Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stacie's email September 14, 2015

Arizona sunsets are so beautiful after a nice rainfall!

Dear Family, 

I realized today that for the past two weeks I haven't really told you all what's going on with the missionary work in my area or all miracles that I have seen, but there have been many! I pray every night for the Lord to open my eyes and the eyes of all the people that we are teaching right now to see His hand in every single part in our lives. I love the story in Alma  where he explains the principle of our needing to actively LOOK for the wonderful signs and evidences of our Creator, "The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Being". (Alma 30:44). Sometimes we take advantage of these miraculous phenomenons in our world, and label them as ordinary. But as we take some time to really appreciate the beauty of the world, we can really see God working in great power and glory. 

Hector and Patty are doing well :) Thank you for your prayers in behalf of them. Hector blessed the sacrament in church this week and is planning on a temple trip to do baptisms this month! 

I want to share an experience that really confirmed in my mind the need we have to "Believe in God....believe that he has all wisdom, and all power....and that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."(Mosiah 4:9) Thursday we had a really hard day. We had prayerfully set plans to see 5 different people, and we had backup plans, and backups for those backup plans. We had prayerfully planned to take out two different members at different times of the day, and we woke up really excited and ready to work. We were ready to go and make some things happen in our area! Then every single lesson fell through one by one. We had worked really hard previously to set up appointments in advance and felt like we had done our best to coordinate our schedule to match our plans to our investigators. We gave in to wonder why...why did all our plans fall through after we had done our best to be organized and prepared to help people? Why did nothing go according to plan? 

Toward the late evening, we were, in all honesty, pretty discouraged. In a moment of desperation, we decided to try one last less-active member in the area who we haven't been able to see for months before we went home for the evening. While walking to his house, we were stopped by a guy who owned the car shop across the street. He flagged us down and started making small talk with us. After a while, he told us that the reason he stopped us is because his son had seen us walking through his neighborhood a couple weeks ago, and he was really interested in hearing our message. 

So we went to his house to meet his son. His name is Mario, and he's made a lot of mistakes in his life that has really humbled him. It was so interesting to talk with him because, although he has little to no education in religion, he has grown so close to God through prayer. He expressed his desire to learn more about God (he just didn't know where to start), and when he saw us walking through the neighborhood, he said that God was answering his prayers. He told us that he had been waiting for us :) We will teach him for the first time tonight! 

This experience, along with many other similar ones that I've had on my mission, taught me a great principle. It was apparent to me that the Lord already knew before we started our day that our plans were going to fall through. He knew we would keep trying. He set us on the exact path, even though it took some faith to keep on it, that would lead us to a person who needed us at that moment. Oh the wisdom and the LOVE that our Creator has for His children! He needs us to keep trying and to have faith when things don't go exactly right. We need to trust in Him to guide us and lead us because he sees the whole picture. We need to accept that there are many things that we just can't comprehend in the moment, but with the help of the Lord, the path is made clear, and we can look back with gratitude that he has never abandoned us. 

I'm so grateful for the guidance that the Lord provides me. I know that He is there, always watching, always listening. 

With love, Hermana Townley

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