Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 3, 2014 -Open Your Heart to Understand

First of all. I am honestly EXHAUSTED. but in the best possible way.
This week was spent running (literally) to and fro. Exchanges.
Consejo. Leadership trainings. Random Errands. and of course trying to
stay on top of normal proselyting activities. Honestly, the work in
our area suffered a little. HOWEVER, i can happily say that the
miracles have not ceased.
It was one of those weeks where you grow so much it hurts. I felt like
a balloon. Every experience or person comes along, blowing and blowing,
until you think you´re about to pop. But then the Lord and his tender
mercies step in. ¨What were you so worried about?¨
I´ve learned a lot this week about the importance of relying on the Lord.

This week we had a lot of incredible experiences!
One of my favorites with a Conversa and now Menos Activa, Magalí,. Her
mom is a member, and her step dad is one of our most promising
investigators, Mauricio. She was baptized in August of last year, but
because of some things that happened in her life, fell away shortly
thereafter. Since ¨her missionaries¨left, she lost her real
connections. sad. and refused to accept visits, phone calls, answer
texts or messages on face book. From members and missionaries alike. No
one could reach her. We felt really strongly that we wanted to go and
visit her, and invite her to a missionary activity that the ward was
doing this past weekend. We went with our ward mission leader, but
when we showed up, her mom told us the same old ¨She doesn´t want
anything to do with it.¨ So we decided to just sit and talk with her
mom for a second about the activity. A few minutes late, Magalí comes
out,a little hesitant. . She sits down and we start to talk. We got to
know her, and really just listened. She told us that she had a
special connection with those other missionaries, and she felt like
she needed to find her testimony again. She is INCREDIBLE!! Her
conversion story is insane, and I was just overwhelmed with this
feeling that she is so important to the Lord, and that he has BIG
plans for her life. Her life has been really hard, but as I listened,
although there are differences, I saw a lot of myself in her. Things
that had happened. I just told her how much the Lord loves her. How he
did a really perfect job of preparing her, and how all of those
blessings are still there waiting. It´s never too late to come back.
we left her with the spirit, and with a promise from the whole family
to come to church on Sunday.
Later that day, she walked to the bishop´s house. She´d felt the
spirit and wanted to start making the necessary changes. She then went
on the Youth Camp out the next day. Had an incredible experience. And
along with 13 other youth in the ward, is now continuing on in her
plans to serve a mission next year.
They came, as a family, to church yesterday, and several members
couldn´t hide the shock on their faces to see her there again.

There´s a lot more to the story, but honestly the change was
incredible!!! The Lord´s timing is so great, and he knows what his
children need!

I thought a lot this week about the importance of Understanding. I
read in 2 Nephi 16:10 that says: ¨Make the hearts of the people fat,
and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes-lest they see with
their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and
be converted and healed.¨
To truly understand the things of the Lord requires a humbling change.
a true ¨turning over¨of the heart.
Hermana Lawrence this week said this to me: ¨You have this amazing
ability to listen, to love the people, and to put yourself in their
shoes.¨ I thought a lot about that.
We meet so many diverse people, each with their story and their
individual needs. Honestly there´s so much they´ve gone through that I
can´t relate to, that I wouldn´t want to imagine.
I´ve realized that to depend on MY own experiences and level of
understanding doesn´t cut it.
The Lord is the one who understands their exact needs. Not me. I´m
just here to be an instrument in his hands.
I´ve learned the importance of sincerity. Of sharing experiences with
them to help them understand how this gospel can work in their life.
Sometimes as missionaries we think that we have to be ´robots¨ to get
everything done. It´s so easy to do as that scripture says: See with
¨ojos humanos¨ as the world sees them. Or hear them and not really
listen or comprehend what they´re saying. Open your HEART, and the
Lord has this incredible way of making his love work through you.
¨Without Charity, ye are NOTHING.¨
All of us have the basic, and very reasonable needs to feel loved,
cherished, appreciated and understood. Until we feel understood,
nothing will come from any advice, council, or suggestions we receive,
no matter how ¨wise¨it may be.

There is still A LOT that I don´t know. Every day i´m made more and
more aware of things I need to improve, study, my weaknesses. I have
this horrible tendency to set really high, and sometimes unrealistic
expectations for myself. And I´ve learned quickly that trying to do
everything ¨perfectly¨most of the time ends up with burn out and
exhaustion. But through it all there´s this peaceful reassurance that
I don´t have to be ¨Perfect¨.

I have a theory, okay so it really isn´t mine...The Lord calls young
men and women in the church to do his work. He doesn´t need people who
are set in their ways, he needs people who will do things HIS way. The
I may not always be good with words, or have all of the intellectual
answers. But this much I do know. Christ lives. This is His work. He
knows they way because He IS the way. He loves us unfailingly, with a
powerful and perfect love. His Atonement is the most real and working
power I know.
The blind may not see, the deaf may not hear, but those who open their
hearts, and give them to Him, will be given peace and an understanding
of even the greatest of his mysteries.

I love you all so much!
Xoxox Your Hermana C

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