A member of our ward, Bro. Bonvillain, is a city bus driver who, after coming to teach with us on Monday, told us that we are welcome to ride his bus whenever we want – for FREE! How can you say no to that?! A perfect little pool of people to talk to who can’t run away! We did some wonderful bus contacting and met quite a variety of people: a man being ordained to be a pastor this August, but who doesn’t want to be; an awesome Jewish man with whom I geeked out over the Old Testament; Rita, from Peru, who works in the Bahamas and absolutely loves Jesus; and more! Of course, lots of people who would give us one-word responses to our small-talk questions and then put their headphones back in, too, but we don’t worry about those. It was great for some variety in our finding, and we are looking forward to honing our skills and doing it more effectively in the future.
Our miracle woman this week was Cerene. The Creole elders were knocking in our area when a woman suddenly ran (literally, ran) out of her house after them and asked why they didn’t knock on her door. She told them that she had been looking for “the Mormons” everywhere and hadn’t been able to find them! They quickly wrote down her address and assured her they would send someone (us) over the next day, yet in all the rush, they didn’t catch her name. After getting her info. and the details of the contact, we planned to see her the next day, but didn’t get a chance to! Yet the following day, we arrive to a meal appointment and the Elders in our ward begin to tell us about a lady who, while waiting for a red light to change, had yelled at them wildly while honking her horn and hanging halfway out of her window as they biked down the side of the road. They stopped and talked to her as she held up traffic (the light had already turned) and quickly got her address, but mysteriously didn’t get her name. They gave us her address and – no surprise here – it was the exact same woman. We didn’t need God to tell us again – it was time to meet this woman!! And thus enters Cerene (hallelujah, after a four-day journey, we finally learned her name). Her grandmother was just baptized a few months ago in Deltona and has shared with her many things about the church – “coincidentally” everything that she has been searching for in her life! She is a huge miracle who has been so prepared by the Lord.
We had interviews with the President last week, which were absolutely glorious and uplifting. It has been a more spiritual transfer for me, but it was good to hear his words of encouragement and to receive affirmation that the Lord is proud of the work I have been doing. But it certainly was one of the oddest interviews I’ve had: halfway through he started teaching me words in Mandarin, Thai, Indian, and other various languages. Apparently if you want a Diet Coke in India, all you need to do is request “barf quesat” (that was a wild guess on spelling, but if you’re hooked on phonics, you’re good to go).
During a Correlation meeting with Bro. Ray, our Ward Mission Leader, he pulled up all of the missionaries’ photographs and names on lds.org. Quote of the Week: Bro.Ray – “Is that a turtleneck?!” Elder Helas – “It’s a SHAWL SWEATER!” (he just won’t admit it).
We also had an amazing OYM on our bikes. We saw a tattoo-covered man walking his pit bull down the road, and excitedly stopped to talk to him. We asked, “Do you know anyone that needs to get closer to Christ or that could use a prayer?” and got the greatest response possible: “Well, me!”. He is a wonderful man who has quite a history, but is really striving to flip his life around. He asked if he could pray for us too before we left and in his prayer he asked God to be the light on our bikes that night. My light is running out of batteries, but I’m pretty convinced that it burned just a bit brighter that night.
Things are well here in Coral Springs! This week I found great solace in the words of D&C 121:34-46 (45-46 especially) and 122:4, end of 7, 8-9. As I have studied these sections, I have been able to feel the Spirit so strongly and have truly connected with the words of comfort and promise given to Joseph Smith. I can feel that the work we are doing is pleasing to my Father and that increased miracles will come through our faith and diligence. In Preach My Gospel this morning, I read that “diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently – persistently and with great effort and care” (121, haha, ironic page number). All of these adjectives listed – consistent, earnest, persistent, etc. – are things that I expect from and rely upon from my Father in Heaven. Yet, if one day I want to become like Him, I, too, have to work to develop these! This transfer I have come to further understand the meaning and application of this Christlike attribute and am striving to increase in it daily!
I love you! But, more importantly, GOD LOVES YOU. So very, very much. Be a tool in His hands today and share that love with someone. It is when we turn outward that he heals us inwardly.