What a week this has been! Just when you don't think it could get any better (or worse), it does. So, Tuesday afternoon I received these sharp shooting pains in my ribs on my left side. It was pretty scary, and we didn't know what to do. We called the mission office immediately to get a hold of a doctor, and was then told that I might have something called "The Devil's Grip," which I thought was quite ironic. This work is true, it brings SO much happiness into our lives and for the rest of eternity, and Satan tries to get in the way of that. I was told by the doctor and reassured through a Priesthood blessing that I needed to rest, and to not worry, which was really hard. I began worrying about the work, our investigators, our appointments, EVERYTHING!! I was then overcome with such peace in knowing that as I put my faith in Heavenly Father, that he would help us do this work. How true is that about the gospel? When we are weak, He is there to stretch forth His hands and rescue us from Satan's grasp.
That being said, our biggest miracle is that two of our investigators with baptismal dates, one being the 16-year-old that I mentioned last week, both attended sacrament meeting for all three hours and loved it! The ward took them under their wings and fellowshipped them as if they had been best friends their whole lives!! It was so awesome.
One of the investigators speaks Spanish and little English! We've been trying to get him to church since I've been here, but struggles with getting enough sleep at night, so when we go to get him for church, he doesn't wake up. He goes to bed really late, and always has, so he has gotten into a really bad sleeping pattern. He said that even when he tries to go to sleep early, he can't. We invited him to pray for help, and promised him that Heavenly Father would help. We get a call earlier last week, and he tells us that he got another job in addition to the one he has. This new job is in the morning and has forced him to get on a new sleeping schedule!! CHEE-HOO!!! Not only that, but his days off with the morning job are on Saturdays and Sundays! Everything was so perfect. Well, we knock on his door Sunday morning, and he finally arrives to the door, and agrees to coming to church!!! We were so happy! When get to church we feel bad because we can't translate or anything =/ Well, sitting right beside him is a man and his wife visiting from Utah, who served his mission in a Spanish speaking place. He is able to translate for him. THEN, one of our members finds a young couple who just barely moved into the ward, and the husband served his mission in Peru. He came to our lesson with us and translated anything that our investigator didn't understand, and it was all too perfect. Heavenly Father loves His children so much, and wants us to have the truth. He will provide the way if we are willing to accept His guidance!
Our 16-year-old friend (We'll call him Nick) is so awesome!! We thought for our lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we would take him to the church gym and do an activity with him. We wrote each step on a piece of paper: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. We gave him the basketball and told him to stand at the other side of the gym and try to shoot the ball into the basket! The basket representing our home in Heaven; the Celestial Kingdom. He immediately said that he couldn't, and that there was no way. We told him he should be able to if he just believed, right? Isn't that what the world says is all it takes? Haha, he is so great, so he chucks that ball saying, "I BELIEVE!!!!" Haha. And of course, it was an air-ball. So then we teach him that Heavenly Father has provided us steps to make it back to His presence. After each step that we give him and teach him about, he tries and shoots the ball from that step. Still missing, we give him the last step, Enduring to the End. This piece of paper still being more than half court away from the basket. He gets worried knowing that that is the last one, and will be the closest shot he will get. He shoots, shoots again, and again, still missing. He said He didn't want to give up, but didn't know how it was possible. We asked if he wanted help, and he said yes. So, we had a member with us, who has been coming to our appointments who just got home from his mission. He stepped in and said, "Try shooting it again, Nick." He shoots the ball, misses, but our member catches it and rebounds it into the basket!!! Nick has this HUGE grin on his face, and is so happy, that he finally made it!! We told him, that when we do all that we can, even when it seems like it will never be enough, Christ will step in a make up for the rest. You could just see the light in Him as he realized how important Jesus Christ is in our lives. He then said the closing prayer and mentioned that he would be back in the Lord's church on Sunday!!
I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and the love we can feel from Him in our lives every day. If we sincerely pray to Him, and have the desire to do His will, He will make himself known unto us. We will see Him stretching forth his hands for us to lead us back home. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I know God lives, and I know that it is never too late to take a hold on His hands. As we endure to the end, and continue moving forward with faith, He will always be there to show us the way. I love you all, and pray for you continually!! Have a week full of blessings and miracles.
Love you always,