Monday, July 25, 2016

#59 There can be miracles...

Well this has been the TRUNKIEST p-day ever.

Here's why. We went to Chili's to lunch and then got frozen yogurt. 2 things that I have not done in over a year. Then a Michael Buble song came on in the mall. And then I logged onto my email to find emails about college, an email from the mission offices asking me questions so that they can buy my plane ticket, and an email from Elder Winzenreid saying he gets home next week! Like what the heck! I still have like 6 months left. So I'm nooooot trunky nor will I ever be. But today, yes it was trunky.

But we're not going to focus on that. 

Instead we'll focus on the miracles. There's a song that I always listen to that is actually from the movie The Prince of Egypt which I have never even seen but the music is top notch and it's a song that is called "When You Believe". The original from the movie is lovely, but I am partial to the Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey rendicion because you know I love it when the black girls belt it out (I strive to be able to do that better, for that I listen to the masters). I invite you to listen to them both. In the chorus it says "There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve, when you believe, somehow you will, you will when you believe." Inspirational right? And now just imagine two powerhouses busting their lungs out singing it and try to hold back the tears. 

So this has kind of become my.... lema? how is that in English... 
Because you see, we had concilio this past week, and all we talked about was the missionary broadcast that there was this past January about preaching repentance and baptizing converts. Our new president is really focusing in on just that. So me and my companion were discussing about how we could better incorporate that into our proselyting and we decided to have repentance be it's own lesson because sometimes we don't put enough emphasis on that. But it kind of scared us because who reeeeaaaallly likes crying repentance to people? It's uncomfortable and awkward. But we decided that there was a reason that this had such a large emphasis, not only in our own mission, but in missionary work as a whole.
Well this determination that we had was put to the test yesterday. We found a new investigator last week. His name is Reinar. His wife is a member but he has absolutely ZERO interest in the church. He's heard the lessons before but quite frankly he just made fun of the gospel. Last week was our first appointment and it was... awful. His poor wife has been going through some hard stuff with her autistic son and just with being the only member. Struggling. And we tried teaching them that the gospel could help us cope with these things, that their son would be perfect in the next life, and that they could be an eternal family. He didn't believe it and wasn't too excited with our setting a return appointment. But we did and it was for the next Sunday, or yesterday. So we go to the appointment yesterday, kind of nervous and scared because we didn't know what to teach and we didn't know how he would take it. The night before we planned to do repentance as a show of our faith that this is what God wants us to do, but I don't think we really trusted in the promises that had come with the invitation to preach repentance. But we did it. 

We started the lesson, putting on our brave faces. We read with them from Alma 36, Alma's conversion story, and we just discussed it. How Alma felt, how we feel when we sin, how it feels when we repent. All that jazz. And during the whole lesson, the weirdest thing was happening. Reinar was LISTENING. Not just listening, but intently, drinking in the words, nodding in agreement, reading the scriptures, participating. It was a miracle. A complete 180 from the first time we had visited him. And we asked him how he felt, to which he responded that he believed that everything we had said was true. A miracle. 

Now he's still not the golden investigator that every missionary hopes to find and baptize, but now he's a man open to learning. Maybe he'll get baptized, maybe he won't. but I am sure that when he does get baptized, it is because he is converted to the Lord through sincere repentance. It's the only way we can be converted. 

So what I learned is that God knows what he is doing. He gives us the opportunity to act on his promises and then fulfills them. Every time. it was kind of lame of me to not trust in this promise, what can I say the flesh is weak, but every time my testimony is stronger and stronger about the fulfillment of the promises of God. He works miracles. If you believe. 

I just want to end making a few birthday shout outs and these people will get their own emails of course because I love them, but just so everyone else can see how great I am to remember birthdays even when I am on another continent ;) 
Happy Birthday to  my favorite of all the Chuppies, Phat Knat. You're a great sister and I love ya to Peru and back. 
Happy Birthday to my main Bae Ansley Jo. Stop having dreams that I'm going to desert you ok?
Happy Birthday to my Hal Pal who doesn't even know who I am anymore and calls me Natalie... kind of destroys my heart completely but I still love her and I hope she still watches Reba at 2 everyday and then takes a nap. That was our routine. 
And a very belated Birthday to my Poppo! I'm sorry it's taken so long, I'm a bad daughter sometimes, but I love you too Paps! 

Well that has been my week! Enjoy the 100+ weather, I know I will be enjoying the 60 degree weather here.

Send my love to all and remember that there are miracles when you believe! 
Hermana Rust 

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