Monday, October 1, 2012

The Power of Fasting

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for the fast. On Tuesday I felt the power of the fast, and throughout the rest of the week, I knew that power was still in force, as I kept going and having faith in the Lord.

This week many miracles have happened. Sister Exchanges are a time for those miracles to be seen more readily as a new missionary comes in the area for a few days and gives her insight to the work in the area. Having Sister Dodge was wonderful and we visited less actives and potential investigators that show some interest in being taught again. One example is Ivette Uries, a 16-year-old whom we just briefly visited right before switchbacks. She was a potential, turned to a new investigator once Sister Stacey and I taught her. Ivette is smart and humble. We brought a woman from our ward who really got along great with Ivette and used a pomegranate to share with her how the fruits of the gospel are the same--you don't have to taste each individual pomegranate seed to know the sweetness of them all. It really spoke to Ivette, and I know that as she reads and wants to learn for herself that what we are teaching is true, she will come to that. Though we invited her to baptism, and she said no at this time, if we teach with power and authority, and clearly, I am confident she will come to know the truth.

Another miracle we had this week happened with Freddy. On the way to visit a less-active, we saw Freddy outside, so we hurried out of the car (after saying a prayer of course :) ) and set up an appointment with him! On Friday we were able to teach Freddy the doctrine of Christ, and he agreed with everything. He is Baptist and very open. As we teach him of the Restoration, the need for authority with baptism will make more sense.
A third miracle is that we met with the Carrillo's, and both parents were home! Sister Stacey and I had been at dinner, and just about to show the family a Mormon Message for dinner thought, but the DVD wouldn't work. Since dinner started at 7, it was already 8 by this time, and we knew we had to visit the Carrillo's. So we shared a quick thought and booked it to the Carrillo's house. If we would have been there even 3 minutes later, his parents might have already been asleep. That meeting was amazing and lots of concerns and questions were expressed, and goals were made that night. Brother Carrillo is commited to get work off on the 20th and it just feels right that this baptism will happen then. Even the Carrillo's said that all the other times with all the other missionaries just didn't feel right for Chris to be baptized, but now is the time. Those missionaries planted those seeds, and I honor them for their efforts. I don't know why things happen when they do, but the Lord does. I'm so grateful for this family and their commitment to change.
One more miracle...we teamed up with the Spanish elders and finally met and taught Justine!! She yearns to be baptized, but still lives with her boyfriend, has 2 kids with him, and she doesn't know how to leave him and he doesn't seem too interested in marriage.  We talked about fasting, and this Sunday we all fasted for her to come to Church. Justine was supposed to join, and commited to it, but her boyfriend really hates missionaries, so we couldn't start the fast with her. I hope she was able to fast on her own, as we were, and that her desires will be met. Or that her boyfriend will soften his heart or just leave, but I really don't know how this story is going to end. All we can do is continue teaching her and helping her see she is a beloved daughter of God, who deserves the best.
Though some appointments fell through, it was all as the Lord would have it. We were supposed to teach another new investigator and a recent convert on Thursday from 2 to 4 pm, but both fell through. Right at 2 we got a call from Teresa, a recent convert, telling us she was sent to the ER and wanted a blessing and a visit. We were able to find worthy Melchezidek priesthood holders for the blessing, and had time to visit her. I learned 2 things from this: Heavenly Father is very aware of what all His children are going through and will call upon those willing to be His hands, and that every male worthy to hold the priesthood of God must remain worthy to use it whenever asked. Continually keeping our covenants is key to being an instrument in the Lord's hands.
This Saturday we were able to attend the RS Broadcast with the Fontana Stake and Sister Kagle, a less-active we are teaching, came! It was so wonderful to see her there, and she truly asked for work off for Sunday (she thought it was my birthday this Sunday not last, ha ha), and though her boss told her no, she is changing. She loved President Eyring's talk, as did I. He truly showed us how to serve and be willing. I loved how Sister Burton told us to write in our hearts those 3 principles of the atonement: that it is the greatest evidence of God's love for us; that through its power we can overcome the natural man and be disciples of Christ, and that all that is unfair about life WILL be made right through the atonement. We just have to let it. I really loved how President Eyring also asked "what can willing hands do?" I am going to take your advice, Mom, and wake up with that thought and then go and do!
I'm feeling much better, and I can honestly say it is because for this past week in my morning and evening prayers I have asked to feel love for those I teach and come in contact with. It has been more fun to do missionary work because I am being granted this desire, and truly want to share the gospel because I love those we teach. To enhance this love, I will account to the Lord each night for how I showed love for my fellowmen. I'm still going to pray to be filled with love and to see others as God sees them, but after a week of experimenting, I know for myself that I am much happier and willing to work when I focus on others and love them. It's such a simple principle! I want to be filled with this love all the time.
This letter probably is scattered, and that is another goal I have for myself, and have had for over a year. I've been working this week on focusing on one thing at a time, but it is a process. Thank you for all your prayers and love.
Sister Mills

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