Hello Dear Ones!
Happy Voting Day! My goodness I can feel the anxiousness involving tonight's announcement...I pray the voters will be intelligent and that the Lord's will will be done! Happy Birthday this week to my awesome Sister LaDawn, and to my amazing mother! Hope your birthdays are blessed and that it reminds you how lucky you are to have had these years here with all of their joys and sorrows that have made you the incredible people you are today!
Another week gone! They really are quite slow in the beginning but are speeding up now and going by faster and faster. I really can't believe it is already November! Holidays are coming around and it is getting harder not to miss you all so much. Send lots of pictures! I want to feel like I was there!
This past week will probably not be in my memory as one of my favorite...it was pretty hard and my heart was broken but the Lord was right there to lift me up and help me keep going...as He always is. But I had another really neat experience with being guided by the Spirit. Last Friday all of our appointments were falling through again and we were going from one place to the next with no success and I felt bad because we were on exchanges and I wanted the sister visiting our area to have neat experiences and I was just thinking of all of these names and who we could see and would even be home on a Friday at 1pm. A name of an less-active young woman came into my head and as soon as it did my list of names just stopped...hers was all I could think about and what's crazy is I have never even-met her before. I thought, "Why am I thinking of her name? ...She's probably not even home...she should be at school." But it just wouldn't leave and I have learned never to second guess and to just follow and heed those promptings immediately. So I flipped a U and we went. We knocked on the door and her mother came and said her daughter only had class 'til 1 and would be home in about 30 minutes. We asked if we could come back another time because we had a meeting at 2 to be at. She got her calender to schedule it...in talking with her at the door we learned that she was baptized into the church but had left it and not been in years but that she wanted to come back. I asked if we could come in and share a message with her. We sat with her and she began to tell us of some struggles she's had but that she had realized that all of the bad things happening in her life, or that had happened, started because she stopped going to church...the true Church of Jesus Christ. She told us of some fears she had for her daughter and how she wanted her to come back too. She then began to cry and said she had been praying for angels to come and help her....to come and be in her home....I told here, "Well guess what? Heavenly Father loves you and He has heard your prayers, because here we are." She told us being a single mom was so hard and that it always hurt her feelings when the Elders would come because they could never come inside when she was home. Like I always testify...Heavenly Father micro-manages! He knows every need! We shared our testimonies with her and of the Atonement and her Savior's love for her. Then her daughter walked in and we got to meet her and get to know her too. She was a little reluctant and threw some attitude at us like some 13-year-olds do...but by the end she was singing a hymn with us and committed to try coming back. I left that meeting in awe...mostly because I was feeling like I wasn't as in-tune with the spirit as I have been and that the thought to go see her came as natural as, "I'm hungry I need to eat." Then to just follow it immediately and see it was needed and see you were on the Lord's errand to answer prayer is just indescribable. The spirit doesn't have to shake us too hard when we are always listening and ready to receive it's promptings...so don't doubt it if it just feels like a random thought...hearken to it.
We also had a couple more meetings with the woman, Teresa, that I, a couple weeks ago, felt prompted to go see on our way to lunch...she is progressing and keeping all of her commitments and it is so wonderful! She read everything about the Restoration we asked her too and came to church and this last weekend we just taught her about where she was before she came to earth and God's purpose for her here and the worth she has and all her potential and we related to the sweet baby boy she is pregnant with right now. The spirit was very strong and at the end we asked how she felt and she just cried and said, "Very touched." She is so sweet and you can tell she doesn't like it when we have to leave.
I got to see Micheal Tilly be baptized this weekend! It was one of the best baptisms I have ever been to. I have been teaching this man since I came out on my mission and I am not sure how much of him I mentioned in my letters...but he is the one who is very knowledgeable in the scriptures and active church-goer his whole life...who had 5 or 6 fellowshippers at each lesson who all use to go to his old church with him (including his pastor and his wife) and who had all converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was always sooooo intimidated to teach in those moments and felt like I had nothing to offer....but again, the Lord showed me tender mercies and that with him and with the power and authority of this calling He has ordained me to, I can confound and teach the wise. I honestly never thought I did much...but he told me with conviction what a blessing I had been to him and that I had shown him many knew things. His girlfriend (a member who was at all the lessons) also told me what an especially great blessing I had been in teaching him...that I was often so inspired with my words and the scriptures that I shared and that she had thought and said of me that I was a spiritual giant....Who ME? No...I stood in awe as they told me these things..in shock..and then just full of gratitude that the Lord has blessed me and been with me and helped me to be able to teach this man so full of faith. I was honored when he asked me to sing a duet with him at his baptism. He has a very Irish kind of sound and voice and we sang, "Who At My Door is Standing?" and it was really fun to match my voice to his and sing like an Irish singer...lots of falls and fast vibrato, ha ha. It was such a happy day!
It was Stake Conference this weekend here in El Cajon and we also were calling a new Stake Presidency so we had a member of the 70 here, Elder Kollicker (sp?) And wow! What amazing meetings! I was so filled with the spirit and very edified. Some things that were said at stake conference...one man was asked to bear his testimony on the spot and something he said that struck me was, "If we just do all the things the Church teaches and has been telling us to do our whole lives, it will change our lives!" SO TRUE! So silly huh? How miserable we make ourselves when we know the exact right things we need to be doing to be happy? My companions and I have come up with this great statement, "We can do anything, if we just do it!" Think about THAT one for a minute ha ha..too too true! Also, the Elder shared an amazing experience that the spirit confirmed to me powerfully. He was in Africa waiting to cross a bridge in the car and there was a little girl who came up to the window and pushed her nose against it and looked in at him. She didn't speak English but he said "Repeat after me...and pointed: I - I, am-am, a-a, Child-Child, of-of, God-God...and she repeated it. The mission president started singing the primary song for her to hear. The car moved on and when it stopped again that little girl came running back to the car and repeated, "I am a Child of God." He testified that this little girl was just as present there with any of us when we were in Heaven and heard the Father's plan and raised our hands to accept it. Her arm was fully extended just like mine, and just like yours...and it is up to us to be that voice of remembrance. Wow...it truly is. Do we love our brothers and sisters here on earth enough to remind them of who they are and to help them get back home to our Father in Heaven? Isn't that what we all promised to do?! How are you fulfilling that promise?! What more can you do? It is truly up to us. You do not need a name tag!
I say it every week and I'll say it again! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! You all can have this kind of joy in your life too! It comes from sharing the gospel, serving, and loving others unconditionally simply because you know they came from the same place you did and are trying to get to the same place you are, whether they realize it or not!
I love you all so so much! Thank you to those who have sent me letters and little emails of encouragement! It means the world to me to be thought of so much and I hope you keep them all coming! Your love and support really does lift me up and keep me going!