Monday, December 12, 2016
This week in El Paso has been incredible!!!
We started out the week by hearing from a member of the 70, Elder Pearson. He really got us excited about the work. He reminded me that the gospel isn't just for "some people". It is for EVERYBODY! We are all God's children and he has restored the true church of Jesus Christ for ALL OF US.
The Gospel is the Medicine!
So, that night after the meeting we showed up at an appointment and the guy wasn't there. We were so bummed out. We knocked on his door, the windows, the garage...nothing. Then I remembered that we had met someone the week before who lived on the same road as our canceled appointment!
Last week we were walking up the road and saw an old man (P) working on his car battery. We walked up and started talking to him. He said he has cancer and is going through a lot of pain and struggles. He said he has already talked to Mormon missionaries before and he needed to go inside because it was too cold out for him. Sister Thompson read him a scripture about the healing power of Christ, but he was still being a grump so we left. Well, P popped into my mind after this appointment canceled. Sis. Thompson looked at me like I was crazy...and I felt kind of crazy...we knew that P was a grump and not interested. But, we knocked on his door and were surprised to see his face light up! He invited us right in! He told us all about his struggles. He has so many health problems. The guy has almost died FOUR TIMES! He started crying....he said that when he saw us walking up to his car last week he thought to himself, "Are those angels?". He continued to tell us, with tears streaming down his face, that he believes we are angels come to help him. He asked us why he has so many trials, and why he has been given so many chances to live? "What have I done wrong? What is God trying to tell me?"
We told him that he didn't do anything wrong, and that he is a son of God. As he began to realize his true identity his tears continued to come. He spread out a blanket on the ground, we all got on our knees, and he prayed to his Heavenly Father for the first time. The prayer was so unbelievably beautiful. The spirit was SO strong I can't even describe it.
We went back later in the week. We walked in to find a book of Mormon on his table. The missionaries had given it to him 30 years ago. Don't tell me that God doesn't prepare people to hear this message....The gospel is TRUE and He wants ALL of us to have it!
Heavenly Father Hears our Prayers!
This week we talked to everybody we possibly could. Turns out a lot of people "already know the word" and "got saved a few years ago" and "don't know anybody who could use anymore happiness"....uh-huh.....
anyway. We talked to 53 people who weren't interested. At the end of a really long, but really fun day of getting shut down (i'm serious it was actually fun and happy....don't know how but missionary life is just awesome) Hermana Thompson thought of a woman who she met knocking doors the week before I got here.
When Hermana T and her old companion knocked on L's door, L asked them to come back later because she was about to have a baby that week! L's name came into Hermana Thompsons head so we went to her house and knocked on the door. L invited us right in! We met her three month old baby and one of her 4 young sons. She told us that she has been really struggling after this pregnancy. We sat down and began teaching her the same thing we taught P, that she is a precious daughter of Heavenly Father and he LOVES her. We asked her if she has ever prayed. This is what she said:
Several years ago her son broke his arm. The doctor re-set it and said that he would be in a lot of pain for the first day. That night her son was crying in pain. He couldn't sleep, and neither could she. She prayed to God and asked him to help her son to sleep. Immediately her son stopped crying and fell asleep. She looked over to his bed as she drifted to sleep and saw two arms, dressed in a white tunic, wrapped around her sleeping son. She rolled over in bed, full of peace and amazement...trying to figure out if she was dreaming or not...and saw the refection of a face in the window. She described it as a glorious face.
We were amazed by her story. The spirit was so strong as she told it, so we knew it was true. We invited her to pray again, out loud, but she was very nervous. We opened a pamphlet to a page that had a simple guide on how to pray. She bowed her head and offered a beautiful prayer. The spirit filled the room. After she closed the prayer we sat in silence. She was holding her baby close and kissing her. Nobody wanted to break the spirit.
Hearing someone pray to Heavenly Father, after learning who he really is and how much he wants to listen to us, is the best experience in the world.
She opened her eyes, and closed the pamplet. On the front cover of the pamplet is a picture of Jesus Christ coming out of the tomb. His arms, clothed in a white tunic, are extended outward. She paused as she saw it, "Those are the arms...I'm certain those are them!"
Then she said again, "I know because that is the face I saw! I saw his long hair, and his beard, and that face! That is him!"
"Do you know who that is?" We asked. She didn't. We explained who Jesus Christ is, and that he is her Savior, brother, and friend. (I don't know what really happened that night when she prayed, but I believe that whether she dreamed it or really saw what she says she did was an answer from God.)
She has set a goal to be baptized and wants to learn all she can to prepare.
Poco a Poco (little by little)
G is progressing really quickly. He has started to recognize the spirit as an answer to his prayers. It is really interesting teaching a Jehova's Witness. They have a lot of beliefs that don't line up with ours, so we just have to slowly and gently teach him the truth with a lot of love. We had a lesson on Jesus Christ last night. We showed him the "Because of Him" video from last Christmas. G said something like, "I knew most of that...nothing new...but when I saw the baby Jesus, I felt something. I'm not sure why, maybe I never pictured him as a helpless baby because we don't celebrate christmas. But that is really special...he was just a helpless baby."
Every one is getting excited for the holiday! I'm mostly excited that D and M finally have time off to plan their wedding! I can't wait....we have a wedding onand a baptism on ! D is so ready and can't wait to finally get baptized. Keep him and his fiance in your prayers!!!
Couple weeks ago we went to find a woman who was baptized but never comes to church. We knocked on the door and a 16 year old girl answered. We asked her if she knew the woman we were looking for. She said, "ya that's my mom, but something happened and we won't see her for a long time."
We went back this week and found out that her mom is actually in jail, She and her three younger siblings are cared for by her dad and his sister who recently moved in. She is a very serious girl and her siblings are much more care-free. You can tell that she is in so much pain and is just trying to keep the family together while their mom is gone. We had a really awesome talk and she said she would love it if we came and taught her and her siblings the gospel! I know that if anything can ease her burdens it is the gospel! (oh ya...none of them are baptized...muahahahaha)
We are loving the holdiay season. It's so awesome.
I've eaten 900,000,000 tamales and none of them are as good as Estela's.
I asked my neighbor if I could sit on his bike and take a picture...so here is a picture of me sitting on Samuel's bike. HAHAHAHA now we just need to teach Sam the gospel.
I love you all!!! <3