Even though the first few days in this area were a little bit difficult, we have seen nothing but miracles and success this last week! I absolutely love my area and my companionship. The ward is incredible as well. We are working with some amazing individuals and families and I know it is because we were willing to set aside our own wills and do the work God's way! We have a lot of really solid people lined up for baptism over the next couple of weeks and we are excited to continue working with them.
A couple weeks ago I had a really incredible experience in my last area but I forgot to write about it. On Sister Gordon's very first day in Nova, we knocked into a woman named Angela who ended up getting baptized a few weeks later. She was incredible and we were so excited to have been the ones to find her! When I came into the Ft. Laud ward, Angela was there for our very first week at church but then missed the next few consecutive Sundays. As part of our reactivation efforts, we went to visit her and found out that she was really struggling with things. We decided to read in the Book of Mormon with her. She told us that she had lost her glasses, so she wouldn't be able to see the words well enough to read, but we asked her to follow along with us anyways. She grabbed her Book of Mormon and struggled to find the page because it was hard to see the page numbers, but eventually she got to the right page. We told her which verses we would be reading. She found them on the page...and then all of a sudden, she opened her mouth and started reading the verses out loud. We were silent as we watched the Spirit work on her as she read the selected verses. She got to the end of the passage and in tears, turned to us and said, "Girls...I can't explain how I feel right now. I can't see....but yet I can read. I honestly can't see these words, it's just a black blur....but yet I'm reading!" She looked back at the page again and began to read the next few verses as well. It was a huge miracle and it was one of the most powerful experiences I've had on my mission. But even more powerful was the moment she understood what this meant. She recognized that the Book of Mormon truly was the word of God and that He wanted her to read it so badly that He would allow her to do so even if she lacked the ability to see. I have had so many experiences on my mission that have confirmed to me the truth of this work, and that was such a powerful, converting moment. Then she went on to tell me about the day that Sister Gordon and I found her. She told me that she had planned on committing suicide that night, but when we showed up at her door she knew that God was telling her not to give up. I can't even quite explain how I felt. It was such a humbling moment, to recognize how much God trusted me that day. He knew that his daughter was struggling and He sent us to help her. He places so much trust in us! Luckily that day I was receptive to the Spirit and I changed my harvesting location because of a prompting I received, which is when we found Angela. But what if I hadn't been listening that day? I am so grateful that I am living in a way which allows me to be receptive to the quiet whisperings of the Spirit and that my Heavenly Father knows He can trust me with His children.
Like I mentioned, I am absolutely loving life here in Wellington. It rocks. We had dinner yesterday at the Oaks' home, which is a FANTASTIC family from the ward. They are all so incredibly talented and it felt so GOOD to be in their home! Compared to where I usually am during the day, it felt like stepping into the temple. There truly is a palpable difference in homes where covenant-keeping families live. Sister Oaks was a piano performance major at BYU, so we were able to chat about that. Her kids are ROCK STAR pianists and I was totally blown away as they played for us. Both parents are returned missionaries and they are awesome. It really set an example for me of what I want my future home & family to be like! Being in their home and listening to Chopin & Debussy float through the rooms made me CRAVE playing piano again. It made me want to pull out all my old piano books and play again! I haven't really felt that at all yet on my mission, but being around it made me remember what it felt like. It used to be such a huge part of my life! I trust that Heavenly Father will help it to all come back when I get home. Also, after dinner Sister Oaks accompanied me on piano and I got to sing some Broadway, which was so fun.
As mom reminded me, this week is my YEAR MARK. What the world?! It's gone by SO fast.
Keep smilin and loving life, good luck with school starting in the next couple weeks :)