October 6, 2014
It’s been another week when you hit Sunday night, staring at your planner, and ask, “did that really happen this week?” We’ve been so busy, running about the mission and our area.
Tuesday we were able to spend the day at the Los Angeles temple, which was a much needed break from the ‘real world.’ Sister Ryane, Sister Johnson, Elder Villejo, Elder Quizon and I crowded into Sister Ryane’s truck for the drive to Los Angeles, which was quite the adventure in and of itself, and we were able to meet up with Elder Lee and his new missionary. Best birthday present! I got to spend a few hours with my “Filipino Brothers” and one of my heroes from my mission (Sis. Ryane). It was just what I needed. I had gone with a lot of thoughts and questions, and in the peace and sanctuary of the temple was able to receive some answers and insight that have really helped buoy me up as I face certain challenges. I love how willing the Lord is to answer our prayers – he’s simply waiting for the questions. I love the words of Elder Holland about how the Lord is waiting to bless us, but he can’t unless we don’t pray, believe, and dream. It’s so true!
(also, I picked up a really awesome set of pocket-sized scriptures to use when proselyting… they are my new favorite thing)
I had a really cool experience with prayer about a week and a half ago. I was kneeling by my bed saying my nightly prayers, just praying to be able to find people who wanted to receive the gospel and be taught. We aren’t teaching a lot of people right now, and it’s something that I feel strongly about. I was literally in the middle of praying to find someone to teach when the elders from another ward called to tell us that there was a man who had just moved into our area that was being taught in his old area, and wanted to still continue learning. That in and of itself built my faith in the fact that the Lord hears prayers. It was further cemented when we went to contact him, and he’s so prepared. His name is Louis, and he understands so well the love of God and the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ and how integral both are to our individual joy and happiness in this life. I’m so excited to work with him.
We had another experience that has just made my week. We were supposed to visit a family in our ward that is in the elders area. We head out, and realize we don’t have our phone. The area we were in was pretty sketchy, so we were already a bit distressed. We found the apartment building, but didn’t have the information as to the apartment number (and no phone to call and ask). We talked to some kids playing in the play ground, and they told us to try the third floor. We were taking a leap of faith, because it was pretty obvious that they had absolutely no idea who I was talking about. We got to the stairwell of the third floor and just prayed to find who we were looking for, and started knocking on doors. We knocked on one door, and asked if the resident knew Tiffany, and she just looked so surprised. She said, “oh! I thought you were here for me!”
She’s someone that the elders a few transfers ago had found and weren’t able to make contact with again, who was really interested in learning more about the Savior. Turns out that she, Rosemary, was the person that the Lord had sent us to find. We referred her to our elders without much thought, just excited to have found someone who was looking to listen to the missionaries. They called us the next day to tell us that they had met Rosemary at Walgreens randomly, and that she had approached them. Turns out she prefers to be taught by us, as she’s a single lady, and the elders were more than willing to let us begin teaching her. It was just the coolest experience for the four of us. When the Lord prepares his people, he also prepares a way for the missionaries to find them. We drove all the way to the elders area, to the very outskirts of their boundaries to find her. And luckily the member we were supposed to visit was so excited to hear our story that she quickly forgave us. :)
This past weekend was a seriously spiritual experience with the opportunity we had to listen and watch General Conference. Just like when I went to the temple, I had a lot of questions answered and received a lot of insight. I honestly spent more time listening to the spirit than to the speakers, so it will be interesting to compare my notes to the transcripts of the talks when they are published. I’m so thankful that we have a Church that is founded on continuing revelation, as well as personal inspiration. It makes all the difference in the way that the Church functions.
I loved especially the talk by Elder Jorg Klebingat about accountability and the gospel. I love the six points that he shared:
1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual welfare. Don’t expect others to do it for you.
2. Take responsibility for your own physical welfare. Your body is a temple.
3. Give voluntary, whole-hearted obedience to the Lord.
4. Be really, really good at repenting (his words, not mine). Repent in real time.
5. Become really, really good at forgiveness.
6. Accept trials as part of the mortal journey.
All of it is about the atonement, about relying on Jesus Christ to be better, to overcome challenges, and to be committed to the Lord’s commandments and requirements of us. I love also the ringing truth that Elder Klebingat declared over the pulpit. He really personified “fear no man.” It’s also really cool to note that he was just recently released as the Kyiv, Ukraine mission president. He definitely teaches like a mission president. :)
Between sessions on Sunday, we had a district lunch, which was a blast. We had picked up tamales from a local tamale shop on Saturday night for the lunch, and they were SO good. It was an experiment, however, to warm them up, because all of us were a little confused as to how that would work. Luckily it all turned out okay. Big blessings and little blessings.
I’ve been so impressed by how closely the Savior works with us – he is in the details of life so personally, and guides us to exactly where we need to be. I have a CD that Sister Johnson and I often listen to when we are driving to appointments with the song, “Jesus Savior, Pilot Me.” The words of the title themselves remind me of the power that he has to help us to get safely to harbor, to show us how to handle different situations, how to overcome weaknesses and trials without being overwhelmed completely.
This title was also going to be way cooler because this past week we found out that our mission has been asked to test pilot a training program with social media devices. We were to get them on Thursday (iPad minis), but we got an email this morning that due to some missionaries in another mission, the Missionary Department in SLC is reconsidering how to proceed with it all. Lame.
Anyway. I’m so thankful for the opportunity we have to have individual relationships with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ. It makes all the difference, not simply as a missionary, but as a member of the human family. I just love this Gospel!
Photo 1 – Sister Ryane, Me, and Sister Johnson outside the LA Temple.
Photo 2 – General Conference district lunch – tamales!
Picture 3 – New baby scriptures. They fit in my palm!
Picture 4 – Filipino Brothers.
5. General Conference invitation
6. Temple Trip