I can barely believe how much I have grown these past few months serving the Lord. He is working miracles in me. And I still have 7 months of my mission and the rest of my life to grow and help others come unto Him and find joy in the temple.
We found out about transfers this morning…….. And Hermana Bonilla and I will be staying together here for another transfer! This will be the longest I have ever been with a companion before. We’ll have fun together this coming transfer. We love the ward, we love the area, and we are grateful for this privilege the Lord has given us to continue learning together, serving together, and teaching together.
This last week we have been in a trio! Sister Wicker went home, so Sister Inman has been staying with us the past few days. We are having fun with Sister Inman — she is being taken care of. 😉 We are also learning from each other — it’s been my first trio, and it is fun.
This week has been a week of miracles! Yes, we’ve had our trials, but I have found out what companionship inventory really is about: it’s about uplifting and strengthening one another. It’s about being honest with one another, building unity, and speaking openly.
Thursday evening, we visited Mirta and Daniel with Hermano and Hermana Munoz and the Daily Dose Missionaries (Elder and Sister Jolly). After reading the second half of the introduction to the Book of Mormon and the testimonies of the three and eight witnesses (in English), we read the second half of the introduction to the Book of Mormon in Spanish. We asked them what Moroni’s invitation and promise mean in their lives. They opened their hearts to us. Hermana Mirta opened up and explained how an issue for her is that she is worried that she won’t receive an answer and she doesn’t want to be a hypocrite. Daniel explained how sometimes questions come into his mind but he keeps reading and seeking. Hermana Muñoz commented on how Mirta’s prayers demonstrate her strong faith in Christ and that (as Moroni’s invitation states), she can receive an answer from God. We testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read and to pray to know that it is from God. And while we were there listening to their feelings, a feeling came over me and I could see Mirta and Daniel dressed in white — baptismal white first, and then the image become into temple white. Tears filled my eyes and gratitude filled my heart. The Lord truly does answer our prayers.
Saturday afternoon we helped the De La Cruz family prepare dinner. (We peeled the skins off of lots of frozen shrimp, and she “cooked” it in lemon.) Afterwards some ward missionaries joined us and we shared the message of the Restoration. We testified of the power of the gospel taught in our homes to help our children grow knowing and following Jesus Christ. We asked them what a prophet is to them and how a prophet would help in this age and time. They responded that the prophets always have messages that are beneficial for us. We testified of President Monson. We then asked them who Jesus Christ is in their lives. We shared 2 Nephi 26:24. Hermana De La Cruz had a question about what happened after Christ’s death with the Apostles. Her question really impressed us, and we explained about the Apostasy and testified of the First Vision of Joseph Smith. They really opened up and shared the feelings and desires of their hearts. Hermano De La Cruz wants to prepare to receive the priesthood, and Hermana De La Cruz wants to start doing family prayers, family scripture study, and Family Home Evening. They want to live the gospel, and they want our help to support them in this effort.
Sunday morning we spoke in our ward’s Sacrament Meeting about the blessings of the temple. And Mirta and Daniel came to church to hear us! (When we saw them, we almost jumped out the ceiling and joy and appreciation filled our hearts. We hardly said half of the things we wrote down, but the spirit guided us in our testimonies of the blessing of the temples. Before I stood up to speak, I prayed that the Lord would help me say the things that would help those who would hear them, and the Lord answered that prayer. I actually didn’t write out my talk word for word like I used to do. This time I just did an outline with quotes and scriptures. I felt the Spirit guiding me in what to say, what to share, and of what to testify. I bore my testimony of the temple and felt impressed to share the experience I had in the Celestial Room after receiving my endowment. Tears filled my eyes and theirs. Spanish wasn’t a barrier. The words just flowed from my heart to theirs. The spirit was strong in that Sacrament Meeting, and I felt a huge love for each member of this ward. I’m so grateful for this privilege I have to serve here and to teach and learn with Hermana Bonilla.
After the sacrament meeting, the De La Cruz family said that they want to go to the temple with us. Mirta and Daniel loved the meeting and want to continue coming to church with us. And Norberto, while partaking of the sacrament, prayed about his decision to be baptized, and later that afternoon, we visited him and his family and asked him about his experience. He looked up to us in the eyes and said with joy, “Yes. I want to be baptized. I know this is the restored gospel.” Joy and happiness surged through me and Hermana Bonilla. We feel that he is an answer to our prayers. We are so grateful for this privilege to help him come unto Christ, and we look forward to going to the temple with him afterwards. 🙂 Afterwards, we taught him about the Word of Wisdom. We read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and testified how our bodies are temples of God. We then discussed the Lord’s law of health. We talked about how just like we wouldn’t want to live in a house full of smoke, the Lord has explained in His Word of Wisdom that tobacco, tea, coffee, alcohol, illegal drugs, and other harmful and addictive substances pollute our bodies (the house of our spirits) and that the spirit doesn’t want to dwell there. Hna Rojas and Hermano Chacon shared their experiences living the Word of Wisdom and the blessings they have received in their lives. Hermana Chacon talked about how she views the Word of Wisdom as a protection in her life. We testified of the blessings that come as we live the Word of Wisdom. I’m so proud of Hermana Bonilla. Her testimony is so strong, and she is a powerful missionary. 🙂
During my personal study, I can see that the Lord is starting to prepare me for that time when I will have to return from my mission. A couple days ago I was reading Alma 29 and verse 7 struck my heart to the core. I can be an angel in the lives of others: now and after the mission.