Monday, February 26, 2018

"Because of the gift of his calling unto me" (November 13, 2017)

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a GREAT week! There have been so many crazy, random things happening, and so many miracles, and so many laughs, I can't believe what a joy it has been. So sorry this email is going to be all over the place with the stories. Hope you enjoy!

So that awesome new referral app I told you about last week, on LDS tools, where you can refer your friends anywhere in the world, IT WORKS!! Last Monday, one of our members, Hna Osiris, called us and told us she had a friend in Mexico who wants to go to church, but doesn't know anyone, so Hna Osiris wanted to know how she could send her friends information to the missionaries. We told her about the app, then on Wednesday night, we saw her at the church, we were able to download LDS tools and get the referral sent, just with her friends phone number and the general area of where she lived. We still weren't sure exactly if the system was running yet or how the missionaries would get it. But on Thursday morning Osiris texted us and told us the missionaries had already contacted her friend, that they had an appointment for that night, and that her friend would be able to go to church with them on Sunday! It was so exciting! Technology is so amazing, and it's so cool that we all can be involved in missionary work all over the world. 

We were at the church on Wednesday for a family history class, that we're helping one of the members in our ward teach. This was only the second week, but a bunch more people came, and everyone was able to find a family name! A lot of members weren't doing family history because they just didn't know how to get started, but now they have and they are so excited. On Saturday we got to go to the temple and do a session with them, and take our own family names as well. On Wednesday night we were running around like crazy, trying to help everyone, and we needed to grab something from the chapel, so as we hastened, not ran, out the chapel doors, we nearly ran right into President Barney, our mission president. He was at the building for a meeting with our Stake President. We must have looked awfully disheveled in the rush we were in. So that's the story of how we literally ran into our mission president this week. 

This week we were out doing visits with our Branch President. We had stopped by a couple of families who weren't home. And as we were going to stop by this less active family, it was a little late, so we were afraid the kids might be asleep. We were able to get into the apartment building, and we decided we might as well give it a shot, but when we got to their door it was dark and when we knocked no one answered. On our way down as we were walking back to our car, a van pulls into the parking lot, and a little girl leans out the window and shouts "MISIONERAS!!!!" And they pulled over and she jumped out of the car to come give us a big hug. The family we had stopped by to see, was just getting home, and we were able to catch them at exactly the right time as they got home and share a message with them. God's timing is perfect.

This week we were visiting with a member, Hno Leo. We asked him if he had seen the movie Nacho Libre, and it turns out he loves that movie, and he was telling us about his favorite scene and he started CRYING he was laughing so hard. Usually we can barely get a chuckle out of him and it was so hilarious we were also crying, so that's the story of how we cried about Nacho Libre this week.

I've been in this branch for 5 months now, and for approximately 98% of those sundays, every week in relief society we sing the same two songs, Jesus es mi luz (The Lord is my Light) and Cuenta tus bendiciones (Count your Blessings) Every. Single. Week. I don't think they do it on purpose though, every Sunday we're there they ask "What hymn do we want to sing" And someone will say "Oh I really like The Lord is My Light" and everyone says "Oh I love that song!" And we end up singing those same two songs. And it's even more funny because no on in our branch sings in the same key. We'll all start in one key, then by the second measure we have split into two different keys, and it keeps getting more dissonant as the song goes on. But they love those songs, and these Hermanas love the church, and they love to sing, so it is beautiful. 

There is a newlywed couple in our branch who we eat with almost every week, just celebrated their 4 month anniversary, and when we were eating with them Hermana Hanson and I realized we have been companions almost as long as they have been married, only 22 days short. Haha, and we're still going strong #eternal 

George has been looking for a job the past few weeks, because he has been getting hired out for landscaping, but as the weather keeps getting colder, there will be less and less opportunities. We have been praying that he will be able to figure out his job situation, and have his life a little more settled so he can focus more on the gospel. On Tuesday morning we texted him to ask how he was doing, and he video called us back, in the car with one of the Hermanos in our ward! Hno Jose had met him at church a couple of times, and just felt like he needed to text George and see how he was doing, and George told him he was looking for a job, and Hno Jose was able to offer him a job at his work starting that day. It was the craziest miracle! God oftens answers our prayers through other people. 

Last night we were stopping by a less active to share a message with the relief society president. They both talk a lot. And I mean A LOT. So it was hard for us to get a message in. But we were able to share Mosiah 2:17 with her. We had felt inspired to share that scripture because we thought she needed a message about service, but she ended up getting something totally different out of it when we read it, but she said it was exactly what she needed right then to help her overcome some of the struggles in her life. Thanks Spirit for the inspired planning. 

Missionary work is so incredible. It's amazing what the Lord is able to accomplish with young adults as his messengers. Yesterday in our Sunday School class we had a class about missionary work. At the beginning our teacher asked everyone to raise their hands who was born in the church. Only Hermana Hanson and I raised our hands. Then she asked everyone to raise their hands who was a convert. Every single member raised their hands. And they were all brought here by missionaries. Missionaries who probably didn't know what an impact their service would have on this person's life. Families who have been brought into the gospel, and generations that have been affected now because someone was willing to open their mouth. Because a missionary knocked on their door, because a friend introduced them, because they came to a church activity. It was so amazing. Sometimes it's hard to see results, because we are here for such short time, and people's conversion processes take so much longer than the short time you spend in an area. But so many people are brought into the gospel. I feel so privileged to work with this amazing group of Saints, who found the truth and have stuck with it. There is no way this work is being done by 18 and 19 year olds alone. 
"And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time." Mormon 7:2. Truly, what a blessing it is to be here. I am officially over 9 months into this amazing journey, and I can't wait to see what the next 9 have in store. 

Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Meredith 

1. Happy 9 months!

2. Skyping with George and Hna Carlotta

3. Family History! Everyone holding up the names they found to take to the temple.
4. Temple trip!
5. Yes, we did sing the "apples and bananas" song in English class

6. The view from outside our chapel. Minnesota is beautiful. And go read the Book of Mormon!!

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