I really have no idea where to start.
I have never felt so bendecida in my entire life.
Imagine this. Imagine the sun in it's brightness and glory. Shining. It's rays reaching into the darkest corners where most don’t dare to go. Now put that burning ray of sunshine in your heart. Can you feel it? Your heart just grew 3 sizes and is swelling. With each beat it is struggling to contain the brightness inside. It can't in fact. It humanly can't contain it, so it shines from the inside out and you can feel the sun shining out of you.
Yes. That's how I feel. That is how I have felt all week. I haven't been able to stop myself from feeling that way.
In all of the lessons this week, I have put 100% of my faith in Heavenly Father and have taught with as much power and authority as I knew how.
One of my favorite experiences this week was on Saturday night. It was 8:00pm and we had just finished teaching a lesson to our investigator Nicolas. He is set to be baptized on the 19th of October. He is incredible! He 17 years old, still in high school and is taking 4 or 5 AP classes right now. He does all of his reading assignments, he prays, and he comes to church every week without fail and he loves to learn about the gospel. We had just finished a wonderful lesson with him and were on our way to the church to watch the General Women's Broadcast. We were maybe 5-10 minutes walking distance away when a thought came to my mind. "You need to go visit Luis. Call Luis", it said. I looked at Hermana Carter and told her what I was feeling. She looked at me with sad eyes. She knew what that meant. We were going to miss the Broadcast. I was sad too. We were both looking forward to it. I gave her a hug and told her, "Heavenly Father's not going to let us down."
Luis' house was the opposite way that we were walking, so we turned around and began walking as fast as we could meanwhile calling Luis. He picked up and said with urgency, "I'm so glad that you called. I'm sending my cousin down to open the door for you when you get here." Strange. We hadn't even said that we were coming. Usually it was a 12-15 minute walk from where we were to Luis' house, but we managed to do it in half the time.
We arrived a little short of breath from walk/running so fast. Prayed and asked for Heavenly Father's guidance during this lesson and then rang the doorbell. When we were in the apartment we saw Luis with 3 of his cousins whom we had never met before. We started by getting to know them. They are all teenage young men, Luis being the oldest of them all is 20 years old and less active. His cousins names are Jordy, Gabriel, and Ismael ranging from ages 13-17. While getting to know them we laughed a ton. It seemed very natural, but when we should have started the lesson, their 5 year old brother came in and...well....was just a regular little 5 year old. A little rowdy, curious about everything, and a little distracting. The lesson started to head south, but with Heavenly Father's help we were able to change that. I asked their 5 year old brother, Angel, if he liked to read. He said, "kind of, but I like video games more." We all chuckled. I asked if he had ever read the Book of Mormon. "No", he said, "does it have any people fighting in it?" We all laughed again and then we continued on to share about what the Book of Mormon is and how it's about a family, like theirs, that traveled from a different country to the Americas (they are from the Dominican Republic). I continued on by doing "How to Begin Teaching", a powerful way to define our purpose as missionaries when we first get into a lesson (outlined in Preach My Gospel), by simply testifying of every bullet point. The Spirit was SO strong. That sun, as mentioned earlier, was shining more brightly than usual. And with that we began the lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Their eyes were glued to us as we taught them. They were feeling the Spirit and were so intrigued by it. By the end of the lesson they all accepted a baptismal date. November 2 will be a great day.
When we left the house we were physically and spiritually exhausted, but we still had a long walk back to our house and not very much time to do it....so we ran.
It was worth it. It was all worth it.
That same day, earlier in the morning, I saw Heavenly Father work through earthly angels. We had been at the church building teaching some of the ladies in the ward how to play the piano. The Sister Training Leaders stopped by because they said that they had some clothes that they wanted to give to us. After the lesson we greeted them outside at their car.
As I was talking to Hermana Carter and one of the Sister Training Leader, Hermana Duke, Hermana Weinstock went back to their car to grab a box. When she returned from the car, with the box in hand, she called me over. She told me that she had mentioned my name in an email home to her family recently telling them about my gluten allergy. Her adopted uncle (family friend), had read the email and responded to her asking if there was anything he could do for me. He said to her that he really wanted to send me something. He told Hermana Weinstock that he was sending a small package to her and that she could give it to me when it arrived.
This is what his "small package" contained:
I opened the box right there on the street and cried in gratitude. I have been blessed to have had Hermana Weinstock as my companion and now to have her as my Sister Training Leader. I can feel so much love from her. Through her I know Heavenly Father has been able to work miracles. I know that because they have happened to me.
I have been walking among the celestial. There are angels watching over us. Both earthly and heavenly, and I can feel them. I may not know them: Jerry Turner, the "uncle" of Hermana Weinstock; or the spiritual beings that I know have been with us, but I know that they are there.
This week would not have been as wonderful as it was without their help.
I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who knows and understands my needs. I have learned to trust him fully. The leap of faith isn't as hard for me anymore because I know without a doubt that he will catch me.
I testify that this work is true. That we are the tools that the Lord will bring for this angelic work.
And finally, I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love it with all my heart.
Sending all my love home, well....not all of it...I'm keeping some of it here for my area and my companion. :)