Monday, February 10, 2014

30 minutes for 3 1/2 years...just enough. (Feb. 3)

Words of Wisdom for a brief 30 minutes.  Enough to last 3 1/2 years.
Wow what a full week of miracles. God is aware of all of us. He answers our prayers. He really cares :) This is the hardest part of my week as I try sooo hard to remember as many of the exciting things that have occurred over the past 7 days.... 

I will just have to tell you some stories which is good with me since you all know how much I love stories. I think the theme of my week was never give up. You never know when people will be ready to change.

Story number 1: Taylor.
So I was in the VC at back greet- I think it was Wednesday night. I saw this one ysa aged guy standing by the temple panels and Sister Brown was talking to him. He looked so familiar but I couldn't place it. Anyways as I listened to them talk I realized where I had met him. So back in Octoberish I was on exchanges with these sisters back in the YSA ward (I had actually served in this ward at the very beginning of my mission while I was being trained). We went to go by this one guy who had been inactive for about 8 years. When we knocked on the door he did not seem to pleased to see a bunch of Sister Missionaries all happy and excited to see him haha! One of the sisters really hit it off though and broke the ice- theater kids. They just get each other haha! So anyways when we left the sisters had set up a return appointment with him and that was the last I had heard. Well here he was at the Visitors Center! I had to go end a movie and when I came back he was gone!! I asked sister Brown where he went and I hunted him down haha! I just HAD to tlak to him! So he told me his story. He had an awesome return missionary friend and she invited him to church. He went and he semi enjoyed it. Time went on and the spirit started to soften his heart. He had many spiritual experiences and began to read the Book of Mormon. He couldn't put the book down and he finished it in 2 months. He got to bless the sacrament for the 2nd time in his life just 2 weeks ago and then this past Sunday he was ordained an Elder. He now comes to the temple every week and he has a blog for all of his spiritual insights/ things he learns as he studies the scriptures. I just couldn't believe it!! How could this be the same guy I had met just 4 months ago?! God can do great things with us. He can change us and help us become the people we were designed to be. He is now doing missionary work as well!

Story number 2: Tanya
Never give up on people. We have seen miracles this week with Tanya. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers. The Bishop went by and met with her on Tuesday and had a wonderful discussion with her. When we finally saw her again I just wanted to cry!! We just hugged and cried and laughed! You just grow to love these people soo much! She apologized for having pulled away. She was depressed and just needed some time for reality to sink in. She is making progress. One thing this whole experience has taught me with Tanya is that this is the work of salvation. It's not just a lets go and get people baptized and then they go less active the next week. This is salvation- it is a journey for eternity. God is patient with us and our turtle paced progress and we need to be patient with others. We all need more charity. We need to feel that unconditional love for others because we are all children of God and we all matter. We had a lesson with her and she recommitted herself to take the necessary steps to prepare herself for baptism. Miracle.

Story number 3: Sister Salas
Never give up and follow the spirit. We were at District meeting Wednesday morning and we were talking about the importance of following every prompting you receive- even when it doesn't make sense. I told myself that I was going to do it and then a thought came to me and I thought... really? The thought came to go by Sister Salas after the meeting. She is an inactive woman that we have been working with, but lately she hadn't been getting back to us. We have called her just the night before to see if we could go by that morning to visit her and she didn't get back to us. I thought that would be sooo awkward to just go ahead and go to her house when she hadn't gotten back to us. But I had made a commitment so I decided to follow it. After the meeting we went over and Sister Salas was home! She was very friendly and welcomed us in. We talked for a little bit and then she told us that she forgot to tell us that she got a new number! Ahah! We had a great lesson with her right then and there and she told us that she really wants us to help her get back to church for the sake of her children. We have a steady appointment with her now every Wednesday morning. I was soo glad that I followed that prompting and went to her home. Follow the promptings of the spirit even when it doesn't make sense!

Story number 4: Elder Hamstead
Wow what a miracle it was to see my brother. Ok let me tell you the story from my perspective. It really didn't hit me that I was going to be seeing my bebe brother until the night before. I was on shift and I quickly made that card for all the VC sisters to sign and to give their support. I have been writing a few notes for him here and there so that I could in some way help to answer his questions and give my love and support. When I went to bed that night I could not sleep. I woke up in the morning with so much energy and I just wanted to get the day going! President and Sister Jenkins came by the VC and picked me up a little after 9:30. We drove VERY FAST to the airport. I felt like I was in the car with Papa again! haha! We get to the area just outside security and sit and wait for Christopher to show up. We got there around 10 cus when President had been to the airport earlier that morning the sign said the flight was arriving early- not sure if that actually happened... but anyways we are sitting there talking when all the sudden I look up and see Christopher and MOM walking towards us!! I ducked down and whispered to the Jenkins "That's my mom!!". President's response was priceless "what in the world is she doing here?!" haha! It was kind of cool to get a little peak at the both of you :) Like looking through the veil! But mom I couldn't risk making eye contact with you so I tried to hide myself haha! President and Sister Jenkins got up and I turned to the left and boom! There was Elder Hamstead and before I could even say anything I just gave him the biggest hug. I can't believe it has been almost a year and a half! I just hugged him and cried. It was another one of those sacred moments on my mission where I have felt such love from my Heavenly Father. I think we talked about everything. haha Even though the time was short, it was just what I needed. What a tender mercy to be able to speak with my brother before he heads off on the biggest and best adventure of his life. I didn't want to let him go, but when the Jenkins came back telling me it was time we snapped some more pictures and walked him to security. We talked about the MTC and his first transfer meeting and what it will be like when he is getting trained. I tried to think of everything I could say to offer him comfort and counsel and before I knew it we were at security. I gave him one big last hug and a kiss on the cheek. I love you brother and I know you will be an amazing missionary!!!!!! I am here for you and I am sooo excited to have you join me out in the field!!

What a wonderful and priceless experience this all has been. I wish I could tell you all the miracles I see every day, but this will have to do for this week.

Love you all sooooo much!!!
Sister Hamstead