Okay family, get ready for some miracle messages. This week was an epic one :)
You know those Sacrament Meetings when you sit down and you're anxious and you've been running around and feeling late and you are singing the hymn and then you put the book down to hear the opening prayer and then something miraculous happens? The Spirit. He pours into your heart. He fills up your soul. You feel calm, warm, focused, reverant, grateful. I had one of those yesterday, but there was OH so much more. Our investigator Mary was sitting beside me, the PMF Canada's walked in, the Elders had four additional investigators beside them, and one of our lesser-active families I've grown so in love with as they have struggled to come to church were FINALLY in the chapel. Sitting there, together, in white, smiling and hopefully feeling that powerful Comforter as I was. And we cried together. Nice, hot tears of joy.
Cramer and I strolled the streets of Wichita in the crisp pre-Autumn air and people running all over their yards outside. We approached every one of them, even if they were tinkering away deep in their garage. And we testified, we invited, we read and felt the Spirit strongly. He is our dear dear companion, and I'm realizing this very moment that His nearness to me is something I've yearned passionately for my whole life, and never quite understood how to obtain His constant presence. I remember hoping I would learn how to be open and worthy for Him before I left on this great mission of mine, and now he directs the majority of my moves. Oh happy day! And because Cramer and I have promised the Lord we would improve by discussing baptism with everyone we meet, he is sent us the elect, helping us to not just PLANT seeds but mainly to HARVEST them! Now I do not mean to boast of myself, no no no no no. I want to help all of you understand how much happier and guided you can be if you promise the Lord you will work harder to do a little better.
Elder Bednar teaches the purpose of the atonement is to ENABLE us. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can repent and be changed. If we are afraid of doing the Lord's work, if we are too busy, if we are ignorant, complacent or overwhelmed, we need to apply the atonement. Even if we are so joyously happy as I've been so blessed to be lately, I get to apply the atonement and get happier as God changes me even more while I'm healthy (physically and spiritually). Repent, apologize, ask how to improve, plead for the eyes to see and the ears to hear, beg for the opportunities and I PROMISE, God will give it thee. And by no means does this need to be said to help you, my dear friends, to become better missionaries. The enabling power of the atonement is for every aspect of your life.
There was one person in particular we met that I'd like to finish up with. We chose her door only out of the long stretch of homes. She answered while holding her small brother. She said she was 15 and a devout Christian at a nearby church. She was bold and matter-of-fact, and passionate about her Savior Jesus Christ. Sister Cramer was inspired to ask her how Christ has helped her in her life. She needed to step out of her home and shut the door for this one, "That's a really good question," she replied. (What the heck, she is only 15 years old!!) She said He helped her abstain from giving in to peer pressure and to feel confident in herself. Wow. As we taught her the Restoration she listened intently and replied after the First Vision, that just makes sense. "SO will you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it?" we asked. YES. She said it with such bold sincerity.
The Lord's work of salvation right now is so stinkin awesome. It's like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland; fast-paced, a bit dark and rickety in places, but you're roaring through the ride at great speeds and dodging boulders of danger and zooming to the finish line with whiplash and glee.
IT'S A GREAT DAY TO BE A MISSIONARY!! :)
Love ya'll loads.
PS: My belly is wonderfully full of black-forest ham sandwich, made with sharp cheddar, freshly baked rye bread, spinach and avocado. Just thought I'd let you know. Gourmet missionary lunch, that's what's up.
PPS: PICTURES! The first is the Cramester and I with a dead harvesting field and random wild sunflowers! The second is that one armadillo I once took a picture of. Now it's an armadillo chip.