What an amazing week.
So this morning I started a little study on what it means to have a foundation in Christ. I was reading Helaman 5:12 because that's THE foundation scripture. When we have decided to follow Jesus Christ and put ourselves on His side by making covenants with God, the adversary can't touch us. But he can throw things. And sometimes those things are heavy and hard, and they will hit us and it will hurt. But with a foundation in Christ it all falls to Him. Every hard and challenging thing we face will be met with His strength, His solace, His courage, and His peace. And to create that foundation and see the Lords divine power in our lives we need to act with faith, with hearts full of gratitude, and wait for His arm to be revealed. (see Mark 5:36, 1 Nephi 18:11,16, D&C 123:17).
It was a hard week. More rejection than usual, lots of snow and walking in snow, and several exchanges (which as always good but more stressful than regular days for me). We kept asking ourselves what we were missing or what we were doing wrong. I know I'm not a perfect missionary, but as I examined my service I found that I really am working as hard as I can as best as I can. I was able to find several things to improve and apply which was great but we were still having a hard time finding people and helping them progress. We had miracles happen every day though- God reminding us that He was mindful of us and helping us in the work.
We were on the way to a lesson (and it went through 0.0) and talking with the lady who was going to help us in the lesson-- WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN a deer popped out of nowhere and was standing in the road and Sister Orchard saw it too late to stop so she screamed and closed her eyes and I just knew we were going to have a deer crash through our windshield. But in slow motion the deer somehow moved out of the way and the car slowed down. We didn't see the deer take any steps, and we didn't feel the car slow down, but somehow it happened and the car, us and the deer, are okay. Well actually I have no idea about how the deer is doing today...
In the lesson we had a very spirit led lesson with Alicia and she accepted our invitation to be baptized. She didn't accept a date but hey, baby steps.
We contacted a referral who told us very quickly that she was not interested. We asked her where she is from and she told us El Salvador- so of course we asked if she could teach us how to make Pupusas! And she invited us over for dinner the next day. We were able to teach her a little and she had some sincere questions. We are going back tonight with a thank you note and a Book of Mormon.
Lali is progressing slowly. She said the prayer for us and did beautifully! I let her kids play with my iPad camera and I left with 153 new photos of them xD.
On Sunday I got to see Wilmer and Luis! They are both doing so so well. Wilmer is busy busy busy helping the ward with all of the technology and Luis is really getting into family history work. He says I remind him of his mom because I am kind and happy and have pink skin. xD but that was a tender mercy.
Finally yesterday I read the talk, "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee" by our profeta Thomas S Monson. He says, "we become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required." As I read that it hit me that the work is not dependent on me- it is dependent on the Lord. And obviously my obedience and diligence and faith play a part, but God knows us so well and He knows the person He wants us to be and the lessons we need to learn. And guess what that lesson was for me this week.
Last night, at the end of another long and hard day, we taught Andres. And wow the spirit was so present. He is going through some significant health challenges and also trying to raise a young family. He told us at the beginning that he just really thinks religions are interesting to learn about but as we talked we could feel a real sincerity-- he is looking for something and he really wants to find it for himself and for his family. At the end of the lesson he offered the first prayer he has ever said and begged God for an answer- but mostly for the peace and direction his family needs right now. It was incredible. He is working towards baptism as well.
"27 Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually."
I gave a talk on Sunday about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. And that's basically what it comes down to. Having firm minds- dedicated to serving God with everything, sacrificing and improving the whole way, and then trusting God and being patient to see His arm revealed. Faith is increased and foundations are strengthened as we act with faith- and then give the glory to our Good God.
I love you!!