Thursday, June 26, 2014
His Grace = Strength
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week was a roller coaster and possibly one of the most incredible and most growing times of my mission. I still have so much to learn, and time just seems to fly by...I can't slow it down!! I am so far from perfect, and I am SO grateful that God sent His Son Jesus Christ so that I can be healed and made into something much better. God can't work with a fine-tuned machine that runs independently on its own....He only works with broken things. I have seen that time and time again in my own life, as well as the lives of all the people that we are teaching. Miracles start happening in their lives, the moment that life breaks them. Broken=huge opportunity to change for the better. I always want to live broken, with Christ constantly mending me and making me strong to face life's ugliest challenges. The atonement is so much more than just a passing thing we talk about all the time in church--IT IS EVERYTHING. It is our energy drinks, our go-to, our confidence, our happiness, our team, our counselor....our EVERYTHING. I have changed immensely, because I have consciously decided to change everyday for the better through using Jesus Christ and His atonement. All of us can do the same.
Guess what? I wrote lyrics to a song last preparation day--all about the atonement--here is a snip clip---
Woke up this morn'
With a smile upon my face
The dimples show that I am carried by His Grace
Life can get tough, its mean, and gives ya lots of bumps and bruises
That's why I chose to play on the team that never looses.
Miracles are happening and I am trying to keep up. It is INCREDIBLE. Opening a new area has been a BLAST. We are busy ALL the time.....sometimes I feel like we are drowning, but then we grab the Savior's hand and we are now walking on WATER. Just when I don't know what to do next, God lights up the way and shows exactly what to do and what to say. This area is starting to LIGHT ON FIRE!! The members are referring us to their friends like crazy. We dedicated almost all last week to "swooning" the members and getting them on our team. Now, we are like a full-forced team sharing the gospel in various ways! It is incredible! This is going to be a baptizing zoo soon and I can't wait to see all of the miracles that are happening already coming to full fruition.
Example #1: CHRISTIAN!! Last week I told you about the amazing miracle of Christian!! He is made of GOLD. We have been teaching him, and he is just drinking it all in. This past week we taught him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. Turns out, a TON of the ward members are all supporting him and fellow shipping him into the ward....which is a gigantic miracle! We did a huge miracle with him and a couple other families! While we were reciting the first vision, the Spirit was so strong and Christian's jaw dropped. After he said, "What is this amazing feeling that I have that is in my heart?" WOAH. It was the Spirit. The Spirit has and will always be the absolute best teacher. When we taught Christian about the Book of Mormon he just wanted a lot of things to read. So we gave him one chapter to read, and he said, "No! That is not enough! I need another chapter. I want to know if this book is from God!!" He is looking for truth, so he is going to find it. By far my favorite part of the lesson is when we get to bear our personal witness of what we have taught is true. There is a power and an authority and penetrates the room--it is astounding. WOW! He is going to get baptized on July 5. He just came from El Salvador 2 weeks ago, and the Lord literally brought him here so that he could find the Gospel and receive the blessings that come from it. GOD MICROMANAGES OUR LIVES---IF WE GIVE HIM ALL AND COMPLETE CONTROL.
Example #2: Hugo is on FIRE!!!!!! We found him when we were out tracting last week, and he said that ever since he has been reading and praying about Joseph Smith! Incredible! What is more, is that he knows it is all true and wants to get baptized! golden!! :) Also, he TURNED OFF the world cup to talk to us----this is probably one of the biggest miracles possible. He has been prepared by the hand of the Lord.
Miracle of the piano. We were visiting a widowed woman, and I saw that she had a piano. I asked her if I could play it. Her face lit up. No one had played it for years. We spent the next 20 minutes singing her favorite hymns. MUSIC BRINGS THE SPIRIT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. She said we changed her life and ridded of her depression. Feeling down? Sing some hymns.
Humans (or the natural man in us) try to prove. Children of God try to serve. We don't have to prove anything to anyone. That is a decision. I have also made the decision that my whole purpose in life is to SERVE God and to become like Him. So anything that doesn't have to do with those two things, don't matter to me anymore. Heavenly Father is really starting to weave every lesson that I have had on my mission together and it has been incredible to see the tapestry all being woven together. I HAVE LEARNED AND AM LEARNING SO MUCH.
Vicky--MIRACLE. We met Vicky last week after following the Spirit to where she was at. She is incredible and she wants to reactivate and wants ALL her kids to be baptized. Miracle central? I think so. We are working with her entire family and hopefully I will get to see them get baptized this next month. I AM SO HAPPY FOR ALL OF THEM!!! :)
The World Cup. I never watched soccer, nor did I like watching it before the mission---but EVERYONE watches it---and so I am catching the fever. It is so funny to me that the Hispanics have 6 hours a day dedicated (religiously) to watching the World Cup, but don't have 5 minutes to listen to the word of God. It has been a BLAST though. We teach a lot of people from Chile and apparently--they are doing pretty well--so that's been the hype. When we go to the highly Hispanic populated places to teach, NO ONE is in the streets and you can hear the game blasting from all the windows around. It is literally a RELIGION for these people. It has made for a lot of creativity in connecting the Gospel to the World Cup. Satan (opposing team), God's team (whatever team they are going for), Coach (prophet/God)....until we finally are able to connect it back to the restoration. It is a BLAST!! I love it. Most of them just invite us in to watch the game. Our mission president has given us permission to watch a little of the game and then share a Spiritual thought either at the end of the game or at the half break. We are using the world cup to our advantage and miracles are coming from it!! We are using the members homes as places for our investigators to watch the world cup, so that they can develop relationships with them. It is working like a charm. I LOVE THIS GREAT WORK. EVERY OPPORTUNITY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.
I spoke in church this last Sunday and I love this ward SO much!!! I wish I could just take all of them around me wherever I go. I have also become the official music director for sacrament meetings. That is a blast. :) I love this work, this place and these people.
This week has been incredible. I have been working a TON with the other missionaries. In fact, most of this week was composed of exchanges with the hermanas! Currently I am on a special assignment for President Riggs. President called and asked me to do a special exchange with one of the missionaries in the mission, and so I have been here training and helping her for the past 4 days. I LOVE HER. It has been incredible, and I am learning a lot from her! I love serving and seeing the changes that occur in these missionaries. It is fool-proof---every time we do training or anything the focus is the Atonement. That heals everything, and seems to cure everything! I love this work. God is carrying me. I am exhausted, but GOD IS CARRYING ME and giving me the words to say and what to do. He will carry you too. Thanks for all your love, prayers, letters, emails and support. I can't tell you how much it means to me!
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 12:51 PM