Well today marks 16 months in the mission field. Weird. Sometimes it feels like the mission is the only life I have ever known, but at the same time it does not feel like it has been over a year since I was with you all. Time is just strange.
Life is going well though. We have seen so many miracles this week.
So we started teaching two new women this week. They are awesome. One was a referral from a member and she is actually the aunt of the young girl that got baptized with me and Hermana Arevalo in November. She was at the baptism and everything! She is soaking everything up though and has a date for the next Saturday! The other is also connected to a member. She is the grandma of the boyfriend of one of our less active members. We just found this member for the first time this week. The grandma came in at the end of the lesson and asked if we by chance could get a hold of a bible for her. We said of course and invited her to sit in with our next lesson. When we came back the member was not there but this woman was so we taught her. She is amazing! She talked to us about how she doesn't have much background in religion but how that she would like to learn more. When we taught her about Joseph Smith and the first vision she told us "I feel something in my heart, something happy". We are excited to keep working with her and hopefully with more of her family.
The other miracle we had this week has to do with specific prayers. One saying that I have come to love on my mission is that "Specific prayers bring, specific answers". I can't remember who said it but I know it is true. So we have this potential we met a couple weeks back. She was super nice and seemed interested in the message. She wouldn't set up an appointment but said to come back. Over the last few weeks we have tried every time we were in that area. The problem is though is that they have a gate, and it is always locked. Also her telephone number was not working...finally we decided that in order to get into this house we needed a miracle. We said a prayer and asked that the next time we passed by that she would have forgotten to lock the gate and that we would be able to get in. The next night we had the chance to go by. I decided in the car that even if it looked locked I would try the lock just to see. As we went up to the gate though we saw that it was closed but not locked. Finally we were able to knock on the door and were able to talk to her. It turns out that she had not been able to pay her phone bill, which was why she could not answer our calls or get back to us but she said that she was happy to see us. We talked with her, left her a Book of Mormon this time, and talked about coming back. As we were getting ready to leave she made the comment "That is weird that you were able to get in, I always lock the gate but tonight I must have forgotten." Coincidence? I think not! I know that it was an answer to our prayers. I have seen that so many times on and before my mission. It takes more faith to ask specifically but I know that God answers our prayers if they are good honest desires. If we ask for general things we are always only going to get general answers. And we wonder sometimes we feel so frustrated that our prayers aren't being answered?
It is like in the story of the brother of Jared and the stones. He had a problem (needed light in the barges), however he did not just go to the Lord and ask, "Hey can I get some light in the barges?" No, he thought it out, came up with a solution and then asked a specific question "Will you touch these stones that I have prepared and give them light?" (paraphrased). It is then that the miracle happened. The brother of Jared saw the Lord's finger and the stones received light. His prayer was answered. I love the symbolism involved in seeing the Lord's finger. Due to this specific prayer, the brother of Jared had no doubt that it was the Lord answering his prayer. I would say that it is the same with our specific prayers. I know that when I receive specific answers to my specific prayers I have no doubt that it is God answering my prayer. Those things just don't happen by luck.
I hope that we can all have the increased faith to ask God for the specific blessing that we need in our life and then the faith to act accordingly to what we have asked. As we do so I know that we will see an increase of miracles in our lives and an increased knowledge of the love that God has for us as his children.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!