Monday, December 9, 2013
Let it Snow! (The Field is Now Literally White)
I love being a missionary. I can't even being to tell you how much I love it and how much I just wish there was more time in the day. I never want to stop doing this!!! I love this place, the people, the language and EVERYTHING....even the snow....I may or may not be joking about the snow part! But it is starting to look like December! It was 70 degrees on Thursday and now it is an icebox. Apparently it hasn't snowed here like this in 3 years! The "snow" is what in Utah we call frost. But, they literally cancelled church yesterday! And unfortunately our baptism got moved to this week, because they cancelled EVERYTHING. We were so excited for everything that was happening yesterday, we had 5 people coming to church and a baptism that night, and then--our ward mission leader called us, "Hermanas, the stake president said everything is to be cancelled, including the baptism." "Everything??!" We said with our dreams crushed. "Yes. Everything." It is okay though, because Sandra is getting baptized this week still and hopefully everyone that was planning on church will come again next week! School, church, some jobs, EVERYTHING=cancelled today. It is a HUGE tender mercy though, because now it means that everyone is going to be home and we can teach them as families today! YES!
Miracles are happening right and left and I wish I had all the time in the world to tell you about every single one. I truly do know that the Lord is preparing so many people and is not only "Hastening" the work via His missionary force, but He is "Hastening" the preparedness of the people here and all over the world. It is amazing to see.
Joel. We met him and his family back in August, through street contacting. They were the miracle family that wanted to get baptized and gave us tres leches for my birthday, and then suddenly they disappeared. We were really confused because we KNEW they were golden, but every single time that we would go over there, no one would answer the door and we finally stopped. We called and called and called and tried and tried and tried to see them again, but nothing ever happened. Our hearts were broken, because we had felt like we had been led and guided there to teach, love and serve them. Well, I am going to tell you the moral of the miracle before I tell you the miracle. Moral: GOD HAS HIS TIMING FOR EVERYTHING. IT IS NOT ALWAYS OUR TIMING, but if we are patient and listen to the Holy Ghost, God will lead us to be exactly where we need to be when we need to be there. He also prepares everyone to receive the Gospel in their own time and in their own way. Miracle: So, we were driving down the street and I was looking outside the window, when suddenly something caught my eye. Hanging outside of his truck window was Joel--WAVING at us trying to get our attention! I hadn't seen him since August!!! And there he was. I did a double take to make sure it wasn't a mirage. It was him!! Quickly, I rolled down the window of the car and started talking with him, and set up an appointment with him before the light turned green---and then we were off! On Saturday we went to see him. Turns out, some pretty horrible trials have been happening in his life. His family left him, his mom died and he couldn't live in his house for a time. That explained why we could never find him or his family. He said that his life isn't anything like he had hoped or wished. He feels like trial after trial is hitting him, and doesn't know what to do or what his purpose in life is. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson. I honestly knew that we had been sent to him in a moment of desperation. He told us how he wants to turn his life around, come to church and come closer to Christ because now he has NO ONE. Its sad, but true, that sometimes the Lord has to give us hard times so that we can learn, grow and progress in this life. After we shared parts of the incredible plan of salvation, Joel told us that he knows that we are angels sent here from God to help him find his way back. I got the chills up and down my spine. He is now preparing to be baptized. What is even more amazing is that his apartment is a floor below where 2 members of our ward live. PERFECT. WHAT A MIRACLE. God is preparing people, and everyone will hear the Gospel when they are ready.
I can't tell you what is like to see people using the atonement of Jesus Christ to change their lives. Adla and Sandra, the two that are getting baptized, haven't had easy lives. But, despite all opposition and trials, have decided to follow Christ and live His Gospel. Christ is changing them and carrying through every day. I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM. I can't stop smiling...it hurts. Anyways, Sandra (age 26) will be getting baptized in the next couple of days and Adla's (Age 13) baptism will be this Saturday (her birthday). She said that she wanted to get baptized on her birthday, because it will be her "born again" birthday as well. Oh, the joy! Sandra passed her interview!!!! She is so excited and she told us the other night, "I feel like I am finally where God needs and wants me to be." MIRACLES!!! But what has truly been amazing is to see the member involvement with all of our investigators. We have members at almost EVERY single one of our lessons! They are starting to catch the vision of missionary work and how amazing it is to help and see someone changing and accepting the Gospel in their lives. But the amazing thing is, is that you don't have to be a missionary to see that. There are so many people around you that could use the good news of Christ. I hope you take every single moment that you can to share it. And family---WAHOO! Keep up the amazing work with working with the missionaries! I am so inspired and proud of you!
