Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year's Miracles (Bayley)

Welp.  It's 2014.  And I am 200% not okay with that.  2013 was a good year to me.  It was a HUGE year for me.  A lot happened.  Where I was and who I was just one year ago is very far away from where I am and who I am now.  Seriously, one year ago I was getting ready for my final semester at CSU, stressing out about textbooks and classes and grades, and then what happened?  I graduated.  Like, from college.  That was weird.  And then I went through the temple with my brothers.  And then...then I left on my mission.  And now I'm a missionary, and have been for 6 MONTHS.  How crazy is that?  Being a missionary is seriously the best decision I have ever made.  The things I have learned, the miracles I have witnessed, and the people I have met have changed my life forever.  So, understandable so, I think, I was a little sad to say goodbye to the year.  You did good, 2013.

But anyways.  Onward ever onward, right?

This week has been a week of car troubles.  Seriously.  One day earlier this week, we went to get out the car and Sister Boam just couldn't - the passenger side door had randomly decided it was on strike, and so everywhere we drove I would have to get out and then go around and let her out.  Usually there was a lot of drama added in - bowing on my part, waving and thanking the imaginary adoring crowds on Sister Boam's part (if you haven't learned it yet, allow me to tell you: missionaries are weird) - but finally we got in contact with our mission vehicle guy and he said "yeah, that happens to those cars a lot" and told us what little auto shop we needed to go to to get it taken care of.  And let me tell you - I hate going to auto shops.  I feel like an idiot.  And especially as missionaries, we just go in and are like "hi you are supposed to have an account for us and please just fix our car ok we'll just sit here."  And so anyways we drive to the place to get our car fixed thinking it is just a little door how long could it possible take, and finally the guy is like "ok so it'll be done by probably 2:30, make sure you call before picking it up" and we are like "oh right um, so we don't have a car" and then we had to awkwardly pretend that of course we hadn't been planning on having our car back right away, we're not dumb, and walk away calmly before frantically calling around to get a ride because we had people to teach and souls to save.  But it all worked out.

Anyways, so let's talk miracles, shall we?  We had our fair share of them this week.  The first one happened on New Years Day, which was honestly a very very long day for missionaries since everybody was hungover from a night of partying and so had no desire to keep their appointments or answer their door or talk about God at all.  But you know what?  There are lots of days like that on the mission, but the most important thing is that no matter how many appointments fall through or no matter how many people slam the door in your face - you KEEP WORKING, because so long as your feet are actually moving, God can guide them.  So anyways, with all of our plans no going as planned, we decided to go check up on this less active member who neither of us has met.  And when he didn't answer the door, we decided we might as well tract his little apartment complex.  We learned very quickly, however, that with the exception of the little old drug addict who thought we were health inspectors, the entire community was Spanish speaking.  And yet for some reason we kept knocking doors.  When all of the sudden this crazy dog comes tearing past us, pursued by a woman yelling after it in Spanish.  We went up to her and volunteered to help catch her dog, which didn't actually happen because as soon as the woman saw us she got super excited and started talking in very fast Spanish.  When she stopped to take a breath, we were able to tell her we didn't speak Spanish, and she nodded her understanding and instead starting pointing at our Books of Mormon and speaking slower, with some broken English.  Essentially, she used to meet with Mormons before, and she was so excited to see us again, and since we didn't speak Spanish we got her name and address and promised to send the Spanish missionaries.  Anyways, fast forward to that time where we were stranded at the Ford place, and it was the hermanas who were able to come and give us a ride.  One of the sisters, Hermana Tonga, had served in this area a long time ago, and as soon as we got in the car she was all "OH MY GOODNESS YOU FOUND THE TUSCANOS!" and proceeded to tell us that the woman who we had met before was actually a member of the church who they had been working with for a long time helping her come back to church, before she had moved and they had completely lost contact with her.  This was like a year or more ago.  And ever since then, Hermana Tonga told us, she had been praying and praying for the Tuscano family to be found.  And tada!  They have been!  What amazing evidence of the way God guides us, and uses us as His instruments.  There was no way we bumbling English missionaries in a Spanish neighborhood were to have any idea how important that contact was, but we were there, our feet were moving, and so God put us where he needed us to be, to answer prayers and to help His children.  That's pretty incredible.

A similar story took place on Thursday, during our Hour of Power.  When we select our Hour of Power street in the morning, we pray, pick two streets, pray again, and then have our one.  Anyways, so that night we go out to our street and as soon as we get there I just know that we need to be at the other street we had originally picked instead.  I told Sister Boam and she was all "yes, definitely" so we hurry up and drive over the other side of town and get knocking.  A few doors down, we meet this super nice baptist lady and her son, who had no interest whatsoever in anything we had to share.  We asked her if she knew anyone we could go see, and she told us no and off we went on our merry way.  After we'd knocked like two more houses, her son comes running up to us from down the street to tell us that there is a girl who lives nearby who has been through some hard things and would we go see her.  Um, yes.  Of course we would.  As we walked over, the boy told us that his girl had used to receive visits from the "guys in our church," but that she had always brushed them off and maybe because we were girls she would listen to us.  Worth a try.  So he points out the house to us, we thank him and say goodbye, and knock on her door.  And that's the story of how we met and began teaching Delilah, her sister Nicole, and her father.

Here's the moral of the story.

God has a plan.  And by saying that, I don't just mean like THE Plan of Salvation, which he also has, but he has plans for each and every one of us.  We have such amazing potential to do such amazing things, but we really have NO IDEA what those things are or how we could possibly accomplish them.  Which is why it is so absolutely crucial that we turn to God, and that we live our lives in such a way that He can speak to us and guide us, to reach our full potential.  To reach out and find those Delilahs and those Tuscanos, who are ALL AROUND US, but only God knows where.  

Love to you all!  I hope you all had the happiest New Years and I know this next year is going to bring SO many good things to all of us.

Sister Enright

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