Monday, 15 August 2016

Rainbows after the Storm

Hey, so this week started off pretty rough. For some reason we weren't able to schedule very many appointments the first few days, and it was WAY too hot, and some of the people we taught had crises that were difficult to deal with. I was feeling pretty down for a few days.

But gradually, things took off! And I can't even count how many miracles came in the second half of the week! I guess it's true that things get tough right before something great is about to happen. I'll just list some of the cool things that happened this week:

- JASMINE GOT BAPTIZED! (There were more than a few glitches with the baptismal service, but it all worked out in the end)

- We got to teach Peter, who's getting baptized a couple days after I leave
- A man that Sister Hoffmann met on the metro came to church and stayed afterwards for a lesson with us. He's from Iran and speaks very little English, but he explained how he has felt "pushed" by the Spirit to believe in Christ and come to our church. So cool!
- We started teaching the boyfriend of a less-active member who has already come to church twice and loved it. He was so impressed by the loving atmosphere and warm welcome of the members that he became really interested in learning more about our beliefs.
- I had a wonderful exchange with Sister Morgan, the newest sister in our zone! She's already so good at so many aspects of missionary work, and I feel like I learned a lot from her about courage and overcoming doubts.
- We met a man from Zanzibar on the bus who was kind of staring at us so we didn't really want to talk to him, but we gave him our card on our way out, and he actually called us! We had an incredible first lesson with him, and he accepted a baptismal date right away! 
- I had my last district meeting.
- One of our investigators, Nyon, texted us yesterday morning to say he was in Vancouver and wanted to know if he could get in touch with some of our "people" over there. We gave him the address of a church and left a message on the bishop's phone - shout out to Bishop Getts in Vancouver for contacting Nyon and meeting with him!! He loved it!

I am reminded again and again just how much God really loves not just me, but everyone. His plan is the best plan. I was reading in Alma this week about when 1005 of the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi are massacred because they refused to take up weapons against their enemy - but in so doing, many of the Lamanites were converted. Following what seems outwardly to have been a tragedy, look what happens: "And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have nreason to doubt but what thewere asaved.
And there was not wicked man slain among them; but there were more than thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lorworketh in many aways to the salvation of his people"(Alma 24:26-27).
We don't understand all of God's ways. I, at least, certainly don't. But I do know that He has a much greater understanding than I do, and sometimes I or the people I love need to suffer for a time in order for Him to accomplish His great purpose, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"(Moses 1:39). This week was a testimony to me of that truth.

It's hard to believe that this is almost the end. Next week, I'll be sending out my last email from the mission field. It's definitely been the richest experience of my life. Until next week!

Sister Shaver

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