Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Closer to Heaven

SAN DIEGO — I haven't read any of your emails or anything because I only have a few minutes to write today. The place we usually go had the internet down, so we are sharing the computer at the Battalion.

Part of my email time was taken up by a MIRACLE! A perfect thing to be taken up by, don't you think?

Elder Woodbury came and got Sister Kennington and myself from the back and told us there was a lady up front who wanted to know more about the Church. She hadn't even been on the tour yet! She was at the temple and she asked how she could go inside, and the temple workers told her that if she came to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site, there would be missionaries there to help prepare her to enter the temple in a year's time. She told us that she has struggles right now and knows that this can make her happy. We scheduled an appointment for her to come back tomorrow at 10. AMAZING! I love the miracles that happen every single day. They really do happen!

An update on our investigators: 

Charmaine is doing better. She still is struggling with the commandments, but is working through it and really wants to get baptized.

Todd also will be baptized at the end of the month.

Some sad news that happened this week. Ali broke his arm and can't afford insurance, so he has to go back to Iran to get it fixed. I think my heart may have literally broken a tiny bit. I know we talked in heaven. He is so close!

We need your prayers, though. I know there are people — just like this lady that came to the Battalion — that are in desperate need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Missionary work is so amazing. You have moments when you are down on your knees in tears not knowing what to do next, times what you feel like you are on cloud nine when one of God's children accepts the Gospel, times when crushing disappointment takes your breath away as one you've learned to love rejects their opportunity of a lifetime.

Of course, there are moments when the only thing you can do is laugh.

I had one of those moments this week, as I was taking one of the Spanish sisters on exchanges a few days ago. I have heard horror stories at the Battalion of some very interesting food that has been served the sisters. We were having a lesson with a lady, and she decided she liked us, so naturally she wanted to feed us a taco. We agreed and she went to the kitchen to prepare it. As she started walking back to us from the kitchen, my heart sank as I saw on the plate weird squiggly white stuff. The only thing running through my mind was that did NOT look like any taco I had ever seen. Flashbacks of being with Dad in Finland and eating nasty stuff ran through my mind. I held my breath, telling myself it was all mind over matter. Then she gave us the plates: it was Chicken Alfredo!!! Yeah, MAJOR FALSE ALARM.

All the Spanish sisters had a hoot and a half hearing that one, though:) They taught me a new phrase last night when I was on exhcanges again, so sister kennington wasnt with me. "Yo tengo mucho respeto por usted, mujer." Anyway, I was supposed to say it to Sis. Kennington. It means, "I have much respect you, woman"

I'll leave you with part of my journal from last night.


January 9, 2012

I just got off my second tour in a row tonight and saw that Sister Nelson was going to start a tour, so I went with her. We took a mother and her two little daughters through. They were so adorable. The whole time we were unsure of whether they were LDS because the daughter kept saying she had been here before. We finished the tour and still, we had no idea whether she was a member of the Church. 

At the end of the tour, she started opening up: her husband is deployed and her and her daughters come here often because of the feelings that they feel.

Of course they do.

The Mormon Battalion is a sacred place, a place where the legacy of these brave men and women is reverenced and retold to the world. The prophecy that the Battalion would be held in reverence to the whole world is fulfilled here every day. I am convinced that the real members of the Battalion are closer than we know at times. This woman felt that. She felt the Spirit. She felt it touch her heart.

She asked if she could go to church with us on Sunday, which we gladly accepted. What is amazing to me is the contrast of another tour I took earlier today. I took two people, cousins, on the tour. The whole time all they wanted to do was leave. They answered their phone multiple times and most of the time weren't even paying attention. Yet, still by the end of the tour their hearts were changed, and they were so excited to bring their family back.

Wow. The Gospel really does change people. No matter who we are, where we come from, we are all children of God. Our spirits still remember Heaven.

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