This week was awesome. We had Elder Hamula from the seventy here for a misison tour and we were able to have a mission conference with him. With the forming of our new mission there have been some problems in parts of the mission with unity and coming together (thankfully I have not had any encounters with that, but apparently there are some real big problems in other parts of the mission) and in lieu of that the conference was largely focused around how we can change our hearts and let go of "unrighteous traditions". I thought a lot about what it is that I need to leave behind and change in order to help the mission and the work here move forward. I've got a couple of things to work on. One of my favorite things he talked about was the pattern he gave us for changing our hearts. There are three steps:
1. Accept that you have agency in all things.
2. Act outwardly the way you want to be inwardly.
3. You must avail yourself the grace of God.
He just talked about how we won't change unless we accept the fact that we have to and can make the choice to change. Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it but nothing changes until we act. Grace is the key though because without the atonement we can't truly change or become more than what we are. When we do all that we can though to develop those Christ like attributes then Grace will step in and give us the power to change. I know I have seen this in my life as I daily try to change those natural man characteristics that I struggle with. I have seen though how as I try my best to act in accordance to those principles that through repentance and with the help of God's grace that I am slowly changing. This is a pattern though I want to continue to use for the rest of my life.
This week I also had a really cool experience with the spirit. Sowe were out working and no one would talk to us. We decided to go to the house of a lady we had talked to the previous week but when we got there I just had this really off feeling. I turned to Hna. Sheffer and told her that I didn't think we were where we were supposed to be. She agreed that she felt the same so we decided to pray about it and see what came to mind. As soon as we began to pray the thought came to my mind that we needed to go try and contact a referral that we had gotten and already tried to contact. After the prayer the thought came again so we said that I thought that is what we needed to do. We both felt good about it so off we went to the other side of town to contact this person. When we got to the house though there was no body home. We decided since we were there we might as well try knocking on a couple of doors. Nothing. We had an appointment coming up so we started heading back to our car when all of a sudden we heard some hysterical cries coming from down the street. We look down and we see this hispanic lady run out in the street holding something, cry at her neighbors house saying, in Spanish, "Help me, Help me, my baby!" and then she ran back towards her house. At that we started running towards her. When we got to her she hysterically was trying to talk to the paramedics in broken English. We got there and told her we were there to help. I took the phone from here and then translated to the medic what was going on and where we were at. Thankfully the baby was breathing but you could tell he was pretty sick. Anyway we were able to calm her down and wait with her until the paramedics came and then we translated for her. The baby had had a seizure but they said he was doing alright and would most likely be fine. We left her with a card with our number and told her we would be back the following day. When we came back the next day she was waiting for us and was so open to all that we had to say. We will be going back tonight to teach her and her family. I was so humbled by that experience and so grateful that I was able to be in tune enough with the spirit to be there for one of God's children. Had we ignored the feeling we were getting we would have missed out on an opportunity to serve someone in need and also a chance to share the gospel. Always listen to spiritual promptings!!
Anyway things are going well. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!