Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great week this week! This week has been another interesting week. We were FINALLY able to get the bike fixed, but the following day, Elder Brady ran over an earring that pierced his tire and tube. (Yeah I know, we were shocked too as to how that thing held its form when he ran over it). So that put us on foot again for this whole entire week, which was really frustrating. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. I don't know why this is happening to us, but I do know that God has a reason for it, and all I can do at this point is trust in Him and go and do what He wants me too.
This week was full of miracles. One of which came while at an appointment with our investigator Judy, who has a date to be baptized and had been struggling little bit. She felt like she didn't "know enough" about the church and the gospel, which is definitely an understandable thing to feel as an investigator. But the wonderful thing about the gospel is, you're always learning no matter how long you've been in the church. When planning for her lesson that day, we planned to read in Alma 32, which talks about faith in comparison to a seed, and continually nourishing it to ultimately grow it into something beautiful. We walked into the lesson and before we said a word she said "before we start, I want to say something. I was reading in Alma 32 this morning about faith (it just happened to be where she was at in her reading of the Book of Mormon) and I want to be baptized on my birthday still, I'm going to do it". Her birthday is . Elder Brady and I were taken off guard haha. It was a really neat experience for us. We continued on to have a wonderful lesson, and the spirit was very strong during the discussion.
Another really cool experience happened this week. We were able to hear from a General Authority, Elder Dyches of the Seventy, who came to our mission to speak and give a training and answer any questions we may have. We heard trainings from President Snow, Sister Snow, Sister Dyches, and Elder Dyches that day, and it was a very powerful meeting. It really helped me notice and recognize what I have been doing right as a missionary as well as what I can do to better myself and become a shepherd of Christ.
My final experience this week happened . Every week , we take 3 hours out of our day to plan out the week and make specific plans for each investigator we teach. After that, we make individual and companionship goals for the week. One of my individual goals was for us to find a family to teach. We finished our planning session and ended with a prayer, and in the prayer prayed for help and guidance to do the things we needed to do to accomplish our goals. After that we went out and talked to people. While we were out knocking doors, we came across a man named Jeremy who is looking to find himself in his life and find a church that fits him. His wife is fully active and practicing in a different religion, and he didn't really agree with everything they taught. We talked to him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as God's plan for each of us. He was interested in our message and set a return appointment that next day. Before we left his doorstep, he told us that he had 2 kids and was married, and that all 4 of them would be there for the lesson the following day. We found a family to teach. When he said that it hit me, and I was overcome with a feeling of humbleness and gratitude to the Lord for hearing and answering my prayers, and doing so just hours after the prayer was said. That is something I've never experienced before, and it really touched me. I am eternally grateful for my Father in Heaven who loves you and I, and who hears and answers prayers. I have a firm testimony in that, that He hears and answers our prayers. He is always here for us, He NEVER leaves us alone. He knows us individually and knows what we need and what we desire. I know this to be true. I love my Father in Heaven and His son, our brother, Jesus Christ.
My spiritual thought this week comes from a devotional given by Michael Wilcox at BYU-Hawaii. In it he talks about prayer and receiving answers to them. He talks about a story in Mark chapter 6 where Christ feeds the five thousand, then goes to pray while the Apostles go out to sea. Christ prays a very long time sometimes, because He's the Son of God. The apostles were out at sea and rowing throughout the night, waiting for Christ to come, and He didn't come until the fourth watch. The Hebrew night was split up into four watches, 1st is , 2nd is , 3rd is to 3, and the 4th is 3-6. So these apostles were rowing throughout the night, waiting for their Master, and after Christ finished praying, He sat and watched the apostles rowing in the strong wind and struggling, but waited to walk out to see them. In this devotional, Brother Wilcox compares this to prayers. No matter how intently and sincerely we pray, sometimes it will take some time to receive an answer. That is because we worship a "fourth watch" God. Sometimes God lets us struggle a little bit, he has to let us get to the fourth watch. That really stuck out to me, because I have been feeling like i haven't received answers to prayers, or I haven't felt the spirit as much,, and its been hard for me. But this really opened my eyes as to how Christ sometimes works. Don't assume He's not there, He doesn't care, or He's not listening, because that isn't true. He cares, He listens, and He's there. He is always there. Sometimes we just have to get to the fourth watch. Brothers and Sisters, I know that God hears and answers our prayers. He is there for us every step of the way, no matter what. Keep pressing forward, keep fighting, and keep on keeping on. The Lord is there and hears your fervent and sincere prayers. Trust in the Lord and continue to show and strengthen your faith in Him, and those answers will come.
I love all of you. You are all blessings in my life. I pray for you and your well being. Until next week.
Some of the original squad from the MTC, Elder Rigby, me, and Elder Smith featuring Sister Gibson in the background (she's in my zone haha)
We went to 7-Eleven and this dog looked like he was getting impatient waiting for his owner to get back into the passenger seat
Member's made us some mean omelets, super good!