Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stacie's email January 7, 2015

Buenos Dias!!!

I apologize in advance, because of my limited time, I won´t be able to write back to all of you individually, but I have read all of your emails, and I´m truly touched by the experiences that you have all shared with me! My testimony grows with yours, it really does. So thank you so much for sharing with me, I look forward to another week of learning about the Lord and the work that He's doing in all of your lives as well as mine.

So this week has definitely been the most challenging and difficult thus far. Shortly after I wrote my last letter, I received news that the pipe connecting our campus to the water well broke, and we were without any water for 2 days. All of the toilets were backed up, no showers, no washing hands, no dishes, no water. I heard many Elders walking around in panic because there was no where for them to do their business, which sounds pretty funny now, but last week it was a real problem. There's been a really nasty virus going around, so all of the workers were going around sharing their hand sanitizer because no one was washing their hands.   Many prayers went up from the CCM for water, and it got fixed eventually, but it was a struggle. Oh how I take water for granted! You don't know how much you need it until you lose it.

Anyway, I've been really coming close to my Heavenly Father, especially this week. I've had so many experiences, probably too many, and some too personal to share. But I do feel like I need to share a few things with all of you.

First off, I would like to let you all know that Jesus Christ is REAL. He lives. He is with me and I feel His presence every single day! How amazing it is! My dear friends and family, don't take my word for it, find out for yourselves. He has a perfect plan for all of His children, and every time we struggle or go through something hard, know that He is aware of you and is helping you through it, whether you believe it or not.

My testimony of this has grown so much, it started on Saturday. Hermana Bringhurst and I were waiting to teach Mario, and we said a prayer for him outside. We found ourselves with a little bit of extra time to talk, and I don't know how we got on the subject, but she shared with me the story of the Apostle Peter. In this story, Christ had to ask Peter 3 different times if he loved Him, before He asked him to "feed my sheep". When He said this, I think  Peter finally realized what it truly meant to show our love for our Savior. The moral that I got from the story, is that it is simply not enough to love our Savior, but we MUST show Him that we do!

During our Sunday Devotional, this story came up again by Elder Holland. He told the story in great detail, and afterward, I decided to do a pretty in depth study about it. I read the story from the Bible, and prayed so hard about it. I just knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to learn something. So I tried to apply it. There was a bit of a struggle on Monday as I tried to figure out what kind of expectations God has for me.

Then the same story came up again during the Devotional on Tuesday. Three times in just a few days. It was almost as if the Lord was asking me, three different times just like Peter, if I loved Him and He was prodding me to really think about what that means. This particular Devotional touched my heart in a way that I can't put to words. I had prayed beforehand to understand it, or at least the message since it was all given in Spanish. The speaker, Elder Salida from the Quorum of the Seventy, began and halfway through, he threw his paper that he had his notes for the talk on away and said that he felt prompted by the spirit to talk about something else entirely.

When he spoke, and this was all in Spanish, I felt as if he was talking just to me. I felt like the only person in the whole room. The spirit was strong, tangible and real to me in this moment. My heart was pounding so hard, it was almost uncomfortable. He addressed every single thought and concern that was going through my mind, only a servant of God would be able to do that. And I just knew. In the moment, I knew that God was answering my prayers in a very direct and obvious way. Elder Salida was crying and looking right at me when he spoke about being a special witness of Christ. He knows Him. And he promised me that I can know Him too. He sat down, was still crying, but he was staring at me during our closing song. Our eye contact lasted probably two whole minutes, which felt like forever!

After the meeting, I felt prompted to wait behind so I could talk to him. When I approached him, -I was speechless at this point-, my heart was still pounding, and all I said was, "Elder, you needed to change your talk for me." And he replied with "I know, Hermana". 

Mi quierdo familia y amigos, yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador y mi Redentor. Él es allí. Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial y está es Su Evangelio. 

I love you all. Keep writing! 

Hermana​ Stacie Morgan Townley 

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