Well, you wouldn't believe it but Vancouver is warm and bright (90 degrees today!) and so is the missionary work here! We have been preparing the Arriola family for their marriage this coming weekend and plan to move their baptisms and confirmations to next weekend since the father had to work so we couldn't come teach. They came to
all 3 hours yesterday and totally loved and particpated in the classes and tonight we have a powerful lesson on the Atonement planned with the them and the Alder's (Former mission presidents in Chile and my
lifeblood out here)! :)
|Arriola's- The Beat of my Heart|
loves the gospel so much and knows and feels that it is everything he has been looking for, but still feels "uncomfortable"...which we have come to recognize through observation and hints from the spirit and
his wife as actually "unworthiness." He is a great man who has come an incredibly long way, but still feels guilty about some things in his past and replaces his faith with fear because of it. Our goal tonight
is to teach how to use the atonement through Repentance and it's enabling power (like you taught in a zone conference this winter). We've felt impressed to use the short video of "The Mediator" to explain how the atonement satisfies both justice and mercy...how we can feel that balance and peace. So yeah, we're pumped! :)
Also, we have really enjoyed tracting lately; not just because of the weather, but because one day when I was on exchanges we stopped at a spanish branch member's house to use the restroom before tracting and I felt
like I should ask the daughter, Katherine Escalona (13) if she knew of an area where maybe she's seen some Latin kids get off the bus...(hahaha) and she thought for a minute and said yes and explained a complex nearby and we've been tracting and try-backing and referring from there ever since with a lot of success! So of course we have
thanked and thanked her and the best part is that she wants to be a missionary so this has been neat for her to feel a part of the work here! This has also been a great experience for me to reflect on and think about how although I didn't feel this strong push from the spirit or really even recognize me asking her as a prompting, that really it had come from service and trust we have developed with the family these past few months and because of that, I then felt like I
COULD ask. All of this reflecting has been because of a special training the mission had where "Earning Referrals" was pointed out and also made me think of talks by Elder Bednar about just being worthy of the spirit and not necessarily worrying about if a feeling is a prompting or not and also about serving your best so that the members
see that they can trust you with their referrals.
Oh, and Transfers was full of surprises: A TRIPANIONSHIP in Vancouver, WOW! :) Of course I will serve wherever the mission needs me, but I must admit that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here for the Arriola's ordinances, to continue serving with such unity with Hermana Watson and then to get Hermana Hutchinson is really exciting!
May 28th, 2012
|Multnomah Falls-Where we went for P-Day|
The other night we had a rockin lesson on keeping the Sabbath Day Holy with the Arriola's, our Branch President, Presidente Ross AND Jose's sister Guadalupe who he is super close with and has been telling her that he has found the truth and invited her to come listen and see if we could answer some of her questions! SO COOL!!! We had met her in passing a couple of times before, but she would avoid us...but she has seen the change in her brother and has felt drawn to us and there she was, TOTAL SURPRISE. So, after the lesson she asked us about fasting....how to do it right because her son is in jail and she really wants to fast for him.....it was INCREDIBLE. In the middle of the lesson I felt impressed to tell her, "As representatives of Jesus Christ, we are here to tell you that your Heavenly Father is very happy with you for seeking these answers and you have found what you have been looking for." My eyes were piercing hers and there was a power and authority and a love and sincerity that was coming out of my mouth that could only have been from God. It is AMAZING to be His instrument....this has happened to me before, but that night it was really special because she was so intent and suddenly burst into sobs when I said the last word.....wow, God is good. :)
Ok, I'm gonna get kicked off...LOVE YOU!
At a Zone training we had on Friday, President Greer said something plain and simple, but that really made me think: "We only have so many days to serve." Of course this applies to our entire life, but it made me think of my calling now and how a year from yesterday is my return date. Wow! That feels so short and so long at the same time. But either way, it is what motivates each choice I make small or big each day. He expounded a scripure from D&C 1:8-9, saying that the word "seal" here does not have to do with the temple, but with missionaries sharing the message no matter if it is accepted or rejected...it is the fact that we must testify in order to give the opportunity to accept or reject their faith for the future. This impacted me to really consider how my experiences in Vancouver could be identified...my heart has been broken countless times by investigators and less-actives who have the fruit swaying from the branch right in front of them, and then suddenly become distracted and wander away into dark mists, rejecting the Tree of Life or in other words, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, my heart has only been able to break over and over because I have also had experiences where "my joy was full" that have mended it and I look forward to the day that I will get to witness someone I had the privelage of teaching who actually partakes of the fruit and is baptized...but I'll be patient and keep the faith. :) As I've been doing our Book of Mormon challenge, I related D&C 1:8 with how they felt in Alma 48:21-24 and how I feel...we have to protect and defend the faith, even if it means "sealing" the fate of others. I constantly consider Moroni's methods as he continually avoids war and offers the Lamanites life no matter how many times they blatantly reject him and that went on for years! So, I've got a year left on my mission and that is nothing compared to Moroni's lifelong pursuit of peace, so I'm off!
Ok, I'm gonna get kicked off...LOVE YOU!