Monday, November 3, 2014

Week #11 - Angels!

Hello to my family and to all! 

We have been on BIKES! Our miles ran out because we had to go to Trainer/Trainee meeting this week and I got to see all my "family" again. AH! The joy of seeing my Elders and my MTC companion, Hna Simmons is indescribable! I love my current companion - don't get me wrong - but Hna Simmons is my Sister forever and always :)  

I also gained another family! They are Jamaican and their names are Bernice and Mike. We met them Harvesting one day and ended up talking with them for about 30 minutes. They were missionaries of sorts in Jamaica and talked a lot about how America limits you because you can't just go out and preach the same way they used to. As we talked, Bernice mentioned how she wanted to just stop doing physical work sometimes and only do spiritual work. She didn't know about the temple but I KNEW this woman needed the temple in her life. So wrote down their information and they are getting baptized NEXT WEEK! They love Joseph Smith and couldn't get enough of the gospel. They were English speaking investigators, so we had to pass them off to the English speaking missionaries; however, they told those sisters that they weren't welcome to come back to their home unless they brought us with them for a Jamaican dinner. I had Jamaican food! It was to DIE for. I love this place with all its different cultures! 

This week has been amazing. I love getting to know my companion better and understanding more about her as a person. I have been so blessed to be in this mission and to learn from her. I definitely have a long way to go before I am ready to "leave home" but when it comes, I know that the Lord will bless me. I have the strangest feeling that I will be leaving Hna McAfee at transfers and I really don't want to. She is an inspiration to me. She has been through a lot of really hard companions and is so patient. My district is also so very wonderful. Basically, I feel like I have been given all the blessings of the world right now -- Sorry to the rest of you for being a hog :) 

I learned a lot about blindness and about being "uncircumcised of heart" this week. It was prophesied that the Savior would heal the blind, but I know that it was referencing both physical and spiritual blindness. I also learned that spiritual blindness can be a choice. To be uncircumcised of heart is to not have our heart dedicated to our Savior. I don't ever want my desires and actions to show my Savior that I am blind, deaf, or close-minded. I am dedicated to Him in all things and I know that through this dedication, my life will continue in a blessed and strengthened way. MY REDEEMER LIVES!

My miracle this week comes from a very special place in my heart. I was getting frustrated because our investigators - those to whom I had given my heart and soul to - weren't keeping commitments and were denying themselves so much when I KNEW that they were elect.  My Spanish was halting to a stop and I was very frustrated. I was attempting to still love these people, but was getting impatient and a little angry with them. I finally understood how my mother would feel when she wished to take all my agency away as I didn't do what she already knew was best. She had to back up and let me make my choices even if they were wrong. It KILLED me. Then Sunday morning in ward correlation, my Ward Mission Leader stopped the meeting and looked at me. He said "Hna, I feel impressed to share something with you. The people are going to reject you, your Spanish won't be perfect, your investigators won't do as you wish they would, etc. (EVERY single thing that had been frustrating me), but don't get frustrated. Don't get upset. Be patient. I promise you that by the end of your mission you will speak Spanish perfectly." I felt so loved. I knew that my Savior was looking right at me and sending His words through Hno Bazano. I gained such a testimony of the way the Lord uses us if we are worthy and of the vital importance of recognizing promptings. 

This week it became very obvious to me why missions are hard! If you do all of the things you are supposed to and your heart and soul is in the mission field, then you open up your heart to be stomped on, twisted, rejected, laughed at, and even ridiculed. You will feel the darkest of souls and lightest of hearts. You will recognize Satan in his works and God in His miracles. You will bear witness that there truly is opposition in ALL things. Missions aren't necessarily hard because you are working 24/7 or that you don't have the opportunity to do ANYTHING for yourself. No it's hard because these experiences push you closer to your Savior than ever before as you strive to become like Him and go through a lot of what He went through. You feel the rejection, pain, ridicule, and hardness of the people just as He did. You see the wheels in their heads turning on ways to trick you into leaving their home without offering your message. You see people coming to church with black eyes because their family doesn't like them being Mormon. I understand my Savior so much more than I could have ever thought possible because I am striving to live His life. I am in His shoes. I wake up and put on those worn out sandals that carried Him all over Jerusalem. I am not Hermana Lake, representative of the Church of Jesus Christ. No...I'm Hermana Lake, A REPRESENTATIVE OF JESUS CHRIST.  I love this church, I love my Redeemer. I love MY MISSION! We had another one of our super elect investigators (who rejected the gospel this week) ask us if we were angels. We had to tell him about 3 times that we weren't. But in all honesty....I'm lying a little bit. because as we bring salvation to people, we are doing His work. No wonder they think we are angels!
I love you all! 

Hna Lake

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