Monday, January 27, 2014

Miracles Happen!

Hello family and friends. Familia y amigos. How is everyone? It's
Monday again, which means you get to (hopefully) enjoy reading about
my mission life and what's going on out here in good ol' Loomis,

We have breaking news this week! Gerald, our investigator who has been
taking the discussions for two years, has committed to baptism! This
is the first time in two years that he has ever actually accepted the
offer to get baptized. He has been asked more times than you could
count and finally he has said YES to baptism on February 22nd! It's a
miracle, people. Last week we gave him a copy of Preparing to Enter
the Holy Temple and he read the whole thing by the time we saw him on
Wednesday. He didn't have many questions, but mostly shared with us
parts That stood out to him. He said things like, "Looks like I'll
have to buy some new underwear." "When I wear garments..." And "Ill
probably figure that all out when I go to the temple..." WHEN, not if
statements. So awesome! We also had a great lesson with him on Friday
afternoon where we talked about receiving answers to prayer. I
reassured him that his answer would come and may have already come,
but he needed to recognize all the good things that have come from
participating in the church. He really sat there and thought about it
for a minute and then I felt like we should commit him to work towards
February 22nd. He just said yes. He didn't say normal Gerald things
like, "we'll see..." Or "I don't know about that." He said a flat out
Yes! It was an exciting moment and he is definitely prepared. Bro
Minton in our ward, called the temple and had Gerald's name put on the
prayer rolls and he received a priesthood blessing for the first time
after staying at church for all three hours!!! (Which was also a
first) He is so ready!

Sister Byrne had the opportunity to Skype teach this man named Berto
who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Mintons in our ward had him
here as an exchange student about 30 years ago and gave us his info so
that sister Byrne could practice her Portuguese. We reached out to him
over Facebook and then set up a couple times to Skype this week. He
speaks a little English, but mostly just has a lesson with Sis Byrne
in Portuguese, while I just sit there and look nice. The first day she
taught him and introduced him to me, I thought I would be confident
and use some of the Portuguese I learned, so I said "Oi! Tudo bem!",
basically " hi! How are you?" And then he kept talking in
Portuguese...I had to stop him mid sentence and tell him that I really
didn't know much more than that and he just laughed. I must have been
pretty convincing and he must have been confused by my authentic
Brazilian accent. Kidding.

Wendy, who was baptized back in November, attended the temple for the
first time on Wednesday. She was able to go and do baptisms with some
of the woman in the ward. She loved it and wants to go back and do
more. She was amazed at the beauty and calm feeling the temple
brought. Wendy keeps saying how much she is looking forward to the end
of this year when she can go through the rest of the temple. She wants
to see the rest of it so bad! It's such a sweet thing watching
converts attend the temple. This is what it's all about!

This week I really recognized that this work is not mine, it is the
Lords. This is all His work, I am just the means by which it can be
accomplished. It's not about me. It's not about what I want. It's
about what He wants and His timing. I recognize this especially with
Gerald. there have been numerous sister missionaries who have helped
him over the part two years get him to where he is today and we all
extended baptismal invitations...but we had to wait for the Lords
timing of when this would all work out. It was all up to Heavenly
Father to know when Gerald was ready to open his heart and be
baptized. Maybe a year ago he wouldn't have been ready, who knows? All
I know is that god knows each of us and what we need. He knows what we
can become and how and when we can accomplish things. He knows best.

I was reading in Alma 6 this week when Alma is cleaning up the church
in Zarahemla. I came across the following scripture in verse 6 that
says, "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they
should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty
prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not
God." We are the children of god. Our wards consist of the children of
god. Which means that we must be the ones who "join in fasting and
mighty prayer" for those people who have yet learned about the gospel,
investigators your missionaries may be teaching, etc. We need to pray
for those missionary experiences to bring happiness to the souls who
don't know God. That is our responsibility.

Try a little harder. Do a little better. It's a new week.

Love you all! Miss you guys like crazy. Keep it real.


Sister Allen

Sent from my iPad

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