Sometimes I will actually say my personal prayers and say we because I am so used to it.
I had the opportunity to visit with one of the investigators in my old area. She has since been dropped by the missionaries but I know that she stills needs missionary contact especially from those who found her first and love her so much! There is a picture of us below as well.
My mother sent me this quote that fits in rather well with what I experienced this week. Thanks mom for following the spirit and sending it to me!
"Our capacity as Church members to love and forgive will be freshly
and severely tested as battered and bruised souls come into the Church
in ever-larger numbers. Some come in from the cold, shivering.
Others are breathless, having caught what was for them the last train
out of Babylon."
--Neil A. Maxwell
Here's how I experienced this...
This week a woman came to church who has not attended for a very long time. I had heard her name and texted her many times before but never met her. She canceled every appointment we every scheduled and seemed to be very skilled at avoiding us. This Sunday, I saw her. She was beautiful but had a very empty look on her face. You could tell just by looking at her that she had been through a lot her life. We talked for a little bit and introduced ourselves. Then she asked to meet with the bishop and said she would be leaving after that. I was sad because I didn't know if I would ever see her again. I sat in our gospel principles class and was about to leave and go to a youth class instead of Relief Society but I felt like I should stay. We made our way to the back row and without delay the woman I had so seldom seen came into the Relief Society room and sat right next to me. We talked in the back row and I felt this deep pain in my heart... It was like she was my Sister and I could feel her every pain. She opened up about her struggles and we sat in the furthest reaches of the Relief Society room and cried together. Truly like this quote above she had caught the last train out of her tragic past and was catching her breath in the only other place that felt like home. I expressed my deepest empathy for the intense struggles she had been through and told her that I would like to lighten her burden. We set up a time to meet again and she looked at me and said "thank-you. I love you." And I said the same to her. This was the first time anyone has had contact with her in a very long time and she promised to come to church next week. She said she would even fast next week and I told her I would be fasting for her too. This was a moment, which has happened before, where I felt like she was someone I was meant to teach on my mission. She is already a member so there will be no baptism but there will be hearts changed including mine and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has a better plan for us than we could ever make for ourselves. He has prepared people to change my life and it is absolutely incredible to actually find them.
Finally here is a story sent to me and retold by my sister Elyssa who was very inspired as well in her quote sending this week ;)... A woman in our ward, gave a devotional. She told a story of a plane ride that started to go bad. They had hit a big turbulent patch in the sir and things weren't going so well. The masks came down and the passengers were freaking out, but there was a little boy that was completely still as he sat in his chair. As other passengers asked him why he was this way he simply told them, "My daddy is the pilot.
Everything will be okay." She paralleled this to how Heavenly Father is our pilot and when turbulent times come we need to trust in him because everything will be alright, there is no need to fear. Heavenly Father knows what we need, where we need to go, and who we need to help. He knows the future and He is willing and ready to help us. Even though things may not SEEM to be going right in our eyes, He has a plan that is right for us. He is the pilot and everything will be okay.