Monday, April 7, 2014

Spiritual Feast. Yum!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week was SO busy and SO amazing and seriously feel like I am scarfing down a Spiritual feast! We had meetings and we all learned so much as we tried to listen and learn from the Spirit.  What if I told you that you could receive divine guidance and council and receive the answers to even the deepest questions that you have through listening to a man speak? Well, NEWS FLASH--it happens, and it happened this weekend through General Conference. And MIRACLES happened. My companion, Hermana Woodbury, and I saw miracles in the lives of our investigators and in our own lives thanks to the incredible council that we received in General Conference and other meetings we participated in. Seeing conference was a little taste of home, and oh, how the council of those men and women is so wise and profound. I hope you all enjoyed it and are trying to apply its teachings in your own life. :)
Miracles of the prepared and the elect. God has promised us that if we will prepare ourselves in the morning, concentrating our efforts in the needs of the investigators and helping them to fight their battles and achieve eternal life, that God will put prepared people in our pathway. "God puts prepared people in the path of His prepared servants." This week, that promise rang true, as it has in the past. Using our Book of Mormon challenge of giving out an ENTIRE box in a day, we found 2 golden investigators! This week we went back to see Eda. She welcomed us warmly and with a smile (which is often unusual) and we came in an sat down. There on her couch was the Book of Mormon. She had been reading it. We asked her how she had had the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon. She said, "YES!" And then she began to tell us that she felt something so amazing as she read the Book and that she didn't read much, but she knew that it was from God. WOW!! We were there with our mouths hanging open! Amazing! And then she began to tell us more. "I am a Seventh-Day Adventist, and when people knock on my door, I NEVER let them in because I have already found God. But when you two girls knocked on my door, I felt something I never have before and I wanted to hear what you had to say. There is something different about you." WOW. Can you believe that? MIRACLES. As missionaries we represent the Savior, and that gave us the opportunity to tell her about the restoration, why we are here as missionaries and how the Gospel can bless and change her life. She said---"come back and tell me more." WOW. She is GOLDEN, and one of the Elect. God's hand is in the life of every single person that we meet and teach and it is incredible to see.
MIRACLE. It never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many times we teach the restoration, how STRONG the Spirit is during Joseph Smith's first vision. We teach the restoration on average, around 35 times a week. But this week, we had some pretty incredible lessons with people who have been prepared from God. Patricia. She is a woman that was really hard in heart when we first met her. We started to serve her and taught her kids about being Children of God. She started to soften. Well, for the first time, this week she allowed us to teach her. She gave us her full undivided attention. The Spirit was so thick in that room, it was amazing. As we related the words of Joseph Smith to her, her eyes started to swell with tears. As we finished we asked her what she was feeling. She said, "This peaceful, swelling feeling. I know that what you just said was from God." WOW. She felt the Spirit so strong and now wants to learn more so we can teach her entire family! MIRACLES.
I had the opportunity to present at Spanish Forum, for all the Spanish missionaries, about becoming passionate and effective missionaries. Although I felt very unqualified to speak, it was  an incredible experience. Because these past couple weeks have been crazy, I didn't have much time to prepare, but the Lord carried me. I learned from that experience that God will always put the words in our mouth that we need to say if we are prepared, and He will allow us to be powerful instruments in His hands and never leave us alone. Spanish Forum was filled with new ideas and ways that we can connect with the Spanish culture, and how we will utilize the World Cup that is coming up in June. Our ward missionary leader, Hno. Delafuente, spoke (p.s. he was a professional soccer player in Bolivia) and compared missionary work to selling tickets to get on a boat, and into the promised land! I loved that! We want EVERYONE to be there is no time to waste.
Marlene and Stephanie are progressing, and I know that they will be baptized someday soon. We took a member with us over to the lesson and it was powerful! The member didn't know Marlene, yet was able to tell a personal experience that was exactly what Marlene has been struggling with. MIRACLE. WORKING WITH THE MEMBERS IS THE KEY TO THIS WORK! It is the ONLY powerful, and sure way to help bring CONVERTS. :)
Dana, Nancy's little sister, is ON FIRE! She will be baptized this month!! :) She wants to be baptized SO bad, and now it is just a matter if getting the mom on board. She has read and prayed every day for the past couple of weeks! She is so awesome! Miracles are happening in that home! We are teaching the entire family---the grandma, the mom, Dana and everyone. We are so excited for all the changes that they are making.
We also had president interviews this week and mission leadership council. We received such inspired council and direction on how we can help this mission flourish and how we can inspire and motivate all the missionaries that we serve with to reach their FULL potential. I love serving the hermanas as a sister training leader, but I learn so much from them. It has been really amazing to see how the sisters have taken the goals that we have set together and our changing the way that they work and the attitudes that they have about the work. CHANGE IS THE BEST PART ABOUT THE GOSPEL! And thanks to the Atonement, we can do incredible things. Our theme for this quarter is "Stepping on to the Mount", it is all centered around the sacrifice of Abraham and how we, as missionaries and consecrated people of the Lord, must sacrifice our "favorite sins" to become more like Christ. Just like a mountain is a uphill battle, so is battling the natural man. But if we constantly are seeking the will of the Lord, we will come out on top!
GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS INCREDIBLE! And we saw miracles right and left that came from it. It seemed like every single talk was directed at one of our investigators, and moved them to tears. They needed those talks and that inspiration, just like I did. WE HAD SEVEN INVESTIGATORS at church to watch conference! What a miracle! We also had a cool experience! Right during the last session, 3 woman walked in from Bolivia. They had looked the church up online and want to know more! MIRACLE! We are going to teach them this week! The work is hastening like CRAZY! AMAZING how God is using the internet and other mediums to bring people to church.
We had a lesson with Ana, who is going to be baptized later this month, and we were talking about how sin is like cockroaches in ice cream. And without thinking I said, "This life is a time to defeat and demolish all of the cockroaches in our lives." haha it is funny, but it is also true. :)
Anyways, I wish I had more time to tell you all the incredible things that happened this week! We are just working hard and wearing out our lives happily in doing the Lord's work. It has been amazing. Every second of it. The hard, the happy, the good, the bad. I love this work....and there is so much of it to be done. If you have the missionary tag or not, there is SO many out there who need your smiling face and a word of cheer. I challenge all of you to pray daily to recognize the spirit and know who God wants you to help everyday. Because if you are prepared and you seek for those opportunities. He will give them to you! It is incredible.

Hermana Weenig

 Nancy made us a delicious meal when we taught her family the other night! She is a gem!
Last preparation day we went to George Washington's masonic temple. It was fascinating to learn about the Masons. Surprisingly, there were a lot of connections to our faith. Really cool!

Giant statue of George Washington, the Mason.

On top of the Masonic temple! What a sight to see all of Washington DC. :)

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