Sunday, May 31, 2015

Email and pictures from Stacie May 26, 2015

Baseball game with the ward yesterday! 

Thinking of everyone back at home :)

Buenos Dias!

It makes me so happy to hear of all of the new beautiful additions to our family! Congratulations to Allison and Darin, Carissa and Shea, and Alisha and Brian! And thank you to those who have sent me pictures of those little ones, I can't wait to meet Christina, Jayde, and Jax!  We are a blessed family. We have so many blessings, it would be impossible to count.

This week I had the privilege of visiting a less active in my ward who has been given only a few days to live. She has kidney and liver failure, and had just gotten on a donor list before her health worsened significantly. We've been visiting her and teaching her lessons almost every week because she isn't well enough to come to church. She is the only member in her family, being a convert, so it was a really special experience to be invited into their home and share scriptures with them about the Plan of Salvation and the opportunity we have to see our loved ones again after they die. While she wasn't physically coherent at the time, I received assurance that her spirit was alert and aware of the things we were sharing and that there will be welcoming arms to receive her on the other side.

We met someone very interesting the other day when we were knocking in Nogales. His name was Chucky, and when we met him, he was in a wheelchair hiding behind a bush in his front yard. When we started talking to him, we found out that he was heavily involved in the Mexican drug cartel (not super uncommon here), and that he was in a wheelchair because they tried to kill him by running him over. Miraculously, only his legs were damaged, but he felt like his life was spared by God because there was something else he needed to do in his life. He felt like he needed to get closer to God, and was really grateful when we showed up to help him. Well, that was 3 weeks ago, and we haven't seen him since. Every time we try to see him, someone else is there and won't give us any information about him. Anyway, we've been really worried about him, maybe you can help by praying for him with us?

We have had quite a bit of progress with a couple of our investigators, and we just pray so much for them every day. Many of the people we are teaching right now are going through really hard things; addictions, death of a loved one, depression, financial insecurity...the list goes on. One thing I've noticed though, is that these trials that people go through are actually wonderful tender mercies from our Heavenly Father. In the midst of their agony, they are caused to search for something more meaningful in the world.  They are desperate to find even a little bit of hope in their seemingly hopeless circumstances.  They've hit rock bottom and are finally able to recognize that they need help from the Healer. When else would they search for truth? Why else would Heavenly Father allow his children to go through such hard things? It's His way of drawing them close to Him! He is constantly reminding us of His mercy and His love by sending us reminders that we can't do anything without His divine help. I'm reminded often about the time that I felt like I hit "rock" bottom, and it was those trials that helped me know that even when I felt like that, there was our "Rock", our Savior who was with me all along.

Those of you who try to send me mail, start sending it to the mission office from now until I get my new assignment. I'll send you my new address when I get it :) I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day, I'll talk to you soon! I love you :)

Love, Hermana Townley

P.S. Random note for Dad about Nogales, I didn't know until this week that John Wayne lived here where I'm serving...pretty cool huh?

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