Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Nagkakaroon kami ng tagumpay! 

The work continues to roll forward in our ward. At the start of the week we had a CSP and enjoyed being able to serve Bishop Espinoza. I really love the people I serve with. They all set really good examples and make me want to be better. For our service project we shoveled cement into bags and carried it a distance in the heat of the afternoon. Things like these usually make me become selfish because all I can think about is how hot it is and how tired I am. But this time I saw it with different eyes. Some of the other missionaries and I likened it unto taking up our cross and following the Savior. As we began the project, the by-standers were skeptical that a bunch of American white kids could take on such a task. They kept asking questions if we could really do it. Other people had different responses. Some even stopped along our path and showed concern by taking our bag of cement mix and carrying it the rest of the way for us. I watched as elders supported each other and would take two bags if one was tiring out. It reminded us missionaries of how Christ lightens our load and carries us under our load when we struggle, and how he does it for us daily.  I have seen that come true as I continue to adjust to changing circumstances in missionary life. We, in turn, must do the same for others in our lives. But I know he loves us and wants to help us do this for others. We are never alone!

Sister Strickland and I both felt a brief absence of the Holy Ghost in our teaching together so we read chapter 4 in our companion study in Preach My Gospel. We determined that our prayers were pretty weak and we've been striving to pray more fervently and specifically. The next day's teaching was immensely better. We even had a sweet older lady pull us into her house off the street wanting to "hear more of the word of God" and struggling as a single mother. You can see immediate blessings when you pray with faith! We also gained the full trust of an investigator who has been ready for baptism since last month (but is waiting for her marriage license). We knew it when she opened up to us over dinner about how her fiancee has a mental disorder and was institutionalized 3 times for suicide attempts. And when she came into his life, he was able to function normally again. Then was when he realized Heavenly Father had answered his prayer and that was when he started bringing Shara to church. Now she's being baptized and they have a goal to be sealed in the temple. We were so touched by their story and the way that our father cares for his children. 

Sister Strickland is starting to really contribute good ideas to our lesson plans and I feel like she's not dependent on me anymore. The only thing we've struggled with this week is her taking control in lessons and not being afraid to be bold. We talked about it in companionship inventory and she's starting out small with extending firmer commitments. Other than that, she's great. She feels like my sister and we have a ton of fun together.

Yesterday was a fantastic Sunday. We just barely got a less-active couple to return to church the previous Sunday and the bishop had them give talks yesterday. They chose to speak on faith. We visited them after church and they explained to us how they were embarrassed that they kept telling us they were "not ready to return to church yet." They said that it made them think when even after they told us they didn't want to come back to church, we kept coming to their house and teaching them. We asked them how they felt after deciding to be active again and the husband said, "I came out of church just feeling happy. I don't know why. It just feels good and my worries are gone." And then his wife added, "I don't know why he was happy either, but since he was happy I was happy too. And we're so grateful you reminded us how to be happy again." This was probably one of the most joyful experiences of my mission. I felt like Heavenly Father really used me as a tool and the people responded. In addition to that, someone that we OYM'd on the street and taught a short 15 minute lesson a month ago showed up to church yesterday with his family. His wife told us that he never goes to church because he feels hopeless about life and bitter towards God for how he has ended up. But he remembered our invitation to him and the promised blessings that he would receive and he came. The wife said she has always wanted to attend a Mormon church because she has a lot of friends that are missionaries serving in Isabella. It was completely unexpected that they were there and they told us they would be back next week. And the last one we didn't expect was a teenager we had taught Saturday night. We thought she was the daughter of a less-active. The mother wasn't home so we just taught her thinking she was also a member. She seemed completely uninterested and we didn't really think about her again. The next day, this couple I just told you about, showed up at church with her saying that she isn't actually a member of their family, she is part of a protection program. She is in hiding after being abused by her mother since childhood and raped by her step-father a year ago. I was completely shocked. They said she was happier than they've seen her before and that our visit did her good, she is just afraid of people. I know it's not a coincidence that we found and taught her.

The promise in Preach My Gospel from the First Presidency is making more and more sense that as we do this work, greater happiness awaits than we have ever experienced. 


Sister Wilson

P.S. Pictured is Sister Yolly who is being baptized 

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