12 October 2015
Heavenly Father gives us lovely surprises. This week he let us teach a miracle referral. We were on our way home from leadership council on Thursday and had planned to go to the house for a minute to drop off some things before continuing proselyting but I felt like we should visit some people without going home and Hermana Souza went along with it even though she had to go to the bathroom and was confused when I started walking in the opposite direction without saying anything. This impulsive decision to visit a few people who weren't even home permitted us to be in a young man’s path. He walked up to us and asked, "Are you missionaries?" and told us that he is a member from Maipu (Santiago West Mission) and told us that he and his girlfriend had been looking for us because his girlfriend wants to investigate the church.
When we talked to her on the phone on Friday (she called us, by the way) she said that she was very interested but she wasn't sure if we could meet in her home because her parents weren't receptive. My companion arranged for us to go to a member’s house and we met this young woman and her mom at a street corner nearby. Her mom declined my invitation to come with but I think she is just one of those moms like my mom who probably wanted to know who these strangers were that her daughter was meeting with.
This young woman is 21 years old and is in her third year of studying "fonoaudiologia," which sounds to me like communication disorders! She was inspired by her little brother who was diagnosed with M.S. several years ago.
She has been attending church with her boyfriend and his family. His father has been a bishop and stake president and his brother served in California and was recently sealed in Utah. Her boyfriend’s mom showed her a picture of their family in front of the temple and told her she wants to see her in that photo with them. This young woman said that meant a lot to her and that she feels loved by that family. She is impressed by the church's focus on family, especially that they have family home evenings and that they eat together without their cell phones.
She talked about the Plan of Salvation and understands that we lived before this life and that we came here to learn about the gospel. She believes that God has a plan for her life. I told her there is little else we can teach her, only principles that connect to that divine plan.
We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited her to be baptized October 25th (Mom's birthday!) because she needs to attend church three times in our ward. She said yes. We invited her to church the following day and she hesitated because she was scheduled to work. For a moment I thought that I had extended the wrong baptismal date and that we would have to change it but she committed to go to sacrament meeting and went with her boyfriend.
She went to General Conference last week and said that she left with answers. She felt the Holy Ghost in church. She talks like a member and uses LDS vocabulary like ward, stake, etc. Where did she come from? What a miracle!
A simple thought I had on Thursday turned out to be a prompting. As I ponder and reflect upon this week it is easy to see that we were guided by the Spirit more than we think. We may not know where we are going but God does and if we are trying our best He won't let us get lost. He is so wise. We don't do anything and He makes blessings fall in our laps.
A recently baptized teenage boy asked for help with his chemistry homework this week because he is struggling with that class. I agreed to help him with his homework and we started with a prayer. I made it clear to him that it's not just because I'm a missionary. When I was in high school studying chemistry and studying for the ACT test and AP tests I always started my studies after school with a prayer. I was afraid that I wouldn't remember much chemistry after several years but I was able to remember enough of the basics to help him and he was impressed. We started with a dimensional analysis problem and I tied it in to what we had talked to him about before about goals. Mr. Knappenberger always made us draw a horizontal line and a goal on the right side of the page for these problems. Cristobal knew how to calculate Kelvin but didn't know why it was necessary or what absolute zero actually meant. I tried to explain so he would understand, not just be able to convert it, and he said I explained it better than his teacher, even though I don't speak Spanish and don't have the vocabulary for science in Spanish (yet!)
It has been a fun week. I love you all! I love serving the Lord in Chile! I love seeing miracles and feeling the Spirit and Hermana Souza and I are learning so much together, especially now. Sending love and prayers and lots of excitement for Leah Kelson!
Hermana Eva VanCott
I have a twin in my ward.