Anyways, we had zone conferences this week and it was all about Repentance and faith. I learned something very important. We get to DECIDE who we are going to become. Heavenly Father has given us the power to choose. We are free to act and choose. We can choose to be captive or choose to be free (2 Nephi 2:26). We can also choose to repent and change. "Repent" used to be a scary word. But it is not. It is a beautiful opportunity to chance that we each get to change. Be a little bit better every single day. We have all been redeemed by Jesus Christ. It is like a gift card. We have all been given the gift card of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, because He ALREADY paid for the punishment and hurt of our sins, so we don't have to go through it. All we have to do is USE the gift! Get on our knees, be humble, and rely on Christ to make our weaknesses become strong (Ether 12:27). It has been a miracle to see this happen over and over again to people out here and to me. WE DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! Even if we feel like we do---remember you are NEVER alone! You have access to the greatest gift! And the Savior will carry your load for you, if you rely on Him and use the incredible gift He has given to you. :) He will shape you into a masterpiece, if you let him.
Ramon is getting baptized on the 28 of the December!!! So is Marta Lida!!! We are SOOOOO excited for them and all the changes that they are making! Marta Lida has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and even though her life is crazy, she says that it makes her life easier and more able to do all the many things throughout her day! MIRACLE!
Sister Training leader-ing is really fun! It is keeping us REALLY busy, but I love it so much. My companion is wonderful and we are working really hard to love and serve the sisters here and just give all of ourselves to this great work. I love it.
The miracle of the choir director--a true leader. Larry Clowes is an incredible leader. Originally, I was leading and directing a choir of 4 different missionary zones in preparation for a Christmas concert here, and then we contacted Clowes, a professional conductor, to help out (I needed the help, I have never directed a choir before). He changed the missionary choir from a closet full of mice to an angelic choir of angels! It was a miracle! I told Larry to "take it away" and now I am playing the piano! It has been really cool to see how the Spirit has enhanced the talents and efforts of all of us as missionaries. I think the song is going to be a powerful influence on all who will hear it this coming weekend! I saw first hand how passion, enthusiasm and vision in a leader and make little things into GRAND, AMAZING and INCREDIBLE things. I want to be a leader like that....seeing the greater vision and expanding the visions in others. Definition of a true leader: Helping other people to see that there is so much more potential with in them than they think and helping them get there.
Speaking of singing and music! My companion and I have been asked to do 4 different musical numbers around the ward, mission, and zone this next week! She plays so beautifully, and I try to sing some notes. It is A LOT of fun and I am now realizing that music plays a HUGE part in inviting the Spirit and teaching investigators, ward members and EVERYONE. I LOVE MUSIC!
I hope that you are all enjoying and loving this AMAZING Christmas Spirit that has infiltrated the universe as much as I am. I also hope you know how much I love you and care about you. I pray for your always and I hope more than anything that you are centering your lives on Jesus Christ and are smiling all the day through--even if it is rough. If it is, pray.
I found a cool quote this morning during studies and I wanted to share it with you all! "Heavenly Father doesn't want to hear only 'nice' prayers. He wants to hear real prayers, honest prayers...How many times are our evening prayers just one more chore?...But who are we trying to kid?...He doesn't want polite platitudes. He WANTS YOU! All of you! He wants to be the center of your total life--the worried you, the mad you, and the sad you, as well as the inspired, happy, obedient, loving you." When we are truly open and respectfully honest with the Lord, our hearts are changed. Too often we seethe about a neighbor, dutifully kneel to bless the world, then return to seething about the neighbor. We remain unchanged. But if we open up to Him and share real concerns, praying for the desire to love, for the ability to see from His perspective, we begin to see THINGS SPIRITUAL. I challenge all of you to pray, but sincerely. And let yourself change through Jesus Christ. He sees amazing potential, and you can reach it--but only through Him.
I hope you have an amazing week! I love you all so much and am so happy for all you are accomplishing and doing! Keep up the good work and PLEASE be safe out there! :) Go change the world, champs!
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 3:03 PM