Happy Mother’s Day!
There’s so many things I want to share today that I’m going to do my best to keep it relatively organized…
First let’s start with a quote: “The Lord heard our pleas immediately but then answers when, in His wisdom, we will benefit the most from His response.” ~ Elder Richard G. Scott
I feel like I can honestly say that I have given Enos a run for his money in crying unto God in mighty prayer. My companion and I have been praying for miracles down here and have been working really hard to try and see them.
Growing up I had a vision wall on my mirror full of quotes to inspire me to keep working hard to achieve my dreams. One of them read, “Behave like a duck – keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like mad beneath.”
Missionary work is a lot the same way. Your ward, other missionaries, and the people around you, look for the results. They look for the people showing up at church, the number of people you’re teaching, and the people getting baptized. What they don’t see in between is the countless number who you call and confirm, and then they don’t show up. They don’t see the hundreds of miles you bike in the pouring rain. They don’t see the prayers that are pleading for miracles. BUT in the end, that hard work it finally does “pay off”. You find the people who are actually prepared to hear this Gospel. You find the people who got lost along the way but are now ready to come back. It’s those people, individually, who matter. It’s their names who God individually knows. It’s their soul that is worth saving.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God”
So going back to the first quote I shared. God answers prayers in His timing. I 100% know that God heard my prayer as soon as the words left my mouth, but sometimes we just have to wait, and maybe only God truly knows why. We’ve been praying for these miracles for a while now, but I guess the timing is finally right.
One day last week while calling up formers (people who previously met with missionaries), we found Zhang JM. After sharing the Restoration with her, she agreed to let us come back. So this time around, we were sharing the Plan of Salvation with a really strong emphasis on Christ. There was a lot of what most people, looking from the outside, would assume were awkward silences. However, it simply was her feeling the Spirit and putting her thoughts together on how much she truly needed Jesus Christ in order to get rid of feelings of regret. It was an incredibly powerful lesson and at the end we actually spent a while talking about baptism. It was amazing! Sad side note: she left for mainland China for 2 and a half months, so we aren’t allowed to have any contact with her. Please pray that she will continue to read the Book of Mormon and pray so that we can continue to help her when she comes back!
Before I start my personal study every morning, I pray that Heavenly Father will help me read something that can bless somebody else’s life that day. So, on that note, we went back to visit He JM (less active from Cambodia). Our lesson plan going in was to share Elder [Henry B.] Eyring’s talk about motherhood from the October 2018 General Conference. (Great Talk Haha go read it) We shared a little bit and as we were talking more about the hands we are dealt in this life, we could tell she was struggling. We asked if we could share a scripture, and I just knew I was about to share what I had learned in personal study. We shared Helaman 5:12. Now, pretty much everyone knows this verse – Christ is the rock of our foundation. However, I read it to her in a different light.
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
When. It doesn’t say “if”. When. When the hard times and the trials come, they will have no power because we have a testimony founded in Christ. Christ is there to help us through.
We biked out to one of the college campuses in our area to go have dinner with a young adult in our ward. Earlier in the day we had invited her to bring a friend with her. After an amazing dinner we found ourselves talking about what we had learned from our mothers. From that it led into prayer. This new friend just kept asking questions. Does God really exist? Can He really hear our prayers? How does God answer prayers? All three of us (my companion and the member) were able to share personal experiences and it was an incredible lesson! We are hoping to meet up with her again soon and share more. Side note: sharing the Gospel is this easy. [The] missionaries can do the heavy lifting, you just have to invite the friend in the first place.
On one day last week when we were trying to find less active members, we stumbled across a less active member’s daughter who invited us back to her home. Her name is Becky. So we biked back out to Becky’s house to share the Restoration with her. Turns out, she had met with the missionaries 4 years earlier but decided she wasn’t quite ready, and the missionaries just disappeared, never to be heard of again until we came along. She is amazing! She is so willing and has such a big desire to learn. We are meeting with her again tonight, and I’m so excited!
On Friday, we saw a lady walking down the side of the street pushing her dad in a wheelchair. We decided to walk alongside them and found out that she had been looking for true religion. She told us she felt like her Spirit was missing something or that it was sick. So we set up to meet with her the next day. On Saturday, we shared the Restoration, and she said, “Even though this is all completely strange to me, I feel like I need to learn more”. Ahh! So cool!
On Sunday, we went to find a less active who our ward told us just needed some looking out for. So we were going to go take her flowers for Mother’s Day. When we got there we had the wrong address, but she apparently just lived next door, so it was all okay. As soon as we sat down she began to tell us how she had all these challenges that no one understood, and because life was too busy, there was no way for her to come to church. So we said okay and simply asked to share a video. We shared the “Because of Him” video. After she said, she knows this is all good, but there was still no way she could be moved to feel the Spirit. We decided to share 2 Nephi 26:24-25. And as she was reading and we were bearing testimony she began to cry. We left her with God’s love and told her we knew that He was aware of her. It was a very spiritually powerful lesson.
This got really long, so thank you for reading if you made it. I love Taiwan. I love being a missionary. I know God answers prayers. It’s being able to take God’s love to everyone that makes all the hard work worth it.
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!