Dear Family & Friends:
This almost was a really hard week, y’all. Remember T, who was supposed to get baptized on Saturday? Well this week she basically fell off the face of the earth. We were literally not able to see her even once. On top of that we had tons of meetings this week (more about those later) and because of that we had very little time in our area. The disappearance of T plus the severely reduced time we had in our area could have made for a VERY discouraging few days, but thankfully Heavenly Father had something else in mind. 🙂 One thing I have seriously learned this week though is that when you lose something good, if you’re faithful, Heavenly Father always replaces it with something better!
This Friday we got a random phone call from a 972 phone number, and when we checked our voicemail it said “Hey my name is J N, and my wife and I were wondering if you would be willing to come and teach her the first discussion.” We immediately called back, obviously!! When we called back we found that he is a member, and he is here temporarily on contract with FedEx. He has been flying home almost every weekend for the past 10 months and going to church in Dallas with his family, but he got married to someone he met here about a month ago, and since then she has been taking the lessons over the phone from his sister, who is a missionary at Temple Square.
So when we got there, we sat down, introduced ourselves, and she immediately told us that she has prayed about it, and she wants to be baptized on August 20th. We sat there totally stunned, and I literally said “Y’all know this NEVER happens to us, right?” (They laughed). We then proceeded to teach the first lesson, and throughout the conversation it became clear just how prepared she was. She has been reading the Book of Mormon every day, she LOVES it, and understands and appreciates the peace it brings into her life. Everything she said about it sounded like a quote from Preach My Gospel. For example: “The Bible is wonderful, and I love it, but reading the Book of Mormon answers questions the Bible can’t, and vice versa. They support each other so well.”
They came to church on Sunday, we scheduled more teaching appointments, and they even signed up to feed us next week! I honestly don’t know what we did to deserve this, but what I do know is that Heavenly Father is so good to us. After walking out of the lesson, we just sat in the car for a few minutes, staring out the windows because neither one of us could put into words how much joy we felt. It was only after we were driving home from the appointment that we realized that we sat down with them at the exact time it would have been the start of Trina’s baptism, if she had gotten baptized on Saturday. Wow.
Heavenly Father is seriously just too good to us, and I am just astonished and grateful. So I started the email off with the biggest miracle of all, but there were seriously so many other miracles this week. We had Mission Leadership Council (MCL) as well as Sister Training Leader (STL) Training this week, and both were amazing! At MLC we had the opportunity to discuss the past mission focuses, and pick new ones for the next three months. As a mission we will be focusing on Chapters 11 (Helping People Make & Keep Commitments) & 13 (How to Work Effectively with Stake & Ward Leaders) from Preach My Gospel. I am so excited to focus on these two chapters going forward, and I can’t wait to see everything that our missionaries do in the coming months! I love MLC because it is just so exciting to be surrounded by such amazing missionaries and to just talk about and enjoy the gospel with them.
As part of MLC we also had the opportunity to attend the Temple together on Wednesday, and it was exactly what I needed. It is truly unbelievable just how much peace there is to be found in the Temple. I really miss it here on the mission, but I am so thankful I was able to go, and it couldn’t have happened on a better week! If y’all can go to the Temple, but haven’t been in a while, go. It is so worth the extra two hours or so. Heavenly Father wants us in His house! At the STL Training President Wakolo asked me to lead a discussion on how we can have more effective exchanges, and we were able to hammer out specific steps that all leaders can take to have more effective exchanges. It made me feel pretty good that the discussion I led produced a new outline to be used by all APs, ZLs, STLs, and DLs. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve my fellow missionaries as an STL, it has been such a blessing!
One last miracle I’ll leave y’all with: The Elders sent us a referral for a single lady the other day, and when they sent it, they didn’t sound very enthusiastic about us needing to contact her, so we put it off for a few days. But come Sunday we figured we had better give her a try. We knocked on her door around 4:45 and she immediately answered. She said her name was R and then invited us in! She then proceeded to tell us she is looking for a church, and asked us to see our Bibles, which was a great opportunity to show that we actually read the Holy Bible, (she was very excited it was King James) as well as to introduce her to the Book of Mormon. She then asked us if we would like to sit down and teach her. We said yes!! We taught the whole Restoration and she agreed with so much of what we said, and at the end of the lesson she said “I believe The Lord gives us the Holy Spirit to help us know right from wrong and to guide us to the truth, so I am going to read that book (The Book of Mormon) and I am going to read that book (The Restoration pamphlet) and then I am going to pray about it. When do you want to come back?” It was amazing!!
Heavenly Father always blesses us with what we need, when we need it. This could have been one of the most discouraging weeks of my entire mission, but instead it found itself up there with the best weeks of the past 14 months. I am so thankful that I know that God is truly my Father, and that He watches out for me with love and concern that I cannot even comprehend. I hope that each of y’all can feel that love a little more this week.
Sister H & I
Our lovely district with K the mini missionary
All the STLs in front of the Temple (two attempts haha)