Monday, February 26, 2018

"I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak" (November 23, 2017)

The title of this week is "A Series of Unfortunate Events as well as Many Mighty Miracles: The Hermanas Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

This might be a little long, but it's been a crazy week and a half. 

This past Saturday and Sunday we got to translate Stake Conference into Spanish for our members. The only words I can think of to adequately describe it are "baptism by fire."  You have to listen to and comprehend the talk in English, then figuring out how to say it in Spanish in about a half a second, and your brain goes into overdrive. And sometimes the speakers start quoting scriptures or a conference talk and you have to look it up faster than the speed of light, then try to to catch up with them saying it. It really gives you an adrenaline rush though, and it is so exciting. You're rushing to finish the talk up as the person closes, then literally throwing the headset and the person who is going to translate the next speaker. Definitely my new favorite sport. I am so grateful for the aid of the Spirit we had as well, looking back on how much Spanish I spoke 9 months ago, which was none at all, and now seeing how the gift of tongues has so greatly helped me and how Heavenly Father has given me the opportunity to learn this language. 

We have seen so many miracles this week, as we rely on the Spirit in our planning, then seeing God put us right where he needs us. Last week we were driving through a trailer park to see an investigator we had planned to see, and we saw a less-active member outside hanging up Christmas lights, so we immediately pulled over and got out to help her, and we were also able to teach a lesson. We also were able to stop by a potential another day, who is usually really hard to meet with, who immediately let us in, and told us that day was the only day she was home at that time because she usually has work, but had gotten sick the day before so wasn't in that day. 

Ok, then yesterday was the most insane day I have experienced on my mission, which is saying a lot, because there have been some crazy moments. 
Yesterday morning we were driving back from an appointment on the freeway, and a huge deer jumps right in front of us from out of no where and crashes into the side of our car. Yes, I will say the deer hit us, because it really did. We're ok. The car isn't, and the deer isn't, but we were just a little shaken up. Time kind of slowed down, and Hermana Hanson didn't slam on the brakes or swerve, but we just hit it, then were able to safely pull over to the side of the road. There was an emergency response vehicle just a few cars behind us who pulled over to help, and we got in contact with the mission office and we were able to safely get the car towed really quickly. Our car is in pretty bad shape, and the whole drivers door is dented in from where the deer hit us. We feel very blessed that we didn't sustain any injuries considering how bad it looks. And we met a lot of really nice people. The Lady at the bodyshop was so sweet, she saw we were so shaken up and offered to go get us coffee to help calm us down. We politely declined and told her we didn't need any coffee. 

There was a joint effort throughout our zone for the rest of the day getting us to everywhere we needed to be, as the other missionaries tag teamed getting us to the appointments we could still get to without ruining their schedules as well. We went to an appointment with a member, who has recently been struggling a lot, and told us yesterday she doesn't believe that our church is true anymore, and doesn't ever want to go back, because of doubts and the ways others of treated her. This was about 2 hours after the accident, and we were still visibly shaken, and I was praying with all of my might that we would be able to help her. We just listened to her, and Hermana Hanson and I listened to the Spirit, and we were lead us to the exact scriptures and stories and words we needed to share with her, things I never would have thought of on my own, that I know the spirit put there. She was so grateful we had come, and she told us she felt so much peace. One thing we talked about was in Matthew 11:28-30, how the gospel doesn't make our life easier because it takes away our trials, but it makes them easier to bear because we have the Savior. I learned something really important in that lesson. God uses his imperfect servants to bring about miracles. We may be a little bruised and broken, physically (in this specific case) or spiritually, but when we rely on Him, and have desires to serve, He can use us to bring about His divine purposes and work many mighty miracles. 

As we left that appointment, we were calling everyone, our members, the other missionaries, and no one was answering, so we felt like we should just start walking to our next appointment, about 6 miles away, and trust that God would get us there somehow. We had gone about ten minutes, and we were walking up towards an intersection, and see a car with a bike rack pull up. That is the universal sign of a  missionary car, and we see that it was the Apple Valley Sisters! We start waving our hands frantically and literally sprinting to their car, and they gladly let us in were able to get us a little closer to where we were going. We don't have a car now, and won't for at least a few days, but I know that we don't need worry, because I know that God will continue to provide for us. 

A few more funnies from the week:
We got mailed the wrong vehicle registration, so the mission office made us drive to St. Paul last week to deliver it to the correct missionaries. 
We were talking to one of the deacons from our branch about missionary work at dinner last week. He didn't know that missionaries couldn't fly home whenever they wanted to see their families, and he got very upset and told us he didn't want to go on a mission anymore...he's still got a few years to decide. 
We were visiting with one of our members who lives in a nursing home, and when we told her we wouldn't have sacrament meeting because of Stake Conference, without missing a beat she shouted, in Spanish, "The Devil! He's trying to get me!" No one appreciates sacrament meeting quite like Hna Leonor.

Hermana Hanson and I found this scripture during studies this morning and we thought it was very applicable:
"O king, I am very thankful before God this day that Iam yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness" Mosiah 7:12

I am so very thankful for so many things. One of them definitely being that we survived the Deer Attack of 2017. I am also so thankful that I get to be a missionary, that I get to open my mouth and share the gospel with the world by the power of the Spirit. I am thankful for my family, I am thankful for my Savior, I am thankful for temples, I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and ice cream, and peanut butter, and snow, and wool socks, and classical music, and all of the little things that make life just oh so wonderful. 

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Hermana Meredith 

1. Sad day :(

2. Translating!
3. The Lakeville Zone is really excited for the #LighttheWorld Campaign!!

4. Carlos is just the cutest little baby 

5. Service at the Bishop's Storehouse

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