[Mama note: Emma sent this on Monday March 10, 2014 and I misplaced it, but now it is found! ENJOY!]
Today I want to tell about the Top Three Miracles!
Hermana Walton and I have been focusing on really finding miracles. That means we have to do things in our daily activities that could make way for miracles. I have learned while on my mission that if you expect Miracles, you really need to go out of your comfort zone!
One thing we have been doing lately in order to find Miracles is staying longer in an area until we find out why we are supposed to be there. So, on Tuesday, we went to a door to try to contact a referral, but there was no answer. Instead of going to our car and heading to the next area, we decided to 'knock it out' ~which means we knock doors (Which is something I rarely did in the North area). As we go to each house we look for potentials for the English Missionaries and ask everyone who they know that speaks Spanish. But we really try to pay attention to the promptings of where we should go! So we went to one house. No answer. The house next to it. No answer. The house next to it, no answer. Then the clearest thought came into my head that I needed to go to the house across the street. None of the other houses seemed like options. I felt we needed to go there.
But in the yard were two HUGE dogs! Especially one. It was the BIGGEST DOG I have ever seen! One was a Pit-Bull and the other was just a giant! Just as I was about to think it wasn't a good idea to try that house, Hermana Walton said, "I feel like we need to go to that house! But what do we do about those dogs?"
Exactly my thoughts! Well, we came up with a plan. We would walk as close to the fence as we could to see if the dogs were nice. On our way to the fence, the dogs noticed us and barked, but only the tiniest bit. We continued walking to the gate. Just before reaching the gate, we hear a 'hello.' The hello came from a woman who had just left the front porch and started walking towards us. She soon asked, "Are you missionaries Mormon?" We replied, "Yes!" She then replied, "So, since you are ladies you can come into my house right?" And we again replied, "Yes."
We then got to know Tammy. As we started speaking with her she soon told us that missionaries just always come after a rough patch in her life, right before things start to look up. She then said that she had recently moved, fell out of contact with the Missionaries, and had gone through some really tough things. But about a month or so ago, she prayed for Missionaries to find her again, and she asked if Heavenly Father could send some lady Missionaries this time.
Well, here we were! And we knew we had to go to her house. And we made it in! We had an amazing lesson and at the end we invited her to be baptized. With tears in her eyes she said, "There is nothing that I want more in the world."
So amazing. I am so ready to leave my comfort zone any day because that is what really leads to the Lord guiding us to Miracles!
So everyday I go knocking. We get a lot of "i am not interested" up front. Lots of times people try to slam their door before we say anything. But I always do all I can to ask them before the door shuts where their Spanish speaking neighbors live. They usually open the door back up! Really! People are amazing, even if they don't want to talk to us at first.
Second Miracle of the Week:
Our lesson that was rather far away fell through. So, to save the miles we changed our plans a bit. After trying a few things we decided that we just needed to pray to know where to go. So, we took a second, said a prayer, and waited to know where we needed to go. While thinking Sister Walton piped up and said, "I have an idea, but I do not know if I like it at all." My only idea was that we needed to find a family.
Not having any other ideas, we decided to go with Sister Walton's idea. She went on to tell me that the idea ended with going to a potential they had tried multiple times to connect with, but the people there never were interested at all. Hermana Walton did not understand why she thought that is where we should go. She even said on the way that she was still doubting it.
Well, we went to the door, and the husband of the house opened the door. We started talking to him and he is Cuban! Whooo, even the native Guatemalan Missionary says that Cubans are hard for him to understand. But I have spent some time with Cubans in my first area and I know the Lord helps us. We started talking to him and the sweetest little kids came to the door. Soon into the conversation, a thought came clearly in my mind to talk about the other Cubans who go to our congregation. (Not the typical contact conversation). So, I said it, and he got so excited. He started naming off the Cuban members who I used to work with! One Cuban member is known as the Godfather of the Cubans. I have yet to meet a Cuban who hasn't known him. Well, we told him our purpose and set up an appointment! He even knows some of my investigators from the North Area. He said he had heard about us meeting with them! It was a miracle! I got to connect with him over the subject of PEOPLE I LOVE! It was perfect! And our Branch President has promised us to bring 3 families to church (which is a big promise for our area). I know that the Lord is going to pave the way for this to happen! And we are going to work as hard as we can to get them coming.
Branch President Condon might be the biggest role model I have here on the Mission. His leadership is completely guided by the Spirit. During Branch Council Sunday (my favorite meeting of any week), we read scriptures about Priesthood Keys. Then abruptly he told us that we are gong to go set up the overflow chairs for the Spokane 2nd Ward (which we had never done before). We went, set up all the chairs, and before heading back to the council room he led us into the chapel and had us sit on the stand.
President Condon then stood before the whole ward council and explained, "I hold the keys over this Branch, especially for the Missionary Work. Because of this I have the responsibility to show you the Vision I have for this Branch. I want you to see it right now.
Then he had Brother Anderson the Branch Secretary open the overflow curtains.
President Condon continued, "Look at each row of chairs and each seat. They are going to be filled one day. Every single one! Can you see it? You better, because nothing is going to happen until you see it." Then as his voice shook with upcoming tears he said, "I also hold the responsibility to turn over the keys. I am doing that now. I turn the keys over to each one of you. It is through your hard work that this vision will come."
I felt a change in that very moment. Something undeniable happened there. I can't even imagine what these next few weeks will hold.
As I walked away from the church that day, it started to rain really hard for about 30 seconds. I mention the rain, because it always leads me to take a moment and think about Heavenly Father. All I could think about was how I know the Lord is in charge. He has a plan and part of His plan requires me to get up and work and find those MIRACLES!
I am ready. Not perfect, but I am ready to forget about that and go to work.
I LOVE you all so much!
I Live and Work on your PRAYERS!
Love, Hermana Phipps