My goodness, this week started out slow. We had nothing set and just went by people and knocked and contacted and drove and drove and drove...But it ended up being a good week. We've found some neat people. Some are truly interested and some aren't yet, but we've noticed that a large percentage of the people we talk to show signs of being elect, of being people who will accept the gospel. Maybe not while we're here, but someday. We really are being led to the elect, even if they don't know that's what they are. They are being put in "favorable contact with the gospel" and will recognize it someday.
This week I tried to follow anything that even might be a prompting. Because the worst thing that can happen is nothing. One day we were driving down a highway in the middle of nowhere trying to find a referral. We passed the street and had to turn around in front of a trailor. I said, before really even realizing it was a prompting, "We're gonna knock this trailor."
So we did. It was really run down. As we walked up to the door we heard some woman yelling that she was going to throw something at someone's head or something. We knocked and a little woman came out. We talked about a living prophet or something and asked if we could come in and teach her and the other people in there more. She said they wouldn't be interested, but ended up letting us in. When she opened the door we smelled smoke and alcohol. There was a little old lady and two men, one of which was completely drunk. As we walked in, I thought to myself that we must be crazy. I even whispered out of the corner of my mouth to Sister Regan, "I'm scared!" Don't worry, we really do try to stay out of dangerous situations. We skip doors when we even kind of feel like we should. But sometimes you just know you'll be protected.
Anyway, we went in and sat down. The drunk man was mean and mocking and loud. But I felt strongly impressed to teach them about repentance. It was a powerful lesson. We taught and testified with power and the Spirit was strong. That run-down trailor was a holy place for those couple minutes. We gave them a Book of Mormon and set a return appointment, but we didn't invite them to baptism. I felt constrained from doing that; the drunk man was just too irreverant.
It wasn't until we left that I realized how much we had truly been guided and directed there. From stopping to knock on the door, to actually getting in, to teaching and testifying with power, it all felt almost effortless. Like a dream, almost. I have learned that that only happens when divine assistance is involved. We went back for our appointment and they weren't there. I don't think we'll end up teaching them. But I know we were meant to be there that night.
Another time this week I felt like we should stop and knock some doors in the middle of nowhere. We found and incredible woman who is totally prepared. We hopefully have another appointment with her tonight.
My whole mission seems to have been centered on one thing: faith. I keep thinking I've finally figured out what faith even is, and then I realize there's so much more to it. Or that it's so much more simple. Somehow those two ideas work together perfectly. This week President gave a training called "Faith in Finding." He expounded on an analogy he shared a while ago; I might have already shared it in an email. But I'm going to share it again.
Say you're standing at the edge of a cliff. A huge wind comes and blows you off the edge. You manage to grasp a branch sticking out from the cliff and hang there. Then you hear God's voice saying,
"Do you believe I made the wind that blew you off the cliff?"
"Yes, yes! I believe, Lord!"
"Do you believe I made the branch that you're holding onto right now?"
"Yes, or course, I believe!"
"Do you believe I can make another wind to blow you back up onto the cliff?"
"YES, of course! I believe!!"
"...Then let go."
That's the difference between belief and faith. Are we willing to let go? Do we trust enough in God?
President added this part in his training:
So you let go. And you fall. And you think, "Hey! Where's the wind?" And you hit the ground. Where is your faith now?
We don't have faith in future events. We have hope in future events, and that is important to the growth of our faith. But we have faith in God. Period. When we do exactly what He says and things don't work out the way we had hoped, we STILL have faith in and trust in God. When we're at the bottom of the cliff with two broken legs, we still trust Him. Our faith is outside of our situation. We trust that His ways are higher than ours. And we can always retain the final hope that we will one day be perfected and have eternal life.
That really changed the way I think. It's ok to hope for miracles, to hope that today we will find a family that is ready to be baptized. And it's ok to pray for that. But I don't put my faith in that. I put my faith in Christ. I have faith that those things can happen, through Him. But if they don't, my faith isn't shaken. Hope comes from faith and faith comes from hope, but my faith is in Christ and nothing else.
I thought that was neat.
I love you all! Have a fantastic week and put your faith in the one true source of truth.
Con mucho amor,