Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"But If Not..."

11 Agosto 2014

Happy week family!!!

This week, oooo this week! It is STILL difficult to sit down and try and put into words all that has happened. I will share a few experiences with you of the many that touched me.

This last transfer has been one of a lot of searching, we felt like we have been opening the area and basically starting from zero, but planting seeds is always good. It can just be hard not to see the fruits right away. But I do know for sure that God truly prepares us to see miracles. It was another one of those weeks. But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday especially, we couldn't help but just feeling like crying in gratitude for the blessings we have received. I love a talk that dad sent me, called "But If Not..."  I love what it says:

Centuries ago, Daniel and his young associates were suddenly thrust from security into the world—a world foreign and intimidating. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship a golden image set up by the king, a furious Nebuchadnezzar told them that if they would not worship as commanded, they would immediately be cast into aborning fiery furnace. “And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

The three young men quickly and confidently responded, “If it be so [iffy cast us into the furnace], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand. “That sounds like my eighth-grade kind of faith. But then they demonstrated that they fully understood what faith is. They continued, “But if not, … we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” That is a statement of true faith.

They knew that they could trust God—even if things didn't turn out the way they hoped.  They knew that faith is more than mental assent, more than an acknowledgment that God lives. Faith is total trust in Him.

Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac.”  Abraham, because of his great faith, was promised posterity greater in number than the stars in the heavens, and that that posterity would come through Isaac. But Abraham immediately complied with the Lord’s command. God would keep His promise, but if not in the manner Abraham expected, he still trusted Him completely.

What does the Lord expect of us with respect to our challenges? He expects us to do all we can do. He does the rest. Nephi said, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

We must have the same faith as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from sickness and disease, but if not … . He will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations, and insecurity, but if not. … He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not, … we will trust in the Lord.

Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not. … He will make sure that we are loved and recognized, but if not. … We will receive a perfect companion and righteous and obedient children, but if not, … we will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can do, we will, in His time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that He has.  I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

These words are so comforting to me!!! The truth is that we can see these miracles when we have faith that the Lord truly has all power, but we are willing to go and do His will, no matter what, even when we do not understand all that is happening around us. Then, those steps we took in the dark become light, and our eyes are opened to miracles.

There was an activity in the church for all of the young single adults that we usually attend when we have young adults that we are teaching. We didn't have any that attended on Friday, but we had to stop at the church to get something, everyone was begging us to come join, but we didn't feel like it was the best use of time.. it was HARD to leave, we really wanted to have a good time with them. But these are the times when God tests our faith, and it proved true.. we hit the streets and got to work.. and we ran into a man that gave us his number a while back! we have been trying to get into contact with him, what a miracle! We taught him the first lesson on the street that night and wanted us to pass by the next week. Two really strong lessons with a very interested and prepared man, it was as if the Lord was just telling us, "Thank you for following my promptings. Well done, my little daughters". It was incredible. His name is Fidel, from Bolivia.

We also found another man on the street, named Jorge, from Columbia who met with the Sister missionaries 8 years ago, and loved it! He remembers their names and everything! We aren't really sure what all happened, but he showed up to church the next day and wanted to know when we could meet again. He is also very prepared.. His mother died about a year ago, and his father 6 years ago, and just hearing him talk about God´s will in his life on the street gave me chills. It was not coincidence that we crossed paths :)

Do you remember me telling you about Ulises? He is a less active man we have been working on reactivating him and his family. It has been an incredible adventure and he has become a dear friend. He LOVES the Book of Mormon and has an incredible ability to look deep into the feelings of the prophets as they wrote the words of the Book of Mormon and express how they felt in this moment. It truly amazes me! He writes very deep poems expressing their feelings. This was a project that he started about 14 years ago in Argentina and it was approved by a general authority, Elder Civic, but never did anything with it. BUT he has started helping us with noche de hogar [(Family) Home Evening] here. We read the passages of the Book of Mormon, and then he reads the incredible interpretations as his son (Aldis, also less-active, we have been working with him too) plays piano pieces he has written. We were amazed. What a spirit we felt from this man, regaining the fire of his testimony. Last night was incredible. On top of all of that, Aldis brought a friend to meet with us. Her name is Ana, and she is 20 years old like me.  She reminds me a bunch of Amber. She is also very prepared!! She loved the warmth of all of the members and was thrilled to receive the Book of Mormon as a gift and know that we teach English classes for free.  What miracles we are seeing with this family. I feel emotional thinking about how God has touched their lives after all of the difficult things they have been through.

One more, we met another man, who has studied with different religions for years. His name is Luis, from Cuba. He was just about ready to give up on love and God and understanding, but the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Plan of Salvation have touched him. He is so sincere and he gets an incredible look in his eyes as we teach him these truths.

That is about a highlight of our week. There are so many things like this that happen all the time, and it continues to amaze me how quick we are to forget the miracles God works in our lives, but He is so merciful. I am grateful for the strength he gives us to say "I know that God has all power, I know that he can work miracles here, BUT IF NOT we will continue faithful and firm until the end" and the miracles always come. We can always somehow end the night knowing we did what he wanted us to do, not matter how exhausted or unsure of ourselves we were. I love two more scriptures:

We are constantly learning to have faith and accept the Lords will and wait for the comprehension to come!  His tender mercies will be evident when we do this, and we can feel joy EVERY DAY knowing that we did His will. These scriptures where answers to my prayers!

I hope you all have a great week!



Love, Hermana Mather

PS. Please read the talk: "Realize Your Full Potential" by Richard G. Scott.  Let me know what you think! It’s incredible!

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