'A week of miracles'
First and foremost, M. & A.
First and foremost, M. & A.
Well. We met with them last Monday for a formal lesson. The Relief Society president came with us and we had a really good lesson. Like. Real good. We talked a lot about faith (it's a common theme...) and how we receive answers to prayers. And how we know when something is right. I shared some experiences from making that final decision to come on a mission that I never expected to share with investigators. But it reminded me of how much Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to do what we want to do. And He wants us to want what's best for us.
M. made the comment that he likes to simplify things. That it all rests on Joseph Smith. For if Joseph Smith really restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then everything else is true. He asked us, "what if it's not?" And I was like, "Well. Can I be bold?" And he was like, "Nothing has stopped you from being bold in the past!" And I was like, "Okay! Well. If you decide to get baptized and then decide that none of it is true... then it's no big deal because the baptism isn't valid, right? but if it is true, and I know it is, there are so many blessing, like the gift of the Holy Ghost that are just around the corner!" And M. was like, "That's even something that we've talked about before!" When it comes to the Gospel, they just get it.
On Tuesday we had our Ward Family Historian come with us to show A. how to set up a FamilySearch account. Her husband, M., already has one. His grandfather was very active before he passed away and he's got a ton of family history done. She was clicking back through his family history and he's got some lines that go back to the 1200s! Anyway. Before we got started, M. asked a question about job opportunities. He interviewed for a job that may need him to work on Sundays. He asked if that would prevent him from being able to get baptized. We told him mostly likely not, but to talk to the Lord about it and to go from there. A. piped up and said, "Well. If he does get that job, will working occasional Sundays prevent him from getting a temple recommend?" And I wanted to be like, A. Honey. I think getting baptized is a bigger hurtle than the temple recommend right now, haha. But I didn't. :) It brings us comfort to know that they recognize their real goal is to be sealed in the temple.
On Friday we had another lesson with them. That morning we thought and studied and prayed and nothing was coming to us. They're done with all of the lessons, so we've just been going by the Spirit for the last month. The only thing we really felt strongly about was to invite them to be baptized on Dec 2nd. Sis Adorable felt really strongly that we needed to talk about prayer, too. On top of all of that, I wasn't going to be there. We would be on an exchange with another sister missionary and I was the one leaving for the night. Since I wasn't there for the lesson, here's Sis Adorable's account:
Sister Jacobs and I prayed and prayed but didn't feel like we were receiving direction. We were somewhat frustrated, but in the end we chose prayer to be the topic and then we went on exchange. I was particularly stressed out because Sister Jacobs typically leads lessons, but because of the exchange, that duty would fall to me. I normally wouldn't have a problem with that, but we had no lesson plan and I would be teaching with a sister I barely knew. Right before the lesson, Sister Alvey (the sister who came with me) and I plead that the Lord would lead us. M. and A. requested for this lesson to be in the home of some members who have fellowshipped them.
When we got to the lesson, Sister Alvey could sense my nervousness so she began by asking M & A about their spiritual journey. That was really great and I found out a lot of new information. At one point they mentioned something and it made me think of something I had written in my journal a few days before. I had felt prompted to bring my journal, which made absolutely no sense considering I don't share my journal with anyone. However, I brought it into the lesson anyway and shared an entry. Here is a quick summary:
"Sister Jacobs and I had an interesting experience this week. Something had really upset me and I turned to her for words of wisdom. However, rather than saying just the right thing like she normally does, she left me to ponder. I felt hurt and abandoned. I went to the kitchen table and said a heartfelt prayer. I read The Book of Mormon for a few minutes afterward and felt much better. It was then that a certain truth became very personal to me. So often we turn to others to give us the solace we need. We wait for certain circumstances to change or events to occur until we allow ourselves to feel peace. However, our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ are the only source of LASTING solace and peace. Every sorrow and every heartache, Christ felt first. He is reaching out to us but we must reach out to him in order to partake of the Balm of Gilead he wants to soothe our souls with."
Upon sharing this with M & A, we had a really good conversation about prayer, but I did not feel the excitement that I normally feel when we teach them. I wanted to invite them to be baptized, but I felt it was not right. I thought to myself, why would I feel so strongly that I needed to invite them to be baptized and then be told the time was not right. I was, quite frankly, really disappointed and felt misled. At that point, I ended the lesson, since it was time for us to go home, and was just about to ask Brother T. to say the closing prayer when.....M asked if he could share something with us before we closed.
M: "We've been thinking a lot and quite honestly the only thing holding us back from being baptized is my job situation."
A: "Sister Adorable you've told us that God will speak to us in a way that we will understand. If M. gets a job, that will be him showing me that this is the right path."
M: "What are your thoughts?"
