As soon as I logged off last week I realized that I forgot to tell you I was going to the temple today so my P-day got switched to today. Sorry! I am just dying for Jacob's call. I was certain it would come last week! I'm thinking he's going to Chicago Spanish speaking. Or Peru. Those are my guesses. But truly I don't care where he goes, I just can't wait for him to be a missionary! It is the best privilege in the world and I know it will bring me endless comfort to have my little brother out serving the Lord along side me :) This week was full of sunshine. Both literally and spiritually.
This is it. I feel it. The week of miracles. Not to say miracles don't happen everyday but things are really starting to happen here in Spokane Valley. Out of the woodwork we are finding less-actives and part-member families. We've found a lot of potential in both of our wards and I just feel a lot happier.
Yesterday was beautiful! Sister Sanchez and I are hopeful that Spring is coming! The snow has been melted for the last week or so and it's just been all around more pleasant weather. Still cold, but much more pleasant. It probably also helped that I bought some better boots last week. (to my family-thanks for that $50 visa card. I bought some water-proof, insulated boots from Kohl's--they have Kohl's!--and so now tracting has been much better without soaking socks!) I remember Sister Hicks telling me that the Monday before temple day always is a day of miracles. This is my second time to the temple and my second witness to this.Yesterday was full of miracles and blessings and tender mercies.
So a couple weeks ago I told you about Liz. We tracted all day and hit our 20 QGCs and then all of a sudden she opened the door and let us in. Anyway, it's been hard to meet with her since our church tour. She's been out of town and really busy but we had an appointment set up with her yesterday. Well, she wasn't there. Typical. But we had planned all our back-ups in her neighborhood and even our next lesson was her next door neighbor so we were in the area for the time. And so we were around when she pulled up with a car full of groceries. We could tell she was stressed out and probably wouldn't want to have even a short lesson with us but we went up anyway. She was trying to get organized in her home and after a weekend of traveling, and a science fair project for her daughter, and her son has Autism, she was just swamped.
People aren't super keen on service done for them. All people, no matter where you go. It's hard to let someone serve you and even more specifically, it's super hard to let someone clean your house. But somehow the Lord just softened her heart and she let us come in to clean. We felt like Ammon taking care of King Lamoni's sheep.
"Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words."
We knew that serving and helping Liz would earn her trust and allow her to see that as missionaries we are truly here to help and uplift her. And so we got to work. We put the groceries away and the dishes away and washed the dishes in the sink and wiped the counters and it was amazing! There isn't a greater high than serving someone else. Especially someone who needs it. She was so grateful and feeling so relieved. We kept telling her that as missionaries, all we want to do is serve and help others and so she felt better about letting us help. But it was miraculous because she just opened up to us. She told us all about her husband (who is deployed in Iraq right now) and her children and her dreams and hopes. And after we cleaned we sat down and casually showed her a mormon.org video. The girl in the video is a dancer from London and she talks about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is all about change. How we apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change our lives. It was perfect. The spirit was there and it just felt so good. Sister Sanchez and I are just thrilled and excited. Afterwards Sister Sanchez said to me, "those who are prepared to hear the message, will always let you in to serve and let you in to teach." I know it's true. And I know the Lord is putting those prepared and ready to hear the message in our path.
We have been visiting all of our members here. After tracting a lot with no success we realized that the only way to find people to teach is through the members. Family and friends, do you hear me? You matter SO much to help in the success of building the kingdom of God! We have been trying to have quick 15 minute visits with just about every family. And we've had referrals from everyone! It's been amazing. I feel like I was a chump before my mission. I never had referrals for the missionaries because I was too scared to share the gospel with my friends, but seriously! If you pray for an experience, for a name or opportunity the Lord will bless you. He will give you comfort and confidence to share the gospel. I'm so grateful for the members here. They really get it. People are always sending us to their friends or they make plans to have us for dinner with some friends or they want us to teach their less-active family members. I really, truly believe the only way to work is to work with the members. And perhaps, not every referral we receive leads to something greater, but I know that there is a reason the Lord wants us trying certain people or certain areas. Last week, the Z. family gave us a referral for their Hispanic neighbor, Lorena. When we tried the first time, she wasn't home. We always try to knock the houses around referrals so we knocked those on either side of her, but I had a feeling we should try across the street. I hesitated so we didn't. Then the next time we went to try Lorena, she was home. And not interested. But I had a feeling again to try across the street. It's funny to knock in nicer areas, because most times the people are happy and content with their religion and family. Nothing has compelled them to be humble so they are generally not interested. That's how I was feeling about this house. But we knocked anyway. And we met Jonathan. Super nice guy and interested too. I don't know what it will lead to if more than just a good contact and a good taste in his mouth for the missionaries but it was just a testament to me that the Lord knows better than us. Perhaps the reason He inspired the Z. family to tell us about Lorena is because He knew the only time we would probably knock their street was if we had a referral.
Well, I always know there is more to say but just never enough time. I am happy. I am loving being a missionary. Last week we spent an hour watching mormon messages on LDS.org (President Mullen lets us spend a few hours a week exploring LDS.org and Mormon.org so we are up to date) and we left feeling so spiritually high. I know this gospel is true! I know it with my whole heart. I love the Book of Mormon. I know that we have a living prophet. Our loving Father in Heaven still speaks to us today. I feel so close to my Heavenly Father as I serve as His hands. I just feel so filled with His love and spirit. It's an honor. It really is.
Welp, I love you! Watch the mormon messages. Especially the one about Dads. And mormon.org people. I'm not sure if they've gotten a new art director or if different people create all these videos but right now, the latest videos are just stunning visually and spiritually. I am convinced more and more as I serve my mission that God is an artist. And it inspires me. I am itching to get home and create more. If there is one thing I am certain of for my post-mission life, it's that I can't wait to make more with my heart and my hands. I loveeee it!