This week was straight up awesome. Elder Sweat (my companion) and I were pretty disanimated because we have been working really hard the past few weeks to help the people we are teaching, many of whom are in super tough economic positions understand that the only guaranteed way to have happiness and to secure that everything is going to be okay is to keep the commandments. Yeah it is going to be a sacrifice, yeah it won’t always be easy, but God has promised us, many times, in the scriptures that if we keep the commandments, we will prosper in the land.
So for weeks now we have been doing all we can to help these super special people help themselves, and their situations still haven´t really changed. Feeling a bit disanimated and wondering what we have been doing wrong, or what we could improve to better bless the lives of these people,we read in Mormon 9 and Moroni 7 about miracles, and how God has been, is, and always will be, a God of miracles.
In Mormon 9 we read:
And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
Elder Sweat and I decided to try and do more fully the three things that verse 20 says are required to see the miracles of God in our lives: we need to have strong belief and faith, we need to be obedient, walking in the right way, and we need to know the God in whom we should put our trust. Kneeling in fervent prayer, we asked to see miracles in the lives of our investigators.
We did indeed see many miracles these past few days, and it has been awesome. I want to share one in particular with you all. I have been working with and teaching a family for almost 2 months now. The father is the taxista that found us in a really cool way that I think I told you about several weeks ago. Anyways, the father has great faith and really wants to come closer to God. He has great desires to be baptized and to marry his wife, but he has been struggling with unemployment off and on for the past several weeks. We are waiting for the legal papers necessary to get him married to arrive, but he still hasn’t been able to save the 400 lempiras necessary to pay for them when they arrive. There are members that are willing to help pay for them, but we feel that it would be best if he and his wife really made the sacrifice to pay for the partidas as part of the repentance process. He just lost his job as a taxista again last week, and they are once again literally penniless, just like when we started teaching them. To make things worse, we have barely been able to find the dad to teach him the past few weeks because he is always away from home looking for work and the appointments we have set he has not been able to make. I have worried and prayed a lot about this family because I know they could be great members but they are just suffering so much. One of the miracles we prayed for was just to be able to find him in his house and to teach them. Long story short, we miraculously found him and went with him to his house to teach him. We felt inspired to teach him about tithing, and about the power of obeying the law of tithing. That day, he had walked around practically all of La Ceiba looking for a job with his 3 year old child, and someone had given his child 23 lempiras. After teaching Javier about the law of tithing, how God requires that we give him 1 tenth of all the money we earn, not to pay church leaders but to build the kingdom of God (church buildings, temples, humanitarian aid etc.) and in return he promises to bless us incredibly, he promptly took out the only money he had to feed his family of 5 kids and his wife, 23 lempiras, or about 1 dollar and 15 cents, and handed us 3 lempiras, embarrassed at how small it was but wanting to do all he could to have God be pleased with him. We taught him how to fill out a tithing form, and as I watched him put his 3 lempiras, 15 cents, into the tithing envelope I felt the Spirit so so strongly. I couldn´t help but start weeping at the incredible feeling of the Savior´s love for them and their desires to follow him and I promised them that I did not know when the blessings would come, how they would come, or what they would be, but I knew that their faith and obedience would open the windows of the heavens and that I knew that the blessings would come. Javier and his wife also began to cry as we all felt the powerful witness that these changes that they are making in their lives, these sacrifices, are indeed true.
I know that the things we teach really are the words of a loving Heavenly Father that wants to bless us so much. He is a God of miracles, and all we need to do to see those miracles in our own lives is have as much faith as we can, to do the right things and follow the commandments, and to put our trust in God. I am so grateful to serve as a missionary and for the first and most powerful time so far in my mission I felt the extent of the divinity of my calling, that these commandments really will call down the blessings of heaven and that these blessings WILL come, even though it may not be until after I am transferred from the area.
I love you all and know that miracles are real and possible in your lives as well if you do your part to see them happen!