Windows of Heaven

June 9, 2014

This week I am super cramped for time, so sorry in advance! This week was pretty great, we were able to get out and work, and have a few miracles happen. We found 3 new investigators in one day! We had contacted a referral given to us by some Spanish missionaries and then, later, as we were knocking doors, we felt prompted to go talk to two teenage girls walking down the street. They proved to have a ton of questions about our faith, and invited us back to their house. They agreed to take the lessons, and are really involved and engaged. It’s sometimes hard to keep up with them because of how many questions they have! Both are very well versed in the scriptures and have had a lot of experiences with other faiths (they both attend a local Christian High School here in Granada Hills). We are excited to go back and teach them this upcoming week.

Last Friday we had zone training, most of which was a review of things we’ve covered in other meetings and trainings. It was needed, as a lot of it was fundamentals that we need to work on in order to improve and become better teachers, but after about an hour, my missionary-brain starts to get tired. I’m not used to sitting for very long any more! I’m used to being outside talking to people or teaching lessons, either on the street or in a home. It’s pretty incredible how much you change in the details like that after being in the field for so long – I used to love my 3 hour classes at SVU!
I’ve been really blessed to work with some stellar missionaries in my district lately. It’s been SUCH a learning experience. I’ve served with some of them before, and others I’ve heard of. All are pretty incredible missionaries who are powerful teachers. At zone training I got to witness their teaching skills up close as we did a district role play. Essentially, one person is the ‘investigator,’ leaving the rest of the companionships in the district to go through and each teach a principle to that same investigator. You learn a lot through role plays because you are getting all the kinks out of your own teaching, and get to watch other missionaries teach and you are able to learn from them. I love watching elders I’ve served with in the past teach, because they’ve all grown and become such powerful teachers in the time we’ve been out. I’m lucky to be serving with a TON of ‘The Fifty’ this transfer!
I’ve been thinking a lot about faith and obedience lately, and how they go hand-in-hand. We need faith to be obedient, and that obedience strengthens our faith. It’s a cyclical pattern that is continuously strengthening us and helping us to become closer to our Savior. I am so thankful that on Sunday, our two speakers in Sacrament meeting both talked about faith and obedience. One, Brother Ludoviko, mentioned that the faithful and obedient are entitled to the blessings of heaven, and that the Lord opens the windows of heaven and pours His blessings out. One thing that I love that Brother Ludoviko said is, “how big are those windows!” We never know the vastness of the blessings the Lord has in store for us. He truly has a plan to prosper us according to our faith and our actions based upon that faith.
Sister Flake and I went on an adventure to the Filipino market this morning to buy some ingredients for pancit. Somehow in the area divide, we managed to get none of the Filipino members in our area, so we are left to our own devices. It was so funny to see Sister Flake asking, “what is this? and this?” I guess I’ve taken for granted the cultures I’ve grown up with and have become familiar with over the years! I am so thankful for that aspect of my childhood, it has truly proven to be a blessing as I’m serving in an area of the United States that is highly cultural and where most residents identify with a specific country or culture very strongly. I’ve learned a ton!
I got a blessing yesterday after our missionary correlation meeting from Elder Holdaway and Elder Hawker. It addressed a few concerns I’d had, but one thing that stuck out to me and really touched me was the reassurance I received that I was called back to Mission Hills for a reason – to find certain people who weren’t prepared when I was here 9 months ago. It is a huge and rare blessing to be assigned to an area you’ve served in previously, especially in this mission, so I plan to work harder than ever. Missionary work is all about recommitting yourself on a daily basis to do the Lord’s work and to realign your will with His. It is then that you are able to work and see the blessings, to bless others, and to see the windows of heaven opened and consecrated to the benefit of those you love.
This morning Sister Flake and I were talking in our companionship study about sacrifice and obedience. I honestly don’t see serving a mission as much of a sacrifice, because it brings me so much joy and has been such an incredible experience thus far. I am reminded of the words of President Kimball, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, and in the end, we see that it was no sacrifice at all.”
I just love this work. Please know how I much I love it. It is hard, it is exhausting both mentally and phsyically, but I have never been so blessed nor so close to my Savior in my life. I’m so thankful to see the windows of heaven opened.
Till next week!Love,

Sister Redner


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