolo has been helping me throughout this week too. If not Lolo, somebody is. Because I don't know how all of this is even happening. I've felt so lost for days because of lack of inspiration/teaching appointments/success. And for some reason, at that moment in time, I felt it for a few seconds during my reflection and gratitude. I started tearing because a) I know I'm not alone. No matter how hard the week has gone, I knew Heavenly Father was there the whole time reminding me to be patient. We knew the miracles were going to come. We just had to wait. And then b) I've been studying the ministry of angels and have been pondering it for months, with the slight disappointment that I didn't think I was spiritually ready for me to recognize help from beyond the veil. But that moment during that class, I felt it.

So that was my amazing week :)

Other highlights:

* We got to visit a farm this week! We had a new family move in a few months ago and they are apparently less active. We had contacted the 21 yr old son because he is a prospective elder, and he actually contacted us back so we could come over! They toured us around the farm and it was pretty sweet! Minus the fact they had geese, turkeys, and the worst of all nightmares: Chickens. Oh man. The moment we walked by the coop, ALL the birds started running towards us because they thought we had food, and ALL TRAUMA from the 6th grade came back and I'm standing there clinging onto Sis Craig for dear life. Im pretty sure my life flashed before my eyes. I mean, the baby turkeys were KINDA cute and looked like raptors when they ran. And the mini chickens were cute when they ran. BUT STILL. I tried so hard to keep my cool.

* We went with an investigator to her Wednesday Worship. I already pre-warned Sis Craig what it would be like just incase (haha because the last time I went to something like this, Sis Fernandez wasn't expecting what would happened and I couldn't stop laughing at her face expression. I'm used to this non-denominational thing). Anyway, so we get there and everybody is uber friendly and welcoming. I'm standing there like wow, how come we as Latter-day Saints don't greet people like this when non-members/less actives come? Lessons learned, I tell ya. So we sit down and the music is awesome! This one lady had amazing pipes! And then the minister starts yelling. Not speaking or telling, but yelling into his microphone preaching about Christ and how we are saved because He died for us. I mean, you can get louder all you want buddy, but I think we all already know this. Everyone else was getting pretty excited. Which I understand...he tried to sound motivating. And usually I leave these things thinking, "that's cool they all get hyped up!" But this time I was just sitting there, waiting, not really know what I was waiting for. After I left I realized I was waiting for instruction. I was waiting for him to say something for the Spirit to teach me something. But it didn't. Then I realized how my testimony of church attendance has ben strengthened. I don't come to church to be entertained. I come to church to receive instruction on how I can better be who Heavenly Father wants me to be, and that I can do it because of Jesus Christ. I later told Sis Craig that before, I loved going to church. But the only times I'd get 'excited' for it was when there was something going on or whatever. But over the span of my mission, my excitement for church has changed. I don't get excited for Sunday to come because something is about to happen. I get excited for church because I get to take the Sacrament. I get that renewed strength and power, and then I get to be taught by the Spirit himself. And I'm not saying this because it's the right thing to say, but this is actually how I feel! I know that when I've had a downer weak, I'm just itching to get to church to take the Sacrament so I can feel that renewal. And then mingling with the Saints is the cherry and sprinkles that go on top (cuz I just love them so so uber much!) :)

* We got to cook dinner for the Bassetts this week! It was my first time cooking Adobo in a loooooooong time, and the second time cooking it...EVER. It didn't look ANYTHING like dad's, but it still tasted pretty good :D Any everyone liked it! Sis Bassett said that if Kyree is saying it smells and tastes like her favourite dish at Colton's restaurant, then that's the biggest compliment because she's the pickiest eater bahahaha. Sis Craig made one of her mom's most popular desserts! It was peanut butter cookie dough with marshmallows and M&Ms on top. It was soooo good!

* And we got to paint the Hargiss' home! It's so exciting. I went from helping sheet rock and mud and clean to priming and painting! The house is looking so good!

A few quotes to share with you:

* My favourite (and popped into my head while I was writing because it ties in with gaining revelation during periods of gratitude): "The last five words of [Moroni 10:3] offer an important admonition--'ponder in your hearts'. What is the antecedent of 'it'--the thing that we are to ponder? It is 'how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things.' We are to remember how loving, how provident, how good, how forgiving our Heavenly Father has been toward us. What usually happens when we begin to ponder how merciful the Lord has been to mankind? To us personally? What happens when we count our blessing, or perhaps our sins for which we must ask his forgiveness, and recognize his hand in our individual lives? Is it not true that our hearts turn to the Lord in love and gratitude? Do our faith and humility increase? Yes, and that, in my judgment, is the impact of verse 3--following the counsel therein helps us to become more humble, more willing and ready to receive new information and knowledge with an open mind." --Gene R. Cook

And from my studies in "Jesus Christ--Gifts and Expectations" by Ezra Taft Benson:

"Some men are willing to die for their faith but will not fully live for it".

"Man is greatest and most blessed and joyful whose life most closely fits the pattern of Christ!"

"We have work to do, to follow Him!"

"God's revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark." (ho-hoooo LOVE THIS ONE)

"Sometimes He temporarily grants to men their unwise requests in order that they might learn from their own sad experiences...Bad experiences are an expensive school that only fools keep going to"

"The Church is true. Keep its laws; attend its meetings; sustain its leaders; accept its callings; get its recommend; and enjoy its blessings."

^Think about those because THEY ARE AWESOME!

Hope you all have a fantabulous week and a killer Canada Day!!!!! I'm celebrating on the 4th. Tell me all about the fun stuff you guys are doing for the summer!

Sister Limas :)

Holding the goats on the farm

...and that's it. Wow, I barely took photos this week :/

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