Sent on 3/2/15. Posted 3/3/25
We had a pretty wild experience in the which we followed a prompting and helped our Heavenly Father take care of a missionary’s family while he was gone. She had, unbeknownst to all, been seriously struggling with her testimony and forgiving others, and God sent us to the right place at the right time, so that over the course of three hours, she could get everything out and that we could deliver words straight from her Father. It was a very powerful spiritual experience for me as well, and a reminder that He really will take care of the people that I love while I am gone, and that he’ll probably do a whole lot better job than I ever could.
On our way to contact a referral, we parked down the street and started walking to his house trying to take advantage of any opportunity given to open our mouths. Surprisingly enough, the second my foot hit the pavement, a man came ambling down the road in his bike and stopped to ask us if we were there to pick up the TV on the corner. After fumbling for an answer and coming up with, “No, we already have one” (that’s not really a lie, is it?), we started chatting with him a bit. Disappointed that we weren’t going to take this giant television off of his hands, he started to bike away, but we stopped him by saying, “This is for you. God loves you”, and handing him a picture of Jesus Christ. Yes, though it sounds extremely cheesy, it’s a new OYM approach I’ve been taking from the which I’ve had some pretty cool results. And this one was the coolest yet. As he took the card, he looked at it in silence for a few seconds and then looked up at us with his eyes full of tears and said, “I needed this.” We started to reply along the lines of. “Yes, everybody needs Christ”, but he interrupted and insisted, “No, I REALLY needed this”, and proceeded to tell us the story of his life including his mother’s death at age six, escaping from Cuba and winding up here, losing every job he’s had because of his drinking problem, and his sincere love for cats. He had been questioning that God even existed and began to ask us pretty earnestly about what we believed. It really was extremely touching, and we knew that God had sent us to him at that exact moment to remind this man that He loves him so very, very much. We gave him a card with our number on it, and parted ways, yet he had barely gotten thirty feet on his bike when he stopped and turned around, shouting down the street, “Will you pray for me? My name is Gregory Salgeiro!” It sounds so simple, but I will never forget that moment. Later that night we had a voicemail from his wife, thanking us and telling us that Greg said he had seen two angels that night. We’re excited to really start teaching them this week.
We visited our precious 90-years-old-and-still-working-full-time ward chorister this, Sister Jones, week. God bless that woman. I have never, in my life, enjoyed singing in church more than when she is leading the music. She dances and tries her best to get some emotion and smiles out of the congregation, and she succeeds every time as far as we go. Her husband has developed dementia and now refuses to come to church, even though he converted her. She told us that she feels God’s love for her every sunny day when she walks Phoebe, her boxer, and she can feel the sunshine soaking into her skin like a warm hug. On those days, her prayers always begin with “Thank you for this beautiful day”, but on rainy days she told us she just says “thank you for this day”, but not this beautiful day. She is the sweetest little woman to walk the face of the earth, right after Sister Chu.
On my full-exchange with the STLs last week I also learned that the sisters in my last area have baptized two people that I had been teaching, and one of the son of one of them too!! Hallelujah for persistence, patience, and faith. Woo! All for Jesus!
Quote of the week came from my dear, sweet companion: “Have I ever told you how grateful I am for you? Do you know how bored I would be with someone normal?” This was stated after I employed my lovely birthday gift from Sister Rowley: a whoopee cushion. Some of us just never really mature.
We had a pretty wild Zone Conference this week that may have changed my whole mission. It caused us to raise our faith and drop every person from our teaching pool who was not elect. And it was not an easy thing. But, we are trusting in our Heavenly Father that as we apply the things we studied and learned and as we bike our little-sister-hearts out. Somehow, whenever we’re on bikes, the ZLs happen to call us and are always absolutely shocked that we’re biking. All of the Sister areas have cars, so usually biking isn’t a thing for us ladies, but we make it a thing. It’s awsome! As long as you’re wearing the right skirt, anyways! We are being tried a bit, but know that God works miracles only through faith.
Heavenly Father played a joke on us this week. We had been praying all day to find a family of 5 (mother, father, and children) that speaks English and that would be willing and prepared to hear the message we brought. We thought that our prayer was specific enough and asked God to lead us directly to their house. We magically ended up in a neighborhood that we had found last week but couldn’t find again despite our sincerest efforts, and knew that we were there for a reason. After some crazy intense revelation-receiving experience, and telling God that we knew we would only have to knock one door to find them because we trusted He would lead us there, we walked up to the decided-upon house….just to find that we couldn’t knock the door. The courtyard gate was locked. We decided to ring the doorbell, but no answer. Yet we recognized that we had prayed to only knock one door, and were determined to ask again where the house was. We confidently walked up to our next house and…..unlocked gate! We knocked loudly and clearly! The door opened to reveal…. an old Cuban woman. Who spoke not a word of English. Curses. After praying with her and whatnot, we were walking back to the car a bit dejected, but I had the brilliant idea of ringing one more doorbell, because it wouldn’t be knocking again! After praying, yet AGAIN, to know, we walked up to a house to find another unknockable door – and rang! Yup, no one answered. Walking back to the car, I look up and realize… I know that house…. And then it dawns on me: We were right across from a member family home. That happens to be a family of 5. That only speaks English. That would have been more than happy to receive our message that night – because they were already members! I literally laughed out loud. Oh man, that was a good one!
Needless to say, we learned our lesson on specific prayer, and now always include “that are not already members” in our requirements for people. Haha!
3 Nephi 18 is probably the most amazing chapter in the Book of Mormon, inside which can be found the commandment to partake of the Sacrament each week and to pray always (v. 10-11 and v. 19-21), but I especially loved verse 24, in the which Christ says to “…hold up your light that it may shine unto the world”, a similar admonition to that of Matthew 5:16. It also reminded me of Paul’s words, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Let the world know! Jesus Christ’s Atonement and sacrifice are the greatest gift that we have to receive in this world! So let us give it, freely and willingly. In the words of Nacho Libre, “It’s the beeeehhhhssstttt!”.
I love you! Write a missionary! Give someone a picture of Jesus! God just might have put you in their path just for that purpose.