We had yet another surprising week here in the land of Flags that started not less than an hour after I e-mailed you last week! While shopping for cereals, Sis. Sanchez received a phone call from the Assistants: she was getting emergency transferred! And you’ll never guess who came to live with me and be Sis. Madsen’s companion: Sister Montoya! Woooooooooooooo. I’m so very, very happy! Now I get to see her die! Pretty wild stuff. She had to get surgery last week and is on bed rest for at least a week more, so we’ve been doing exchanges right and left to help Sis. Madsen work her area. It has been difficult because we’re sacrificing a lot of hours that we really need, so our numbers are lower at the moment. But it’s worth it to have her here with me! This will be my third transfer living with her, so we’ve gotten pretty close. It’s good to have her around. It has been so strange to go out with Sister Madsen though! We haven’t taught together since the MTC! She’s having a lot of self-confidence issues, unfortunately, but Sis. Montoya, Sis. Monsuy, and I are doing our best to encourage and help her in our own unique words and ways. Her trainer did a lot of things for her and hindered her progression a little bit, so she’s still kind of learning the ropes, but things are improving with her daily. She just needs a constant flow of positive feelings and the truth. We have to encourage her a lot to trust in herself and her calling. God truly has trusted us to be His hands here, and because of that we have to take action. He trusts us to make our own decisions and to represent His son, all he requires of us is our best effort. We fail all of the time, it’s just part of the mortal deal, and sometimes that really does make it hard. But as long as we do all that we can, He promises to take us the rest of the way, to guide us with the Spirit and to help others recognize the truth too. It’s truly remarkable when you start to recognize how many tiny details He influences to make His work come together and move forward – and that’s just here! It’s happening all day, every day, all over the world! Si, la lucha es real, pero totalmente vale la pena.
We had Specialized Training on Friday during which we met up with the four southern zones, so I got to see my old district again (at least, what’s left of it)! It was fun to have some friends this time. During my first ST, I hardly knew anyone at all, so it was a bit uncomfy at times, but fortunately I have had several companions, districts, and now areas, so it makes our big meetings much more exciting! Definitely something good to look forward to. And President Richardson had a big surprise for us: he finally let us watch Meet the Mormons! It was amazing! The chapel felt just like a movie theater – people were even texting and everything! No popcorn though. I found it very uplifting and encouraging, and I loved the variety of people they focused on! If you haven’t seen it yet, go and do!
Our crazy Christy is quite the interesting lady, and now she has been awarded the title of “Best Drunken Missionary in Miami” (still unofficial) because of her impressive efforts to share the gospel, even though she isn’t quite a member yet. The other day as we sat waiting on the pool deck of an apartment complex for her, we were surprised when she arrived with two new friends with whom she wanted to share “the word”. They ended up being really cool! One of them was Muslim and the other not very religious, but we ended up having a really positive conversation. The only problem was that Christy was so drunk that she wouldn’t really let anyone finish their thoughts and interrupted everyone. Thank goodness for the Word of Wisdom. She does an amazing job of sharing how the gospel is helping her, but we’re still trying to train her up on the finer details. It’s a work in progress. 🙂
Something that has relentlessly come up in the past little while has been the importance of specific prayers. I am just beginning to understand how powerful a prayer can be when you ask your Heavenly Father for exactly what you want. Don’t just pray to have success and happiness. Pray that during the next hour you will find a family of four while you are knocking doors that will get baptized by December 7th – because it works! As long as you ask in faith and you do all you can do to accomplish what you have asked for, it happens. Seriously. Try it. In Alma 2:28, it talks about how they prayed mightily to specifically overcome their enemies, even though they were numbered as the sands of the sea. And they did! And then they used their bodies as a bridge to cross the river (maybe the words aren’t exactly asi, but that’s how I like to picture it – the scriptures get really exciting when that’s basically your only reading material). We have a recent convert here named Maria who tells us that she always talks to God like he’s her “BFF”, and it really is true. Every time she prays with us, she’s honest and her words come from the heart. That’s really the point. Let Him know what you really want and need. And then act in faith afterward. I had so many more stories to tell you about this, but no time to do so!
But go say a specific prayer today! Make God your BFF! I know it sounds ridiculous! But don’t you think that your Father wants you to be honest and candid with Him? He has all the tools imaginable to help you. You just have to ask.
awkward pre-email selfie because I always forget to take pictures during the week (I’ll repent, I promise). Sorry that I look like a noodle-head. 🙂 Also, I promise that I don’t wear the same outfit every day.