Finally, after receiving approximately ten referrals from our Zone Leaders, one of them accepted us! And she’s amazing! Meet Marie and her two sons, Vladimir (8- holla!) and Matthew (0). They are an adorable little family from Haiti who are searching for peace and truth – what more perfect place to find it than here? They all came to church yesterday and loved it. Halfway through Relief Society, Marie leaned over to us and asked, “Can I come back next week?” – it was so sweet!
While knocking on some doors referred to us by a member, we met Miriam (grandmom), Chris (12), and Cody(4). We had met Chris and Cody once before and had given them little pictures of Christ to keep, but this time we got lucky and met their grandma (we think)! This humble little family was seeking peace and security, but Miriam was a little weirded out because we were Mormons. When we asked them for what we could pray, Chris told us that he wanted child-labor laws to change so that he could get a job at Publix to help support his family. My heart melted. How blessed am I to have been born in the circumstances I was. We had a really spiritual experience with them and hopefully when we go back tomorrow Miriam’s heart will continue to soften!
We met the awesome LA Arzuagas this week, an older couple who can’t go to church too much because of health reasons. While we were talking to Sis. Arzuaga she received a phone call from her daughter and had to take it. A couple of seconds after she answered, her husband jumped (literally) off the couch and ran (again, quite literally) away into the recesses of the house. He burst back into the room not a minute later with a music stand and composition book in hand and said, “I think it’s time for a musical interlude!”, and proceeded to serenade us for the rest of time there. It was fun to hear ‘Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard’ (don’t worry, Dad, I now remember that you actually do like Simon & Garfunkl), ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, ‘What Child is This?’ and basically everything in between. He was awesome. And only spurred my desire to learn guitar in the future. We ended up having a powerful experience with them and spoke of personal testimony and its power (Alma 5:45-46). Sis. Arzuaga told us, “I choose to believe your words because I know they come from the Lord and you are His servants”, which was truly moving for me. What a wonderful testimony-builder for me to remind me that my obedience and diligence in small things matter and really do increase my capacity to have the Spirit and convey His words.
Yesterday we made a special discovery: Burgerfi. Quite possibly my favorite burger OF MY WHOLE LIFE! The Conflicted Burger. Please find one near you.
I found special meaning in Luke 8:38-40 this morning, after reading about the man from whom Christ cast devils and sent them into the swine: 38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. 40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
What a cool demonstration of the power of bearing our testimony and sharing our spiritual experiences with others! He took Christ’s admonition to heart and made known His good deeds to everyone! The whole city! And because of that, he was able to better prepare the people for His coming, so much so that they were waiting for Him when He came. All of us have this ability to help others recognize the great things God has done unto them! But firstly we must recognize them in our own lives. Go out and SHARE! THE WORK IS HASTENING!
I also found maaaany insights in Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk, “On Being Genuine” from the Priesthood session. Wish that I had time to share them, but instead I’ll just close with his words and commit you to study it this week: “I am here because I desire with all my heart to follow my Master, Jesus Christ. I yearn to do all that He asks of me in this great cause. I hunger to be edified by the Holy Spirit and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His ordained servants. I am here to become a better man, to be lifted by the inspiring examples of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to learn how to more effectively minister to those in need. In short, I am here because I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ… My beloved brothers in Christ, the God of Creation, who breathed life into the universe, surely has the power to breathe life into you. Surely He can make of you the genuine, spiritual being of light and truth you desire to be. God’s promises are sure and certain. We can be forgiven of our sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness. And if we continue to embrace and live true principles in our personal circumstances and in our families, we will ultimately arrive at a point where we “hunger no more, neither thirst any more. … For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed [us], and shall lead [us] unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes.””
I love you! But He loves you SO MUCH MORE! Sister Burdett