If ever there were to be a motto of my mission, I think it would be something along the lines of, "Miracles happen everyday, we just have to look for them." I feel like every week, I say that we see miracles. But it's still so true! I saw so many miracles, and I know that when we ask Heavenly Father to show us his hand, he will expand our vision to see how he is guiding and directing us.
This week we had a pass off lesson with the Elders in San Clemente. We passed off one investigator who is a 14 year old stuck in a 75 year-old's body. He's super funny. The lesson went well, and he is totally fine with the Elders coming to teach him rather than us. We are also totally fine with the Elders going over rather than us, but that being said, he was pretty funny to talk to.
Oh my goodness, one of the biggest miracles I have ever seen on my mission happened this week. It's a series of multiple miracles though. Monday, we went over to see our investigators, we'll call them the MG family. We have lessons with them every Monday night. We went over last Monday, and started teaching, and everything felt kind of weird. I had no clue why. But the lesson we had planned to teach was not what they needed to hear. Then Hna. Laboriel started talking about eternal families, and the entire spirit in the room changed. Suddenly, they were all paying attention, and there seemed to be a new peace that filled the room. We talked about families, and I was able to testify of the love that God has for them and that he has a plan for them as a family. I know he loves them, because I have been able to feel part of that love. It was beautiful. Afterwards, we felt prompted to invite them to do a church tour, and we scheduled one for the very next day, which was amazing, because they work a lot. But they were willing to sacrifice a little, and come to a church tour.
Fast-forward to Tuesday. We met them at the church building, and started the tour with a prayer. We knew that this church tour was super important, because the dad of the family had called us earlier that afternoon, and told us that they were considering getting a divorce. We wanted to help in any way we could, so we had been praying to know what to say, and what to do for this family. So we went on the tour, and we showed them the Primary room where we sang, "Families can be Together Forever". The Spirit was so strong. We went to the different rooms, explaining each one. We came to the Relief Society room, and we talked a little bit about the temple, and how we can be together as families, we asked them if they wanted to be a family forever, and they all responded with yes! Then the parents hugged, and all of the three kids came over to them and they all stood there hugging, and we all stood there crying. It is hands down one of the most beautiful moments I've ever seen. Plus, the member we brought with us bore powerful testimony of the power of the gospel and eternal families. We continued to the chapel, and we talked about the priesthood, and why it's important. We showed them the sacrament trays, and explained the ordinance. We then closed with "Come Unto Jesus" and asked the mom to say the prayer. It was so amazing.
Wednesday we went over to their house, because the mom was still kind of struggling. We were able to help her, and invite her to the ward activity on Thursday. It was really neat to be part of such an inspired lesson. I know that God directs this work, because there is no way that we were the only ones teaching in that lesson.
Thursday, they came to the ward pioneer activity on the church! They had a lot of fun and were able to talk to the Bishop about some things.
Yesterday, we went over to the families house before church, to remind them to come. We got there, and they needed help doing some things around the house, so we helped where we could. The mom asked us how we knew that they weren't working that day and that they would be home... The Spirit. :) That was cool.
Then they came to church for the very first time. I cannot explain how I felt when I saw them walk into the church building. It was so amazing. I felt this huge amount of love for them, and a huge amount of love from my Heavenly Father. For a moment, I saw in part how much Heavenly Father cares about us and loves us. It was an amazing tender mercy from the Lord. I will never forget that experience. Also, the three kids, LOVED church, and I'm sure that they will be back.
We got to walk in the Swallow's Day parade again in San Juan Capistrano, which I was able to do last year as well. It was super fun! I also got super sunburned... :) The Women's General Session was AMAZING. I loved it so much. We have such inspired leaders. I'm so grateful that I got to hear from them, and am so excited to listen to their words this coming week!
There were multiple moments this week when I had the thought, "This is what missionary work is about." This is the work of salvation. We are here to bring souls to Jesus Christ. This is what helps people, this is what brings true joy. I don't know what will happen with this family after I am gone, but I hope that they will one day end up together as a family in the temple. Simply because that is the purpose of this life. I feel so grateful, and so blessed to have been here for these 18 months.
I think it's so funny how we call it a sacrifice that we are giving to the Lord, but he gives us so much in return. I will always remember the miracles of my mission. There is a quote from Elder Holland that has helped me throughout my mission that I want to share. It says:
""You only get one chance to serve a mission; it is your responsibility, your duty, to use it to the fullest; to give every last ounce of energy until you collapse in exhaustion at the end of it. All the hardships, all the tears, all the hard work will be looked back upon as the best thing you've ever done, not because you enjoyed it, not because you baptized everyone, but because you gave everything you had, even when you didn't think you could, and especially when you didn't want to. Live your mission to your fullest, work harder than you've ever worked before. Let people know that this is the most important thing in the world to you... If you do not run until you have nothing left to give, and then keep going anyway; cry and pray and work and sweat and plead until you are so drained that all you can do is turn to the Lord; if you don't do this, then these people will not come to this joy because of you - their failure to come to Christ will be partially upon your head. Come out of your mission proud of what you've done, and this experience will bless the rest of your life."
Enough said. :)
I love you all! Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for your prayers and your faith on my behalf. I know that I couldn't have done this without you.
"With God, nothing shall be impossible."
"God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind."
I'll see y'all soon! I love you!
Much love, Hermana Wood