Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The power of a prompting (and a henna tattoo)

SAN DIEGO — Hope you are doing well. It was so good to hear from all of you!

Hannah: Thank you for the letter. I am so sorry to hear the hard things with your family, but so happy about school. Those pictures were adorable!

Juli: Thank you for your letters, pictures and journals- I can't believe how much those two are growing up! I miss them soooooooo much!

Aunt Kathy: (please tell her this if she doesn't get to read the email) I got your letter and it made my day. Thank you for thinking of me! Love you so much!

Mom: Hope you are enjoying being off track:) Thanks for the updates on everyone. And THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!

I was thinking back when I used to be on the other end of these missionary emails and I'm not sure if I answer all the questions you have. I think I am just so used to being a missionary, I forget what you may want to know about. Will you let me know any of those things? I'll answer, promise. I just don't know what is interesting for you to know.

As for today, I think we all should start out with a good laugh don't you? Well, I actually have two for you:

Yesterday, we stopped by an Indian couple's home that we had helped move in a few months prior. They got so excited to show us about their culture, they gave us Indian candy, showed us their Indian shrine, their wedding pictures, and then they sat us down on the floor and started painting on sister Kennington's hand with this gooey brown stuff. As she started on my hand, her husband pulled up online what it was she was painting with... We got a Henna tattoo! Ooops! We tried to get it off since we had a sisters meeting at President's home the next day. Even soaking it in bleach for an hour didn't help! Windex and fingernail polish remover didn't work, either.

Another funny was a few nights ago, we were talking to a Russian visitor for a few minutes. We continued on talking with another family, and when we turned around to walk inside the temple, there was a dead BIG FAT RAT in the middle of the walkway. (A crow had dropped its dinner- yuck!) We had to guard it until security came to take it away. They took a while and Sister Kennington got bored, so she started singing a Broadway musical about this rat who could end up in the Celestial Kingdom- it was pretty hilarious.

My next story is the soap opera and miracle all rolled into one.

Last Tuesday after I emailed you, Brother Bryant called us and told us he had a referral for us. His name is Cameron and he is the ex-boyfriend of Brother Bryant's daughter, Chrissy. We set up a time and met with him a few days later. We had dinner at the Bryant's home and taught him about God, Prayer and the Holy Ghost. The next day, Brother Bryant's daughter called us and asked if she could be taught the lessons, as she has been inactive for 10 years. We set up a time to meet with her the next day.

When we walked up to Brother Bryant's home, we met his other inactive son, Josh, who is super friendly. As we taught her, the first thing that she said, with tears rolling down her eyes, was, "I want the Spirit back in my life". We were able to teach her and committed her to read from the Book of Mormon. The next day we were back at the Bryant's, this time for Cameron. Things got a little sticky when Chrissy got home earlier than thought and we had dinner with both Cameron and his ex girlfriend, Chrissy, at Chrissy's house. Heavenly Father helped everything work out.

After dinner, we had one of the most life-changing lessons I have had on my mission. We sat down (Josh, Brother Bryant's less active son was with us also) and taught Cameron about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything we have been learning from the General Authorities that have trained us came together, the Spirit was there, and as the scriptures say, when we teach by the Spirit, "both are uplifted and edified together."

We committed him to be baptized, which he agreed, with the biggest grin on his face. His grin got even wider as Sister Kennington promised him blessings of greater happiness than he could imagine. He responded to her comment, saying "I can already tell." As we were leaving the house Sister Bryant got a text from Chrissy, she gasped and with tears filling her eyes told us that Chrissy just put in her two weeks notice at the bar. What you could call the cherry on top, was when on Sunday, Chrissy who has not been to Church in ten years and Cameron who has only been one time prior in his whole life, walked into sacrament meeting.

God is real. His power is real. There is nothing in the world that could have done this for Chrissy and Cameron, save it came from God.

Brother Bryant listened to a simple prompting to call Cameron. Through that act of faith, and that seemingly small action, there have been many lives changed.

I often ask myself how many of those opportunities I have decided to not listen to. How many promptings have I let slip by? God has a work to do. We can be a part of it, or we can be a bystander. It is up to us to listen and to take action.

Personally, I want a chance to participate in any part of the work of God He will trust me to do. I promise from personal experience that when we listen to those promptings, we earn the trust of a loving Heavenly Father, who will continue to call on us to run His errands.

I invite you to join in the work. To be there for Heavenly Father. Become a dependable and trustworthy servant of the Lord.

There is true joy and satisfaction, one that I didn't even realize by being trusted by God.

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