Monday, September 3, 2012

Manning The Lifeboats

"In a very real sense, those persons stranded on the vessel which had run aground in the storm-tossed sea are — those who await rescue by those of us who have the responsibility to man the lifeboats.”  President Thomas S. Monson
Dear Family!!!

Hey!  How was the weekend up at the cabin? Man … I still haven’t seen the Evans’ new cabin!  I’m really jealous of you guys.  I love it up there!  It’s so pretty!!

This week was an interesting one.  It was full of ups and downs.  On the plus side, more ups than downs, so that’s a blessing isn’t it?  haha  Monday was spent as usual … P-Day, wrote tons of letters because I hadn’t written anyone in a long time so I had a lot to catch up on, and me and Elder Meireles played "War".  It’s a board game kind of like Risk but better and doesn’t take as long.  Tuesday was a division.  The Elder that came to my area to stay with me was really new and really really excited about the missionary work.  Like a little over excited.  It was … interesting.  But all in all, he's a good Elder and just excited for the work.  It was kind of funny.  It reminded me of what it was like at the beginning of my mission, because of how he was with me.  For instance, at the beginning of the mission I thought the Zone Leaders were "the missionaries" … like they’re super stars!  Now … they're just normal Elders.  He’s really new so he still had that view of, “Wow!  You’re a zone leader!!!”  haha  It made me laugh looking back to the beginning of the mission.

This week, we had two really cool experiences.  One of them happened while we were walking down the street.  We were headed to visit one of our investigators.  As we were coming up on the house of a less active member that we’re helping, and had planned on visiting late on in the day, I got the feeling that we needed to stop there.  I had no idea why.  I just felt it so we stopped.  I was already thinking of what I was going to say to her to try and figure out what’s going on and what she needs, when a man came walking up behind us.  While we were walking, he was a ways behind us.  When we stopped, he caught up with us.  He stopped and called our attention.  When we looked at him, you could tell that he was going through a really difficult time.  He asked us if we could go to his house and try and say a prayer there and try and help his sister out, and him as well.  He explained his sister drinks a lot and uses drugs and he said he didn’t know what else he could do.  The less active member then answered and we told her we'd pass there a little while later.  We went off to the guy’s house.  It was really cool though because if we had just kept walking he would have never caught up with us.  We walk pretty fast and were in front of him.  Without us stopping, he wouldn’t have been able to talk to us.  It’s amazing how Heavenly Father works through us.  I thought the family needed us.  However, there was really a man wanting … needing to talk to us!  Because of divine help, he was able to reach out to us so we could go help him and his sister.

The other experience was kind of similar.  We were in a neighborhood kind of far from where we live.  Everything there had fallen.  At night we had an appointment close to where we live, so we took off for our neighborhood.  There’s two ways to get back there.  They are kind of like this "<>".  We start at one point and either go in one direction or another, and then both of them end up in our neighborhood.  In the middle of the path, the two ways are pretty far apart.  Hopefully this makes sense.  Anyways, we took off going down from where we were at, but we didn’t have anywhere to go at that time.  When we were about in the middle of the path, the idea popped into my head to go and visit a member and ask about her friends that that she brought to church.  Unfortunately, she lived on the other path we could have taken and in the middle.  She was pretty far from where we were.  We decided to go anyways.  When we got there, no one was there.  Right as we were about to take off, we got a call from one of the Secretaries.  We stopped, talked really quickly, hung up, and were about to take off.  Right as we got ready to walk away their car pulled up.  We talked to the member and asked about her friends.  We set a day to teach them and then asked, “How are you doing?”  She said “fine” but it was a really false “I’m fine”.  We asked, “What’s going on?”  She opened up and explained to us some of the problems that she was having.  We gave a little message to try and help, and then took off.  Yesterday at church she got up to bear her testimony.  She talked about lots of things, but then about prayer and the power of missionary work.  She expressed how she was having a really horrible week and needed some help.  She just needed someone to talk to and a bit of comfort.   She said she was praying for help and then one day … a really bad day … out of no where, the Elders showed up at her house.  With tears, she shared how much we helped her out and helped her realize how important she is to Heavenly Father.  She told how that visit was an answer to her prayers.

Both of these experiences made me think about a few things.  One thought was how Heavenly Father works through his servants to answer other people’s prayers.  It’s not always a huge spiritual experience but for someone, it could make all the difference.  For example, the first experience I felt really strongly that we had to stop … so I stopped.  The second one was just an idea that entered into my mind and, well, seemed kind of like it was just one of my ideas … just me thinking up something to do.  However, for her and for Heavenly Father, it was an answer to a desperate prayer and was inspiration for us.  This was not just a coincidence.  I was also reminded this week of the importance of being worthy to receive revelation, listening to it, and following it.  What if I had ignored the thought that had come to my mind?  I would have missed out on an opportunity to reach out and lift up someone who was in need of some help and some comfort.  Thirdly, these experiences showed me that sometimes there’s a lot of things you do in life that you don’t realize you did, and really helped someone.  Just like the sister missionaries in Salt Lake did for me.  I’m not sure if they realized how much they helped me out at that time, but they helped out a ton.  And last week, this experience to me wasn’t anything huge.  But to her it was everything.

As for other news … there’s more, but I have to get going.  I'm so sorry but my time is up.  I love you guys so much!!!  Have a great week this week!!  I love you all tons!!!!


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