Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Letter #70: We went back!

How strange it is to sit here and realize I only have a week left. I'll be honest, it still doesn't feel real. I feel like I will keep living here in Miami and attending the Snapper Creek branch every week! (Which I would be fine with, actually. I have really come to love the branch members here. The branch has been making a LOT of positive progress lately and it has been wonderful to be a part of.) But I've come to understand that the mission is really just a boot camp for the rest of my life. And it'd be silly to stay at boot camp forever....just like it'd be silly to stay at the MTC forever. Eventually you have to go out into the world and use the skills that you learned! So although I'm sure I will still bawl my eyes out next week as they put me on that plane, I know things will be okay.
Like I mentioned last email, this transfer has not been ANYTHING I expected it to be. However, I truly am full of joy and loving every moment, even though outwardly we are not experiencing the success we would like. This transfer, the Lord has really been teaching me a lot about finding success even in failure. (Maybe I shouldn't say "failure"....that sounds a bit harsh! haha.) I am really learning to seek approval from Him, as well as to see the other fruits of my labors even if they aren't so obvious. I had the goal to leave this branch better than I left it when I came in, and I really feel like I have done that. This last transfer especially, we have watched the changes occur in the branch and its members as we just reached out to them. I truly do feel like I will be leaving it better than when I came. I had the opportunity to give a "final talk" yesterday and even though I felt like I didn't get as much preparation time as I usually do, I think it was one of the best talks I've ever given. It was all about the Restoration of the gospel. It was so cool to see the Spirit speak through me as I said things I hadn't planned on talking about, and it was especially incredible to feel the strength and power behind my words as I bore my testimony at the end. I had a lot of members comment on the talk afterwards and Sybil told me I should be a public speaker.

But the COOLEST thing this week has been the many miracles we have seen! We are teaching an AMAZING girl named Felicia. She is literally the only one we're teaching right now. But she is INCREDIBLE. She is trying to make a LOT of changes in her life, especially overcoming addictions. She has a "home church" but when we taught her the Restoration it clicked and she understood that not every church is true. She asked us, "What happens if you've been going to the wrong church?" and we were able to have a good discussion about how God leads honest seekers of truth to His church, just like He has been leading her. We had asked her earlier in the week to come to church with a question that she wanted God to answer. She hadn't been able to think of one, but after our discussion on the Restoration, she said that she wanted to come to church with the question, "Is this the true church?" I was so excited for her to come this Sunday because I knew that all the talks would be focusing on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. During the last talk, she wrote something on her hand. Afterwards, she showed it to us with a huge grin and this is what she had written: "God just answered my question." (And it was a yes!)  WOW! So cool. She is so amazing. We are praying hard that she will be able to be solid in living the commandments and avoiding her addictions so she can be baptized before I leave.

This week we were really focused on relying on the Spirit and acting on all promptings. We had some amazing experiences as we did so! One of the biggest ones was on Thursday night. We had taken Sybil, or recent convert, out teaching with us and had stopped by to try and visit another recent convert. He wasn't there but his brother was. We had taught his brother a little bit before but he hadn't been super interested. We ended up having a pretty awkward conversation with him and we both were trying to decide whether or not we should have a lesson with him...and we both kind of wanted to...but we ended up just leaving. Anyways, we are driving back on the Palmetto Expressway and I just keep thinking about. I just kept thinking, dang....we should have taught him! And then Sybil mentioned something about how the conversation was really awkward and how she could see in his eyes that he had some questions for us. And then Sis Gordon said she felt bad that we hadn't taught him. And I realized, We have to go back! I voiced it, kind of as a wild idea at first....like, "What if we went back right now and taught him?! Would that be crazy?" (The answer was yes, because we'd been on the freeway for 10ish minutes and it was getting late and we were already 50 streets away) But I just kept talking about it....and we all felt, YES, we need to go back! So I was like, "Look for an exit!! Where's the next exit?!" And we finally got to one and we turned around and went back. Sister Gordon texted Enrique to make sure he didn't leave his house and told him we forgot something and were coming back. We showed up to the house and sadly....he wasn't there. I was kinda bummed. But as we were walking back to the car, we saw ANOTHER boy we had taught a couple of times whose dad is actually a member of the church. I said, "That's why we're here! We're supposed to teach Derek!" So we ran across the street and I said, "Derek, God sent us to visit you tonight because we have a message for you!" And he was so shocked that I don't think he could have left even if he'd wanted to. So we started talking to him and then during the conversation, Enrique showed up too. He asked us what we'd forgotten. And we told him, "God sent us back here because He knew that you had some questions for us, and we forgot to answer them! So....what do you want to know?" He too was a little taken aback. But all in all, it ended up being an AWESOME experience and we all felt super great afterwards. Sybil was pumped to serve her own mission. Yeahhhh! I am grateful that we listened to and acted on that prompting of the Spirit!

Well, I love you all. Other wild moments of the week included playing volleyball in a skirt and getting in a bad car accident last night...but don't worry, we are doing well. Now we just get to figure out how to work our area this week without a car....! Hmm...
SO keep praying for us and our area!  I plan to have the most fabulous week EVER.

Sister Dougal

cow tongue


No comments:

Post a Comment

Few things make a missionary happier than getting letters! And...comments are kind of like letters...so comment away!