Monday, August 10, 2015

Week #51 - Old Cuban Men Can Change your Life

Hello friends and family!  

"Dios, dame valor para aceptar lo que no puedo cambiar, fuerza para cambiar lo que yo puedo, y sabiduria para saber la diferencia"  Translation: "God, give me courage to accept what I can't change, strength to change what I can, and wisdom to know the difference" 

There are a lot of things that happen in our lives that we truly cannot change and we are forced to turn it over to God; but we need to ask for God's help to do so.  

I've been learning about how I can convert myself more to OYMing people. Now that we are on bikes, it takes a lot more time to stop the bike and talk to someone in your path. It just seems so awkward and weird. But, I've been trying to follow the counsel of leaders and have seen miracles!

D&C 33:8-10

“Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
“Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
“Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Sister Rowley, an amazing STL, has taught me much from these scriptures. I've stopped to consider my journey through the gospel. How did I feel in the beginning compared to now? Everyone has a journey of conversion, whether they were born into the gospel or whether they found the truth through friends and family. I can distinctly remember the way I felt when I had the gospel but didn't utilize it or have a strong testimony of it and the way that I feel now. It's night and day, people! Sad and lonely, to joyful and serving; hopeless to hopeful! Why should only we have this privilege? Why not the rest of God's children? Why would I not open my mouth??

#1:We were on an exchange with Sister Rowley and getting ready to bike home which was about an hour away. As we were riding, I felt the impression to go back and go see a member which I logically knew would not be home; however, the farther I rode, the worse I felt. We turned around and went to their house - no one was home! Confused because I was will to follow but I did not understand God's purpose, I suggested that go a quicker direction home. As we got to a stop light, a black man walks by and I OYM him in English. He responded. "No speakie English". I started speaking in Spanish and he became so happy. Apparently, he was visiting from Santo Domingo and when he found out we were Mormons said, "I've visited your church many times! I go there all the time!" It turns out that he was an investigator there! We spoke a few minutes more, gave him a website to check out, and went on our way. I don't know why God needed us to talk to him but it was a testimony builder for me that God is ALWAYS aware of His children's needs. He stopped His missionaries and sent us in the opposite direction just so that this man could know....something. I still don't know what - but I KNOW that God had us meet him for a reason.

#2:On this same exchange, we went and taught our sweet Marcela. SHE IS THE COOLEST! Anyway, as we are biking out, we see this lady and as I was about to bike past her....I just couldn't. I stopped my bike and asked if we could give her a card in English. Once again, "No speakie English". We started talking to her in Spanish and it turns out she has been in United States for a month from Colombia and looking for a church. MIRACLES! She committed to come and was so happy that we had talked to her. She did not come this week but I have faith that either she will come very soon or we are going to run into her again!

#3:We were out knocking doors last night and we walked past a house about 4-5 times. I felt like we should knock but, of course, logically explained why we shouldn't. He is white, on some random computer game, probably a lame YSA (no offense!), it's 8:30 and we need to leave, obeying the rules is more important, etc. But gently, God gave me a reminder of something I learned on my exchange:
A sister in my mission had OYMed and prayed with some drunk guy in a park. She left him a card with their number and told him to call them. Next day, they get a call from him saying he wants to change his life. This man was later baptized a member of Jesus Christ's true gospel weeks later.  Each child has the potential to change, and we are not qualified to decide "When"  for them?  Back to my story ...we knocked the door and Rany, who is the sweetest South Korean I've ever met, opens the door. He tells us how he has had some serious anger issues in his life and has been hurt so deeply in the past and just cannot let it go. How said that he wants to let God into his life and help him move on. My heart melted. We testified that this was Jesus Christ's gospel and that through learning about it, he could be free of these burdens and pains in his life.What would have happened if I had ignored that prompting? Would he have met the missionaries? How would he find what he was searching so desperately for if we hadn't knocked his door?

Long story short: We are children of God; brothers and sisters. Some of us came to this earth WITHOUT the benefit of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is through us that others can receive the gift may not know that they are yearning for. Your efforts can be as small as giving a card to someone, bearing testimony to the love of God, or serving someone in a nearby grocery store. NO EFFORT IS EVER WASTED. There will be those who will not accept our message; however, true disciples of Jesus Christ do not allow that to discourage them from trying. JUST TRY. You don't have to go on a mission to know how to share your testimony. You do it once a month or more! Have courage. God has given you the promise that if you open your mouth, it will be filled!! I know and testify that it is true. It's just as hard for a missionary to open their mouth, believe me. But, we still must do it. You have been called as member missionaries. Allow yourselves to believe it and to magnify your calling :)

I love you!

Hna Lake

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