OKAY OKAY, two weeks worth of adventures. Ready, Freddy?
First I'll tell you about all the miracles...
Last Monday, right before Sister Johnson left, we stopped by a Sister in the ward to say goodbye. She was bedridden - she's been trying everything to have a baby. Just after we got in, 3 other sisters came in, and they all climbed up on her bed with her in their jammies. It was the epitome of sisterhood. They talked and laughed - never once did one jokingly put down another, or mock, or anything like that. And everything was eventually related back to God and His plan for us. I just wanted to weep with joy. Here are these women - mothers, friends, and in the midst of all their trials, they find simple joy and love in their friendship and love for the gospel. They were so real, though. Everything they said was honest and heartfelt. I hope to have that, too. The thing is, without my mission and these experiences, I don't know if I could. I was so self-conscious before. I was incredibly dependent on a boy to tell me that I'm beautiful and what have you. I wasn't confident enough in myself to have girlfriends. I'm realizing what I was missing out on. There's a connection there that can't be found anywhere else. So we testified ourselves of the love that God has for us, and that His plan is bigger than we know. Sister Johnson gave an incredible and powerful testimony. The Spirit was so strong.
On Wednesday morning, as we were driving to transfers, we were watching the sunrise and incredibly, we saw a rainbow in the clouds. It wasn't a rainy day at all - but there was a rainbow. I told Sister Johnson that it was God telling her He was pleased with all the work she's done on her mission. It was beautiful.
We met 3 more less active members this week - including one that wasn't on our records! We tracted into her, and she let us in. We only talked for a minute before we said a prayer with her, but somehow the subject of her siblings and where they lived and such came up, and I TOTALLY KNOW HER SISTER! She lives in Norman, and she and her husband fed us and we geeked out about Harry Potter together! How crazy is that connection? The Lord knows what He's doing. :)
TARYN CAME TO CHUUUUURRRRRRRRCHHH!!! AH! We were so happy and excited! Now we just have to get her there all the time. :)
SISTER CARDON, my new companion, has arrived! Not only that, but she's a powerhouse, and bold, too. Let me introduce you. Sister Cardon is the youngest of 8, and second missionary in her family. She's from Logan, Utah, but has been going to school at BYU Idaho for the last couple years, and she already has her associates! She's borderline albino (like, legitimately), 21, an artist, singer, actor, plus a zillion other talents she'll tell you about. She came on a mission because she wanted to be like Christ. And she loves watching documentaries, so she knows tons of weird random facts.
|Sister Cardon and Sister Clark|
We met a member family that moved in just a week ago from Utah - their neighbors down the street, also in our ward, had us over for dinner the other night. They welcomed this family in right away, which was a huge miracle. Sister Cardon was inspired to suggest we all go meet them, so all four of us missionaries showed up at their door. It's a miracle that they were found and welcomed in so quickly - thank goodness for observant members that act on faith. We all shared a message with them that was obviously one they needed. It was awesome. :)
SOME OTHER STUFF THAT HAPPPENED RECENTLY:
We got prayed for three times (instead of us praying for them)! It's happened before, but it was funny that it happened so many times. One lady said, "Well, didn't God tell you it's FREEZING outside?" 'Cause it was, and then she prayed for our witnessing and for warmth. So that was nice. :)
Hahahahaha whaddya call a fish with no eyes? A FSH. Hahahaha
I've been doing really well at the no sweets thing, and it's been SO HARD. Rice krispie treats, brownies, marshmallow brownie swirl things, strawberry pie, ice cream, fun dips.... oh man, you don't even know. BUT I HAVEN'T HAD THEM ONCE. That's a lie, I did once, but it was from 80-year old Sister Prince, and you don't say no to her. Those were some dang good cookies, too. The only bad thing is that I think I'm swapping sweets for biscuits and cornbread. Oh man. I won't tell you how many biscuits I ate this morning.
We tracted into a mostly naked guy. It's too bad he was good looking, too. ("Um, hi. Whaaaaaaaaawe're rrrrepresentatives of Jesus Christ, uhhhh") Just kidding, he wasn't naked. He had shorts on. :D
We went over to one member's house yesterday, and I was sitting on the couch with my comp. Their little boy, probably 3, came over to me and sat next to me and gave me a book. I opened it up and started reading to him, and then he looked up at me, realized I did have short brownish hair, but that I was NOT his mother, and snatched the book back and found his mom. It was so darling and hilarious.
We had a happy valentine's day - the STL's got us roses. :) And I got that darling package! Thank you family. It made me so happy. And I will be wearing those socks all the day long. :)
We had dinner with a couple the other night at Applebee's (guess what I got, Chels?) and during the dinner, the husband looked over to his wife and said, "I don't like sitting across from you." And before I could suggest trading places, she said, "Why's that?" and he said, "Because I can see your pretty blue eyes and then I forget what I'm doing." AWWWWWWHHHH. They've been married like 18 years or something. It was sweet. :)
All in all, these last couple weeks have been full of little miracles, and God is helping me understand that "the little deals are the big deals." I've noticed I have a lot of faith that God will help me with the big things, and big decisions, but I'm lacking as far as knowing that God cares about all the little things in our lives, too. I'm learning, slowly but surely. It's been rough seeing the Elders in our ward have so much success with baptisms, and that we have not. I know working with less active members is so important, and that the numbers we have don't measure our success - it's just a hard thing to see the comparison, you know?
But Brother Boyer said something in correlation meeting yesterday that really struck me - he talked about how we, as disciples of Christ and messengers of His gospel, are meant to be as transparent as we can be. The more transparent we are, the more the light and life of Christ can shine through us to others. We have to be so willing to give our all, that God can take us and make us full instruments in His work.
Another thing that stood out to me this week was in our lesson in gospel principles. We talked about the creation and the fall of Adam and Eve. "God made the Earth beautiful and productive." Elder Beus said something I'd never thought of before - God could have made this Earth so much simpler. We could have always eaten the same thing, worn the same thing, etc etc, and still have returned home. But there is so much JOY here. God made everything so beautiful, so wonderous. And not only did He make everything so incredible, He made it FOR us, and entrusted it all to our care. He did that because He loves us. With all that, He gave us something so much more precious - He gave us His Son. He knew not all would accept His sacrifice, but still, He gave His Son to all of us.
I think that's beautiful. Look around you, look at all the beautiful things God has given you, and thank Him for that today. Point it out to someone who might not know God as well as you do, too.
I love this gospel. This work is hard. I'm certain it's supposed to be that way, and I love it.
AND I LOVE YOU. Happy Valentine's day! :)