"God loves us. He is good, He is our Father, and He expects us to pray, and trust, and be believing, and not give up, and not panic, and not retreat, when something doesn't seem to be going just right" -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
This quote, one that my mom sent me a few weeks ago, has been my rock this week! It seemed like all of our firm investigators dropped us and not a single person we are teaching came to church . This was after we did absolutely everything we could to get people there. I've never prayed so much in my life! In moments like this, it's easy to lose hope, and wonder what we could be doing wrong. But we will not lose faith! We will stay strong. And I will not panic just because things aren't going how I want them to. The Lord has a plan.
If there is one thing I learned from the first 7 months of my mission in California, it's patience. It wasn't easy to be a visa waiter. It was frustrating not seeing the fruits of our labors. But I learned that everything happens in the Lord's timing. "When you are patient, you hold up under pressure [yes I am feeling lots of pressure] and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully... you must WAIT for the Lord's promised blessings to be fulfilled" (Preach My Gospel, p. 120). I'm holding on to this statement! We are doing our part and I know the Lord will provide the way.
Just a little shout out to anyone facing adversity this week: Instead of dwelling on everything that is going wrong, let's focus on the little victories we have every day. Here's a "little victory" from :
We were looking for a former investigator named Simone and decided to ask the neighbor, José, if he knew her. We started talking to him about the church and he ended up inviting us in to meet his wife and son. They told us about a trial they are passing through, with their other son who is heavily involved in drugs. We were able to share the verse in Mosiah 27 that talks about how the prayers of Alma were answered about his son, who was making wrong choices and trying to destroy the church. Heavenly Father always hears the prayers of the righteous. As we were sharing this with them, Rosangela, the wife looked directly at me and said, "I remember you! You and your friend passed me on the street the other day. You said "Hi" to me like you had known me for 10 years. It was so friendly and happy and it made my day! I thought to myself, they must be from a church. And now you are here." I was speechless.
THIS is a victory! Never ever underestimate what a smile or a simple "hello" can do. I had no idea that I had said hi to her. I didn't remember her. But she remembered me. That 1 second moment touched her heart. I am so grateful that I noticed her enough to say hi to her that day. Perhaps because of this moment and because of what we were able to share with them during their trial, this family will join the church. We're going back to teach them! Sister R. Santos and I are so excited!
Yes, there are moments when we feel like everything is falling apart. Moments when we want so much for something to happen and it doesn't. But we can't give up. We can't retreat. We must press forward with faith and valiance, and always remember "Thy will be done". Not what we want, not in our timing, but the Lord´s.
Let's all continue to look for the little victories in each day. Let's recognize the Lord's tender mercies in every minute. We have so much reason to rejoice! This gospel is a gospel of JOY!
Have a great week! Thanks for all your love and support. I love and miss each and every one of you!