Friday, August 2, 2013

Monday, July 22, 1013 - An Instrument in His Hands

This week we have seen the tender mercies of the Lord. First, the monsoon season is upon us and it feels WONDERFUL! I love the storms and how it gets down to in the 90s--freezing! lol I've acclimated big time where I can't believe I'm saying that 100 and 90 is cool. The natives complain how "humid" it is and I just say how much better I can breathe. It's really not even that humid- maybe about 10%. Funny Arizonians. We do not have our car any more. The APs gave the car to the sisters living with us since they cover the Singles Ward. Oh well, I do like biking a lot better, but we do live 3 miles out of our area. So it's fun times.
This week we had our lesson with Julie and Johnny. We gave them a church tour and they loved it! They came to church on Sunday and the ward all introduced themselves and everything went smoothly. They could only stay for Sacrament Meeting because Julie had work, but it was a start. We really do love them! Julie was worried about their two year-old being able to sit through sacrament meeting, but he was the most well-behaved child. Their daughter who's nine is coming home in a week from her dad's house. We're hoping to start teaching her as well.
We also were able to teach Barbra more often this week. We were also able to actually sit in her house because her daughter wasn't home. (Her daughter and her boyfriend do not like LDS people, I guess, and don't want us in the house. So whenever we catch Barbra at home we have to sit outside in the 110+ degrees). Her son was also there and he listened in. It was a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. We invited Barbra to a baptism, church, and the mission president's devotional. She said she would come to the baptism and the mission president's devotional. Her son is really sick and in pain, so they were going to go to the emergency room after we talked with them on Friday because the doctors have no idea what is wrong with him.

The baptism was the sisters living with us, a girl who's 18. Barbra loved the baptism and was crying throughout it because she felt the spirit so strongly. She said she wanted to be baptized some day. We really weren't able to talk with her about it since our ride needed to go home. She then expressed she couldn't come to church because she didn't have any appropriate dresses and she felt uncomfortable at church. We decided to fix that. We got permission to go to Goodwill with her that night to buy some dresses for her. We found a good dress and she said she probably wouldn't come to church, but would see us at the baptism. I prayed that Barbra would have the desire to come to church the next morning.
We get a call while we're in our first ward saying she was coming to church! Yay! She comes to church and the sacrament meeting was also great in this ward. She loved it and the topic was covenants- in particular baptism. Just what she needed to hear. We then found out the Gospel Principles class wasn't going on because our Ward Mission Leader was out of town and didn't get a substitute. We pulled in the first councilor and taught Barbra a lesson right there. It was one of the most spiritual lessons we've had with her yet because it was in the chapel with a member, we hadn't been able to get the lessons with a member yet (long story). The time was right and I asked Barbra if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the priesthood authority of God. She said she'd love to. We weren't able to set an exact date as of yet, but she said she wanted this!

She then went to the mission president's devotional. It's when people who have recently converted to the Church share their testimonies and then President Nattress talks. Barbra loved it and felt the spirit strongly again. She said she loves going to church and this is what she was missing in her life. She wants to start over and feel the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. It was the best weekend ever! We came to find out her son had a thought of what might be wrong with him Friday night. We figured out the time schedule and he thought of the answer just after we had closed and prayed for him and Barbra. It's amazing how God answers our prayers. He does it in His own time and in His own way.
This week has been a faith building experience. There has just been one after the other. We met a man on the street, Antonio, who said he'd love to learn more and set up an appointment for yesterday at 3. We got the house early so we walked around talking to people. We talked with a young man named Chris. He also set up a time to meet this next week! It was amazing! Even though Antonio wasn't there for our appointment, we needed to be there because Christ was interested. We shall see about Friday. We also visited an active member and when we asked if we could share a thought, I turned to the scriptures. I was flipping through trying to see what scripture I should share, when I heard a voice say "What you read this morning." I turned to Alma 37:36-37 and the member started crying and said that was exactly what she need to hear. The Lord is looking out for everyone and knows them personally. We had also met a couple in the street two weeks ago who said they would be interested. His family had actually converted to our church a couple of years ago when he was a teenager. He had not converted and he had just moved here from California with his wife. We got their number and then said we'd call them. We called them and they set up an appointment for this Wednesday. We also had four members give us referrals to teach their friends. One of them is out of our area, so we gave their information for the missionaries in that area, but the other ones are in ours. Two of the referrals we just received yesterday and one of them the boy wants to be baptized! Like I said, the tender mercies of the Lord. If we really look for them throughout the day, it will amaze you how much the Lord is in everything we do. He really works miracles and I'm humbled to be an instrument in His Hands. I love the scripture in Mosiah 28:3. This is truly how I feel. Love should be the motivating factor in everything we do.
Sister Collins