Sister Adorable: "Well Sister Jacobs and I have actually discussed this is great length and we feel that you will not get a job until you get baptized"
*more silence*Sister Adorable thinks to herself ,''oh no. What have I done?!"
Sister Alvey: "M, if you were Satan and you knew that the only thing holding you back from being baptized was getting a job, what would you do?"
M: "I would do everything in my power to make sure I didn't get a job"
The atmosphere in the room immediately changes and the members, missionaries and M and A have a long discussion about how the Lord has blessed us when we were not financially stable.
Sister Adorable: "As we were preparing for this lesson, there were two things that came to mind. The first was prayer. The second was that both of you need to be baptized on December 2nd"
M and A both perk up on the sofa as they hear that date.
Sister Alvey: "A, why did you perk up when you heard that date?"
A: "Don't read too much into it."
*M's' phone rings*
M: "It's the Bishop! Do you mind if I take this call?"
He leaves in the middle of the lesson.
A: "What made yall say December 2nd?"
Sister Adorable: "I don't know. That is just the day we felt was right"
A: "Because we have been talking about getting baptized. We know the job thing is an issue, but we've thinking about just doing it next week. As we talked about it though, November just didn't feel right. So we thought maybe the first week of December would be good"
He walks back in and sits back down on the sofa.
M: "Wait you told them about that? Well I might as well tell them about the other thing. Well the other day I was looking for subbing jobs and there was one available on December 2nd. I felt like I shouldn't take it though"
Sister Adorable: Well that sounds like an answer to me. So will yall do it? Will you be baptized on December 2nd?
Sister T: Oh come on! What else do you need? We're all betting money that yall will get baptized!
M: We just don't know!
Sisters Alvey and Adorable: Yes you do!
M: Well I'm all in, but I don't want A to get baptized for me.
A: Well, we're cautious people and I don't know.
M: How about we pray about it and get back to you?
I love Sis Adorable. She's a good story-teller :)
So pretty much our ward mission leader offered M part time job stuff until he finds a legit job. They both came to church and met with Bishop during the 2nd and 3rd hour of our Sunday meetings. Hopefully that went well. We'll talk to them in more depth about it on Tuesday. *crosses fingers.*
And now for some miracles.
Sooo Monday morning I woke up real sick. Our Pday consisted of sleeping. emailing. sleeping. and M & A's lesson. As we got up to out the door for the lesson, Sis Adorable wasn't so sure about it. I had a fever. We were still sitting in the car waiting for our team-up, so I said a quick prayer. I was expecting a miracle. I have been called as a missionary to do His work. And if that means that I would feel worse after the lesson so I could have strength and energy while we were there, so be it. I expressed these thoughts with Father in Heaven and asked for strength. After the prayer my voice lost its scratch, my chills disappeared and the only evidence of my sickness was a sniffle here or there. Much like I expected, the chills and fever resumed once we got back in the warmth of our car.
Tuesday morning I asked Elder Fowers (one of the Elders that came out with me and Sis Adorable) for a blessing. He blessed me that I wouldn't miss a day of work and that Sister Adorable and I would be able to bring people to the waters of baptism and back into activity. What a powerful blessing. That is all that I needed. Tuesday was the coldest day thus far this year and we were able to do so much! I was so grateful-- I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and the blessing it is to be surrounded by so many spiritual giants who either hold the priesthood, or perform a priesthood function of sharing the Gospel.
Wednesday we took it easy. Mistake. We did good work, but we did a lot of the less strenuous parts of missionary work. By Wednesday night, I was feeling yucky again. And then I had this epiphany. Heavenly Father was going to bless me as well as I would work. I didn't work as hard on Wed, so I wasn't healed as much. Well. I fixed that right quick! And Heavenly Father sure has blessed me :) I'm feeling a lot better.
On Thursday we had the parable of the Red Velvet Cake. This story starts a LOOONG time ago when Sister Jacobs was a 'baby' missionary (at the beginning of her mission). My trainer and I were going through a list of less actives to visit and we miraculously got in a gated community to visit one of them. At the end of the lesson, the less active gave us each a freshly baked cookie and wished us well. As we walked out to our car, Sister Loader smirked and said, "Guess what. This morning I prayed for a cookie." I looked at her, "You what?" "I prayed for a cookie. I am Heavenly Father's daughter. He loves me. Why wouldn't He bless His daughter who is doing His work with a cookie? So I prayed for one." We laughed and I've yet to forget that experience. I know that He loves us. Well. I told this story to Sister Adorable and then thought nothing else of it. We were at dinner on Thursday and one of their daughters walks into the dining room with a red velvet cake. Sister Adorable goes, "Is that seriously a red velvet cake?!" And she almost started to cry. You see, she had prayed that morning for a red velvet cake. Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He really is.
This is insanely long...
Have a happy Thanksgiving and remember that Heavenly Father loves you!! :)