Sunday, November 22, 2015

God has a perfect plan

Ayoooooooo! This was a different type of week but it turned out to be
fulfilling.

I didn't feel like we did much because one night Elder Callahan was
sick and we had to go home for him to rest, two of the nights we had
ward Halloween parties that we went to, Halloween night we had to be
home by six, and another night we had a service project to do. Tuesday
and Sunday were the only normal(ish) days we had. Tuesday was
transfers and we were in a tripan so we worked mostly in the other
guy's area. I didn't realize until yesterday all the good we were able
to accomplish.

We did sixteen hours of service this week, which is more than we are
supposed to do. Here is what we did:
-Sanded and polyurethaned an older lady's cabinets
-set up tables and chairs for a community event expecting 300+ people
-raked leaves for an elderly sister in the Ward
-moved furniture for another elderly sister so she could have her walls painted
-served soup at the community event for a few hours then helped take
everything down
-helped clean a sister's "new" apartment
-helped this same sister move into her new apartment

I'll expound on the last two examples of service. Friday we went on
into the country to visit a man who recently had shoulder surgery. He
isn't a member but he is a good man. He raises pigs and we helped him
build an addition to his barn. It was beautiful sitting with him on
his front porch overlooking Wyoming. Now back to the service with the
lady! I shot her a text because she said earlier about how she was
offered a job as an apartment manager and they would let her live
on-site for free. She replied that the old manager had left the place
trashed and that she was overwhelmed. I got the other two sets of
missionaries in town to go with us to help clean her new apartment. It
looked like it had never been swept, there were coffee stains all over
the counters, and the bathroom was disgusting. We worked for a few
hours and it looked like new. Now, here is the cool part! She said she
was praying to God because  she was so overwhelmed with everything and
asked Him for help. After she said, "Amen" her phone buzzed with my
text. BAM! Insta-answer! The terrible part is she was contemplating
taking a drink because the ONLY thing the dude left her was a beer in
the fridge. She has been sober for a few years and she was close to
taking a drink. Then she prayed and we came! Whew!

Last night we went to teach one of our investigators who always has us
meet in this lounge room of the complex but this time he invited us
into his home. We met his wife for the first time and had a long talk
with her. She opened up to us about how she was homeless at age 16 and
responsible for her little sister. She panhandled in New Orleans in
order to stay alive. Some of the things she said were incredible. This
little sister of hers was her best friend, but at the age of 21 her
little sister passed away. She told us how prayer had given her
comfort and how she knew her sister wasn't gone for good. At that
point, we testified of the Plan of Salvation, that her sister wasn't
gone and that God has a perfect plan for her. The Spirit was present
and I know she felt it too. She said she felt confirmation that what
she has always believed about her sister is true. We gave her chapters
from the Book of Mormon to read about life after death and told her
that she could come to a knowledge that the book is true. It was a
very real experience, something that told me to keep going.

I really needed yesterday, which was the Sabbath Day, a day of
renewal. I was feeling burnt out of missionary work. I didn't feel
like I wanted to pack up my things and go home right that second, but
I didn't feel joy in the work. Through prayer, scripture study, and
partaking of the sacrament, I got that boost I needed. My time here is
short, but that isn't an excuse to slacken my effort. It was a
personal experience for me to exercise my faith and go and do without
knowing the outcome. It was works out though!

My 22nd birthday is on Wednesday, the 4th. Some old lady
signed up to take us out to dinner that night! Should be interesting.

-E.Sell