Sometimes you have to marvel at how much Heavenly Father loves you because He gives you exactly what you need. For the past month or two, I had been really struggling. I wasn't necessarily having a hard time in missionary work, but I felt like many trials were being given to me. I was grateful for them because I knew that they would benefit me later, but I couldn't say that I loved having them ;)
My experience is much like a reservoir of water. First, a dam is created, maybe not blocking the flow of all the water, but retaining the majority of it. Second, the water begins to accumulate behind it. I felt like I was on the other side of the dam, the dry side. I was expecting a steady trickle of water, when in reality Heavenly Father had something much greater in mind.
But this whole week, everything changed; I have felt Heavenly Father's grace touch my life.
The Flood Gates have been opened and I feel like I have received nothing but blessings.
Monday, I made it a new day. I decided to start over. So I did. It was PDay, so I took some time to be by myself, knelt down at my bedside and prayed for help. I love the way that He listens.
Well, PDay ended, but the work didn't. With renewed faith in the future, my mentality was changed.
The next day we had an exchange. I was nervous to leave on the exchange, which was weird because I'm never nervous for an exchange, but I should have known better. Exchanges are always inspired. I went on an exchange with Sister Cadizal, a cute Philippian missionary a few transfers younger than I am. The whole exchange I felt like I was learning from her. She has such a talent to show others her love. She loves to love people. I told her that it was something I was working on, and for the next little while, just like a sponge, soaked all of the knowledge on how to love others, right out of her. At the end of the exchange, I was PUMPED to love my companion and to love my area. We got back in the car, and the first thing I told my companion was that I missed having her to teach with me. Whoa, the spirit just flooded the car. I'm sure you can feel that at home too.
Now, don't think that from then on it was a walk in the park. I had to keep reminding myself that I had started over and that there was NO looking back.
Wednesday started off difficult, but once again, I reminded myself, "It's all in the past". Thursday, we had zone conference with President Taggart. I asked him if I could meet with him after the meeting. He agreed.
After zone conference was over, we went into another room to talk. I told him that I was feeling down, that I just needed to reaffirm that I was doing a good job. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Sister Childs, you are one of the best missionaries that New Jersey has." Those words sunk straight into my heart. I knew he meant it. His eyes filled with tears as he went on. I felt so much love from him, and the spirit confirmed to me that what he was saying was true. I don't say that to puff myself up, but because I can see myself how my Heavenly Father sees me.
Now, I won't go into details on what exactly has been happening to this point because it doesn't matter. It's different now. :)
I love my companion. I love the people I work with. I love my mission President. And I love being a missionary.
After that meeting with President Taggart, we went off to an exchange. I was feeling so much love for myself from my Heavenly Father and I'm so grateful I was, because I was going to visit a sister who couldn't see or feel the love from her Father in Heaven.
First of all, Sister Jensen is awesome. I LOVE her. She is from Provo, Utah. She has been a member all of her life, but hasn't always been active, until she felt like she needed to go on a mission. Then everything changed. As I got to know her, I saw a brave, humble, valiant daughter of God who knew how to follow revelation, but the image that she saw of herself was much different. She saw someone who lacked faith, who "couldn't possibly be a tool in the hands of the Lord because she didn't have faith that He could work through her". I couldn't help but look at her and just love her. On this exchange, Heavenly Father wanted her to see how much He loved her .....and because I had just been going through a similar experience and the representative of my Heavenly Father, my mission President, had just displayed to me how much potential and love were felt for me, I could then easily transfer that to her. He wanted me to learn from her and see that sometimes we can be pretty down on ourselves and look at only the worst things, but that's not always how they are. We are sons and daughters of a heavenly king. We have the right to shine and be glorious, we just have to give ourselves the permission to do so.
Well, because she didn't feel like faith worked, or that she could be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, I prayed throughout the whole exchange that we would see miracles and that she would be able to recognize that she can be and is used by the Lord.
The end result is astounding. We saw MANY miracles on the exchange. Many that are too big to be ignored. We were contacting on the street, knocking doors, and she wasn't sure what to do. I said, "let's walk up to this house." We practiced the NJ approach, but it didn't work out. Next door, she chose. I let her lead the contact and before you know it we basically just walked into her house. The front door was open and little kids were playing inside. We knew that someone was home. We knocked, the lady came to the door, she spoke Spanish. We asked if we could come in and share a message about Jesus Christ. She said yes. We were in for 15 minutes and shared a scripture with her. She said that she was very religious and wanted to "join us in what we do". We invited her to a members house and then to team up with us one day. She used to meet with the missionaries before in her country. It was incredible. She said that she missed going to our church. She said that the church that she started going to when she first came to the USA was conveniently close, but she didn't like the way it felt. We offered her our help with the ward to get her to the church. She is coming!
She also mentioned that she wanted to start coming out with the missionaries to help spread the message that we had.
What a miracle!
I know that miracles are real. Especially when we believe in the power of God.
I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I had this week. God lined them all up perfectly; the exchange with Sister Cadizal where I learned to love others and love myself again, the interview with President that reaffirmed how much Heavenly Father loves me and helped me realize who I really am, and then the exchange with Hermana Jensen where I could look back and thank Heavenly Father for ALL of the trials that I have gone through.
So grateful for the flood gates that opened! :)
|Sister Cadizal. She's from the Philipines. I know that Heavenly Father |
inspired this exchange....not for her, but for me. :)
|I learned so much from Hermana Jensen. What an incredible missionary!|
I love her so much!
|Me, Hermana Jensen, Hermana Danes, Hermana Palmer|