This week we have seen more miracles!
Tuesday I learned of the power of talking with everyone and preparation in the morning. That afternoon after a lesson, we got on our bikes and started heading to another family’s home. While in the 4-way stop, we looked to our right and said hello to the driver. He asked us if we were LDS missionaries, and we said yes. We got talking (right there in the middle of the 4-way stop), and then realizing that there were other cars wanting to go through, we asked if we could leave him something. He said he could pull over, and so he did. That pull-over turned into a 40 minute conversation standing in the heat of the sun. He is a college student and wants to find more direction in his life. We shared Moroni 10:3-5 and testified of the power of the Book of Mormon to bring us peace and light. He had questions about how he could recognize that answer. He shared an experience he had when he was visiting China of when he shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon with a friend, but he isn’t sure how to identify the feelings he had during that moment and he wants to be sure. We shared Moroni 7:13, 15-17 and bore our testimonies of how we came to know that the Book of Mormon is true. We shared the story of the stripling warriors (and on the 60 that joined them in Alma 57 and were part of the reason of the victory in the end). We invited him to read his patriarchal blessing, read from the Book of Mormon, and to pray to know its truth. We testified of the power of the Book of Mormon and of his divine identity as a son of God and of his eternal potential and purpose in this life. He asked if the missionaries could come visit him. The spirit was powerful throughout, and you should have heard Hermana Bonilla testifying in English. It was amazing! What was also interesting to me was in the morning we were preparing for a lesson with a family, but a few hours later that appointment got canceled. However, the Lord had been preparing us for this experience with the college student, and the scriptures and scripture stories that came to our minds in those moments with this young man were what we had just studied that morning and feelings that had come to us the day before.
I also learned of the power of the “How to Begin Teaching Points.” Last Sunday we contacted three referrals and set a return appointment with one of them. Thursday morning we went and visited her. We started with asking her a few questions to get to know her and to see her expectations. She shared with us that she invited us into her home because she feels peace with missionaries, and we are angels. When we asked her what she would like to learn from us, she said she wants help coming back to church and reading the scriptures every day. We then read 2 Nephi 31:19-20 and testified of the power of the word of God to bring peace and guidance in our lives. And now we have another family to teach!
I also learned that during our morning personal studies, Hermana Bonilla receives half of what the people need for that day, and I receive the other half, and it’s interesting to hear what she learned and share what I learned and to combine it by the inspiration of the spirit to prepare what they need.
During my time here, I have also learned that this work is about love, and it is more than just a routine. We don’t have to teach all the principles in the lesson, and if the time is getting late, we can stop he lesson and come back and finish it. And I am learning about the importance of having patience with others, with my companion, and with myself. Many times it is hard when people don’t progress as fast as we would like, and sometimes I feel that I just want to teach them everything and have them accept it and be ready to make covenants, but Hermana Bonilla has been helping me learn and realize the importance of teaching to their needs, at their pace, and in a way that they can understand and help them progress. That is the ultimate goal — not to just teach all the principles, but that their faith in Jesus Christ grows and their conversion deepens.
I have also learned of the power of service. There are some families who were closed off to us, but now that we have focused on simply serving them, they have started opening up their hearts and feel better ready for us to come help them return to the gospel path.
This week Hermana Bonilla has experienced a lot of pain and physical trials. She has received some priesthood blessings, and we have made plans to help her improve her health (eating, exercise, sleep, etc.).
One thing we want to work on is “True Fellowshipping” and having fun. Something that has helped me this week is Hermana Bonilla just breaking out of her shell and being a little silly with me. It makes me smile, we laugh, and it relaxes us, relieves stress, and helps us work better together in harmony. We have seen many miracles and have grown a lot together, and if the Lord desires, we’ll be alright working another transfer together here. But we know the Lord will do what is best for all his children, including us.