Sunday, December 29, 2013

She just kept saying "Yes, I believe that". (Dec 2)

What I have learned this week- and what I continue to learn time and time again on my mission is this: faith ALWAYS precedes the miracle. 

I was reading an awesome talk earlier this week from this last General Conference by Elder Timothy J. Dyches (Go watch it again! It's so good!) and it really just set the tone for the entire week. I loves this one part from his talk that says:

"In another tender scene, Luke tells us that the Savior, while traveling to Jerusalem, met 10 lepers. Because of their infirmity, they “stood afar off” (Luke 17:12). 
They were outcasts—unclean and unwanted.
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us,” they cried (Luke 17:13)—in other words, importuning, “Isn’t there something You can do for us?”
The Great Physician, full of compassion, still knew that faith must precede the miracle and therefore told them, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests” (Luke 17:14).
As they went in faith, the miracle occurred. Can you imagine the overwhelming joy with each step as they witnessed in real time their bodies being cleansed, healed, and restored right before their eyes?"
Ok now I don't know how to turn off the highlighter... but anyways we had such an amazing and miracle filled week. One of the greatest miracles we had was meeting a sweet woman named Tanya. I sent her story in another email. I want to invite you all to read it! Read it and believe it! Miracles do happen :) I know that the Lord is aware of us and our individual circumstances. He knows our trials and He is there to help and strengthen us.

Thanksgiving was amazing!! We got to go and do so much service and I loved it! We ate dinner at the Beckstrands with some of their family members and a BUNCH of sisters :) 
Christmas lights are just as amazing as ever! They started this last Friday and in just 3 nights we have received close to 200 referrals!! Christmas miracle!! Soo many people are going to receive the gospel!! Times like this remind me of why I LOVE serving at the VC. Sometimes it can be hard during the slower times of the year, but man once Christmas comes people just start flooding in! Easter time too! It's so amazing :D 
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you all have felt peace with the passing of Grandma Cherie. I am so grateful to know that she is in a happy state. I am grateful that we are an eternal family. Have a great week family! I know this email is a little short, but Tanya's story (below) is pretty long :D
Sister Hamstead
Story of Tanya

On Tuesday November 26th sister taumwarwa and I were driving around in our area trying to contact potential investigators. We had just pulled over to look up the address of the next person we were going to go visit when we looked up and saw a young mother pushing 2 babies in a stroller. We immediately knew we needed to go and talk with her. We saw that she was smoking so we knew she was a nonmember. We walked over and she was talking to a cable man. They both looked up at us and we gave the woman the invitation to Christmas lights. She almost looked a little scared when we were talking to her and she didn't say much. We introduced ourselves as missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we asked her if she had ever met with missionaries before. She said yes, but they were Jehovah's and it was back in South Carolina. She said she had been trying to get in touch with them and then asked who sent us. We said nobody but that we had just pulled over to look up an address. She asked if we had been waiting for her to get home and we said no. What she then said both shocked and surprised us. She said that she had been praying for help and asked us to please come inside. We went back to the car quickly and grabbed our bags. She let us in the home and it was dark and dirty. I then noticed how dirty the kids were and the mom seemed so troubled. She apologized for the mess, but we told he not to worry about it and we began helping her to clean. She told us her name is Tanya and that she has been going through a very hard time. She broke down crying and told us that her husband just recently went to prison and that he is never coming back. She told us that she is looking for something. We all hugged and cried together. We testified to her of the blessings the gospel brings and that Christs church in its fullness has been restored on the earth today. She said that she wants every part of it. She told us that the stress from everything has been causing her to not be the mom or the person that she wants to be. She said she had been drinking And smoking but that it's just not her. She said she needs help so we asked her if we could help her get rid of it. She said yes and so we asked where the alcohol was and we followed her into the kitchen. She pulled the beer out of the fridge and we poored it down the drain. She told us that Mormons have always been in her life and that she has always wanted to learn more about them. She told us one of her friends in high school was a mormon and she looked up to him and his family. Also the other day she was talking to someone at the grocery store and they told her to sign up with the Mormons because they help people. We shared with her a scripture from the Book of Mormon and said a prayer with her. We asked when we could come back and she said tomorrow! What's the earliest you can come?? We set up a time to go back and help her clean the next day at 10am and then told her we would have a lesson after. She then said that she wants us to take her to church with us and asked when that was. She was so grateful and with tears in her eyes she said that she knew god had sent us to her. The next morning we went back over to her home. We were hoping and praying that she would have remembered the appointment and that she would still be ok with us coming and teaching her. She opened the door and we saw that the house was a bit more tidy and there were huge piles of laundry on the couch. We told her to put us to work so we began folding. We then took

the clothes upstairs and commenced in helping her clean for about an hour and a half. She was so happy and grateful that we came back. She just kept repeating I am so grateful you girls came back! At one point she was just so overcome with gratitude that she knelt down on the ground and just started crying. I have never felt so much compassion for an investigator before. The night before we had called a member from the ward and she said she would be able to make it to the lesson. She showed up at around 11:30 and her and Tanya just immediately hit it off. Tanya is an artist and she has lots of pieces of art in her home. One beautiful piece of art work is a beautiful stain glass that says love. Her husband had made it and it broke a little while ago so she had welded it back together so it has a big crack through the middle of it. She said that represented her life and how her love was broken. She said she feels broken and that she needs to be put back together. So anyways the lesson today was powerful. Sister tucker shared a beautiful testimony and also told some personal experiences. As we were teaching these restored truths she just kept saying yes I believe that. She was so happy at one point that she couldn't speak and she was crying and she told us all how truly grateful she was that we had come into her life. She got up and with tears in her eyes she thanked us each individually and hugged us. Wow. One of the most spiritually intense moments of my life. I couldn't hold the tears back and I was so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to be a tool in his hands. How amazing it is to know that because you followed a prompting of the spirit that you were able to answer somebody's sincere plead for help. What a tender mercy and what a miracle. We didn't even get a chance to invite her to be baptized because the member jumped in and said well since you know that it is true you need to set a date for baptism. I had prayed previously Martin jr. Hernandez daneil r porter