Monday, December 5, 2011

Miracles have not ceased--on and off the Isle of Man

I cannot believe it is already Monday! The weeks really do fly by. This week especially as we were back in England ("Across") for half of it. We had a special Zone Conference in Chorley where we all attended the temple! It was so wonderful!! I feel extremely blessed to have a temple in my mission and to have been able to attend so often.

So, the weather here has been horrendous and none of the boats have been going... oh yeah, except for the exact two that we were scheduled to take! Literally. Two boats went all week and they were the ones we were scheduled for! Miracles!

When we come across we usually stay with the Liverpool sisters. We sailed Wednesday, worked the afternoon and night with them, did Conference Thursday, worked that night with them and then sailed back Friday morning. Sister Chuo (from Taiwan) just got a new missionary to train and we did exchanges! Sister Longmore is fantastic and I loved working with her. We had some really good talks walking to appointments and saw miracles together. We prayed fervently for the Spirit and I really saw our investigators being taught by him, not us. One that stands out in particular is Teresa, who is Chinese.

Teresa was an atheist two months ago when the sisters found her. Although she remembers everything, they have felt like it was not sinking into her heart. One of the first things I asked her about was faith – if she feels she has faith in God now. She said, “Faith is believing in things you can’t see. You know, there are lots of things in life that can’t be explained. Growing up in China my mom always explained these things with science, and it made sense. Now you explain it with God and it makes sense. Since they both make sense I choose to believe in God. I think it will make me happier.” What a good way to start of the lesson! There is nothing better than to see your investigator choose to believe; choose to be humble.

During our lesson we addressed her concerns about honesty. She felt like in order to succeed in this life you have to cheat your way up; since everyone else is doing it she thought that surely God would understand. I shared a personal experience and as I did I could see her staring off – deep in thought. She looked up and said, “Maybe we have to do things that will make us worse off in this life, but we will be happy later when we live with God.” Watching her take that step towards consecration almost brought tears to my eyes. I was so happy to be able to add, “But, Teresa, the beautiful thing is that if you make sacrifices for God, down the line you will find that you are actually happier in this life, too!” She seemed to accept that. The Spirit was so strong and in her closing prayer she thanked Heavenly Father and told Him how much she loved Him and us. It was really touching. I absolutely know that we were supposed to come to the mainland for conference and for that exchange.

The work rolls forward here on the Isle of Man, too! We have a new investigator, Teralyn, who Heavenly Father really wanted us to meet! We met her once on the street (she was in a rush), then last week her neighbour referred us to her house ("try that house. She could use God.") and we forgot to try it! Then we tracted into her accidentally and she let us in. She is struggling with a lot of challenges and addictions, but is so humble and willing to learn. Her life has been so painful but she has kept faith through all of it.

One of the families in the ward here, the Sayles, joined the church a little over a year ago. Brother Sayle has lots of family around the island and he is an antique restorer. Sister Sayle teaches hairstyling at the college. They are so dedicated and humble and wonderful. Their kids (Henry - 15, Hanna - 12, Jenna - 8) are equally wonderful. They had us over for a meal the other day and we helped them set up and decorate their Christmas tree. We'll be over at their house on Christmas Day, too.

Anyway, Brother Sayle's brother, Peter, offered to lend me a violin! Brother Sayle has been trying to get Peter and his family to meet with the missionaries for ages with no luck. Long story short, when Peter heard me play he asked if I could teach him a lesson. I said I could do, but only if we can teach him about the gospel, too... He agreed : D If Moroni used stratagem I figure I can, too! He's busy this week, but hopefully next week we can meet.

In Preach My Gospel it says,

"My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel, which is, faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end."

Every day my vision seems to expand on what it really means to invite others to come unto Christ. You know, that means that we must be one with Christ, otherwise we would be inviting them to “go unto Christ.” We have to be living the gospel in order to say, “Come.” I pray every day that I will be given more charity and a deeper understanding of the Atonement.

Love you all! Have a brilliant week!

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