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Monday, February 29, 2016

Wonders Wonders, Miracles of Miracles!

I couldn't decide between whether or not to title my weekly after a song in Fiddler on the Roof not sung by Tevye. Because Motel definitely is not the ideal image of manliness or success. I mean, he's a tailor. His solo piece in the musical is a soft tenor frolic in the woods. But hey, it was a good week. 
Also, I'm guessing that less than half of the people I send the weekly out to even knows who Motel in Fiddler on the Roof is. Now you know. Look up the musical. It's my favorite. 

This week was well, full of miracles. At least, to me it was. Miracles are given to those with ears to hear and eyes to see them. The lord has been preparing me and Elder Mendistin to experience a lot of miracles, and we have. I don't know what you call a miracle. John Travolta called it "an act of God", some call it an unexplainable event. In my first area we had an investigator named Miracle and another named Milagros, so we always said we were expecting two miracles at church. But whatever you think is a miracle, perhaps you could read a few of these stories, and see that the hand of God is present in people's lives.

Last week was a good week. We had plenty of good, quality lessons. This week, from Monday through Wednesday, we had one total. It was not looking good. But Thursday, after an inspiring zone conference, Elder Muffstine and I hunkered down, said a prayer, and started over. From Thursday to Sunday, we had enough lessons to double the amount last week. That's close to 20 lessons on days filled with weekly planning, service, and church meetings. It was miraculous indeed. We couldn't throw a rock without hitting someone interested in the gospel (minor hyperbole). But it was a great moment.

Tuesday I was sick. I had a nasty stomach ache and didn't want a thing to do with getting out of bed. It was starting to look like a long week in bed. But you know what, miracles happen. I was laying under the covers that Tuesday night, wondering what tomorrow was going to be like. I thought of all the people that we needed to visit, the appointments that we made, and how if I'm lying in bed, there can be no one else that was going to take our place. I fell asleep pondering about my commission to serve. That Wednesday morning, I got up with no pain, no problem, plenty of energy. Maybe it was a bug, maybe the pain was going to leave no matter what I thought or prayed or said, but I called upon the lord, and something happened.

Thursday night we had a touching lesson with the Baranowski family. Sister Baranowski is Jewish and hasn't felt any desire to join the church. Her husband, a recent convert, has had some heart problems and hasn't been able to come to church in a while. But that night we shared with them family search, the church ancestry program. P B's face lit up with childlike joy as she went through her own family tree, and saw all of her ancestors. Bob laughed to see he was related to so many people, and that many of them had their work done for him already. He now wants to seal himself to his parents, and seal his parents together. And Pat wants to do it with him. 
We were shocked. "Sister B, do you know what you just said?"
"Yes, I want to do it with him."
We didn't get the chance to tell her that you first have to believe in Christ before you can think about getting to the temple, but it was a special moment. She wants to make it to the temple.

We got to finally meet and teach little K N, a 10 year old child of record yet to be baptized, but man does she have a fire to be baptized. Unfortunately, her parents are not active in the church, but man, that girl is amazing. She said she'll do what it takes to be baptized. She said it would bring the family together, and help them love each other more. It was one of the purest testimonies of baptism I have heard in my life. It was short and sweet, and downright a miracle to me. I pray that as we begin continuously teaching her, all may be well. 

We had a meeting with all of the missionaries in the north Austin region this week. There was about 45 of us all together, all in different areas, all out for different times. But as I began to look around, I saw Elder B, my MTC companion. Then I noticed Elder W, who was in my district in the MTC. Then I saw Elder H and Elder W. They sat next to me on the plane ride to San Antonio, and then I realized that 11 missionaries that came out with me were in this little batch of missionaries. Out of the 200 missionaries in the field, here we were,  all together. This group is special. We all have this immense love for each other. I remember the moment I saw Elder W giving him a giant hug, and holding it for a while. Then I saw my other friends, Elder S and Elder C. Then Elder C, then Elder M, then Sister F. We're like a big family! The amount of immediate and unconditional love I have for all of the missionaries that came out with me is well, a miracle. I think that all things with love is a miracle. Love is a powerful thing. If I could describe God in a word, I guess it would be love

Elder Hall

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