Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Have You Ever Asked, "Is God Really Answering My Prayers?"

This week has been another wonderful week. Having Elder Rodriguez here has been a huge blessing and the area is seeing a lot of growth. He seriously has a 24-hour smile that keeps me going and makes life easier. He's great.
     One of the great experiences we had this week was meeting with our investigator Tom. He's an older man and we've been meeting with him for a while. He's been in and out of the hospital for the last few months because of heart problems and he has been in a lot of pain. This time when we went over he seemed to be moving a lot more easier and was a whole lot happier than he has been in the past. We gave him a priesthood blessing then began talking about his recent experiences with prayer. He shared in great frustration that he was on his knees every night talking to the Lord and he didn't feel like anyone was talking back. He has been told all his life that he would get answers, so he was praying but felt like he wasn't getting answers. His honesty really touched my heart, and I could tell that he was sincerely trying to talk and get answers. It hit home because there have been many times in my life where I've been on my knees and felt like I wasn't getting answers. The way his life has changed from being sad, lonely, stressful, and in constant pain to the happy, thriving, moving person he was that day was clear evidence to me that God is in every way answering his prayers and his life is so much better for it. Sometimes it just takes us taking a step back and gratefully looking at what we truly have. I also learned how much honesty invites the spirit.
     Another great experience was yesterday as we were invited to attend another church. These people are some of the most kind and Christ-like people I have met in Oklahoma and we were glad to be at church with them. The music was great and the people were great as well. I really don't want to say anything bad about the church because I was strengthened as I watched many good people doing their best to worship our Father in Heaven and Savior, but as missionaries we could tell that there was something missing. It seemed like the people were emotionally searching for the spirit or anything that would help them feel close, but the lack of the spirit was evident. It made me really ponder about what the spirit is and what it feels like. It truly is the deep down inner-peace, inner-joy, and the love that we feel for others. It often is hard to describe because the spirit becomes part of us; therefore, who we become often teaches us more about the spirit than words ever could.
     This week has definitely taught me a lot. Sister Berna is doing amazing. Her testimony has grown and she is very confident that she is getting baptized on July 19th. She made the decision that she is going to get baptized whether she has the support of her family or not, and lately she has felt confident enough to start teaching her kids about the restored gospel. There is a glow about her lately that I haven't seen in many other people, but she is being led by the spirit much more often in her life and it has been great to see her growth in the last few months. The joy that we have with these people outweigh the hard times 1000 to 1. There is no fun like missionary fun.
I love you all and hope you have the best week ever! HFF!

PS I have to mention that Elder Rodriguez can do the perfect Nacho Libre voice, and we have all the quotes that dad sent me, so we are becoming one with our inner luchadore. It's been fantastic.

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