Sunday, December 15, 2013

Letter #51: an instrument in His hands

I'm at a very interesting spot in my mission. I'm at the point where I've been out here long enough that I think, "Okay, I know how to do this, I know how to be a missionary..." but as soon as I have that thought is when I lose the ability to be successful because I start relying less on the Lord and more on myself. I feel like this is exactly where I've been for the last month or so, and it's been very frustrating because I haven't been seeing the results I want to. This weekend I finally got to the point where I just had to turn it all over to God again and ask for forgiveness for being so prideful and just ask Him to guide me in His work. I always get so frustrated when my investigators forget their spiritual experiences so quickly or forget about the answers they have received, but at the same time, I am just as quick to forget. Some of the times I have had the most success on my mission are when I opened areas, started training (or sister training), or took over areas. The reason for this is because I just had to turn to the Lord and rely on Him to help me because I didn't know what I was doing well enough to just "do it" on my own. But now I've gotten more comfortable in my missionary work (and "comfortable" is one of those "c"s of pride) and ironically, it means I have less success. Just like the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, I am constantly having to choose to be humble in order to escape from the ever-destructive pride cycle. And now, I (again) choose humility. I (again) choose to rely on Him instead of myself and to truly seek His guidance and revelation on a daily basis. I choose to ask Him, "What I can do for thee today?" instead of the other way around, because this truly is His work, not mine.

I had an amazing exchange in Stuart North, my first area, this week. It was a huge testimony to me that God really is in charge and He is able to orchestrate even the most minor details so that things work out! He knew that I was going on exchange to the area and so He was able to work things out so that I could truly be used as an instrument in His hands. 
The first miracle came when Sister Price and I went out to harvest. We went to the street they had chosen and prayed about the night before. The first woman who answered the door agreed to accept a prayer from us and asked if we would be able to come in and pray for her son as well. She told us she was definitely in need of a blessing since their lives had never been the same since their son nearly drowned in December. As soon as she said, the Spirit brought something to my remembrance that I had not thought about in months. I had heard about her son back when I was in Stuart because one of the doctors working with her son had asked us to keep him in our prayers. We went into her home and left one of the most powerful prayers of my mission. The Spirit was incredibly strong and everyone was in tears, including me. After the prayer, I felt inspired to tell her that I had prayed for her son before, back in December. I mentioned briefly that one of the members of the congregation was the doctor who had worked with him. She asked who, and when I told her, her face lit up. She told me how grateful they were for this good brother because he had truly changed their lives and had helped their family so much during this time of difficulty. Even though she wasn't really interested in learning more about the restored gospel at this time, I know she will remember the Spirit that was felt that day in her home. I also know that God sent us there that day, when I would be in the area, to help her make that connection about the doctor who had helped her family and that he was a member of Christ's church. I know it planted a seed that will hopefully be harvested one day in the future. 
Another huge miracle came after one of our appointments fell through. We decided to go and knock on a few doors before going to our next appointment. We were in an apartment complex I had worked in while I was in the area, and I felt inspired to go over to building G. As we started walking over, the Spirit brought to my mind another person I hadn't thought of in months...Joe, a man I'd left a prayer with months ago who lived in building G. I mentioned him to Sister Price and suggested that we go knock on his door. As we approached the building, a man came out and started walking towards the parking was Joe! We walked up to him and he remembered me, commenting, "Wow, it's been a while since I saw you...what, like 6 months ago?" (It was actually 10 months!) We talked briefly with him and found out that he had just stopped smoking 3 weeks ago...God has definitely been working on and preparing him! We asked if we could say a prayer with him, he said yes, and then after the prayer he accepted baptism! He might not have been ready 10 months ago, but now he is! And it was so cool to see how God was able to bring me back to the area to find him! 

This work is true! It is His work! And each one of you is such a huge part of it! I love you all!

sister dougal

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