Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"A front row seat to the greatest miracle of all..." (August 21, 2017)

Minnesota is Gorgeous

I don't know if I have properly expressed to you all that Minnesota is just gorgeous. Seriously, I am just feeling so blessed to be here, and the leaves are starting to change color, and we have a lot of members in far away, random places and we get to go on nice drives through rural Minnesota and it's just beautiful.

Remember Orlando? Who we accidently found when we were looking for the other Orlando who just got baptized. Well we had a lesson this week with him, and oh my, so so so so many miracles that led up to that lesson that I don't have time to explain. Basically, the Montecillo's are the most amazing members ever. We had a lesson scheduled with Orlando at the church, and couldn't find anyone who lived close by to come so we could teach him inside, so we were praying all day that someone else would be at the church so we wouldn't have to have to lesson outside in the heat. And we had seen the Montecillo's earlier that day, because they were going to come to a lesson with Darlene with us, that didn't end up going through, so they took us out to lunch and then drove us to visit another less active and investigator they're friends with. And they overheard us talking about it, and so when we got to the church for the lesson, the Montecillo's were there, and I was almost crying because they are so incredible and it was such a miracle. And we had an incredible lessson with Orlando in the chapel with the Montecillo's, and he was talking about how he felt hungry for the word of God, and we were able to teach the restoration and walk him through the church services, and the spirit was so strong, and it was amazing. All first lessons should be taught in the chapel with the Montecillo's as member presents, just saying. 

Then yesterday no one new came to church, both Orlando, Patty, or George, who we had been really praying for. But it ended up being a blessing in a strange way because of our two speakers in sacrament meeting, one of them was a returned missionary from Brazil who gave his talk in Portugese, and the other was a member from the stak high council who spoke in English then President Strahl translated into Spanish. So, all in all, it was a good meeting, but we're glad no one new came and we didn't have to explain how rare it is that neither of the speakers spoke Spanish.

Our zone focus this week was active member referrals. And I think I already shared the first part of this story, but here are the details. We have this really awesome member of our branch, Hna Sofia. Her boyfriend Jesus has been coming to church for a long time, but has never been interested in talking with the missionaries, so we've all been waiting for the day when he is ready to get baptized. AND GUESS WHAT?! Last week at church they waved us over before sacrament meeting started, and Jesus told us he wanted to start taking the lessons! We were freaking out and jumping up and down afterwards. So we had a lesson with Jesus and Hna Sofia this Friday, and it was amazing, we covered the whole restoration and explained some things he had questions about, and talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and at the end of the lesson he accepted the invitation to be baptized! We are so excited! There was a really sweet moment when we were talking about the baptismal covenant, and how it's followed by other priesthood covenants, and Hna Sofia explained how after he gets baptized he can receive the priesthood, and THIS is why member work is the best kind of work and is so important. 

Then we didn't get to teach Patty this week, but this morning we did a church tour with her, and she was so excited and feels really comfortable now, and knows where everything is and how it all works, and we had a good discussion about the sacrament and about baptismal covenants sitting in the chapel. Sacrificing a little of p-day to have a lesson always brings the greatest miracles. 

🎶Tracting in the rain🎶

Exchanges!! I got to go with Sister Benson to English work while Hna Hanson stayed to take over the area with Sister Miller. She did so well speaking Spanish by herself, and saw a lot of miracles being willing to open her mouth even when it's a little scary. I had fun in Crystal Lake remembering how to speak english again. We did see some incredible miracles though. On Wednesday, we were out trying to contact a less-active, and it started POURING. I don't mean just raining, I mean buckets being dumped on our heads Minnesota rain. So we shrugged, and hummed "singing in the rain" and threw our umbrellas in the car because they weren't doing anything, and talked to everyone who was sitting on their porches watching the rainstorm. A lot of people thought we were kind of crazy, and someone remarked "I have never seen two girls so completely drenched and so happy!" But they were interested and they talked to us, and whatever it takes to get a conversation going is worth it.

Fun fact, when something happens once a week, like church, Hispanics say "cada ocho dias" which means, "every eight days." Hna Hanson and I are so confused, so if someone could please explain because the logic of counting the same day twice is not making sense. 

I have learned a lot this week about how this work is not about us. It has nothing to do with me whatsoever. There are so many miracles I see, and people, like Jesus, who just walk up to us and ask to be taught, and so many people the Lord puts right in our path. The Lord can get his work done, and he will get his work done. If we try to stand in his way, He will just go right on around us. And this time I have to serve and be a witness to all these miracles is the greatest privelege there is. This his His work, and He guides it all, and we do our best to be obedient and have the spirit, and are along for the ride because we "have a front row seat to the great miracle of all: the effect of Christ's Atonement on individuals and families" (Thanks "adjusting to missionary life"). And it's incredible because there are so many miracles every day.

Have a lovely week! 

And don't look at the sun! 😎😎

Advice from the sisters, read Ether 12

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