This week has literally been full of crazy surprises. Last weekend my comp had been throwing up little by little anything she ate. She was really weak on Tuesday so we went to their version of the emergency room that afternoon. They gave her an IV and started running tests to see what was wrong. They decided that we had better go over to the hospital so they took us over in an ambulance! Crazy, right? So after like a year and lots of tests and waiting they told her that she had kidneys stones and gave her medicine. We got home around 1am and were at home all Wednesday and Thursday. We started working again Friday afternoon. Which means I had lots and lots of study time. I´ll tell you what I learned at the end of the email.
Saturday morning after doing our morning exercise (so about 7:30am) we hear the doorbell ring. Hna Cerna went and answered the intercom thingy (I don´t know what it´s called in English, sorry) and it was her father. Now if you remember my comp has only been a member for 2 years and her parents are members and don´t support her being on a mission. We let him in the building and I called Pres Deere while he came up the elevator. It was a really hard situation and we weren´t sure why he was there or what we were supposed to do. Finally we got ahold of Pres and he gave a permission to talk to him and if he mentioned it got eat breakfast since he came all that way. We got dressed and went down with him and found out that her stepmom, stepbrother, and half sister and her father´s friend were down there. They had heard that she was sick and drove over night from Madrid to come see her. We still don´t know how it all happened but the family was told that she was fine so it was really weird that they came. We ate breakfast and then she said goodbye to them all. She didn´t get distracted from the visit and looking back on it all it feels like it never happened. But I hope now at least her parents will start to write her and open more up to the gospel.
So if you have been following my emails since the beginning you´ll know that I have always had a hard time understanding faith or at least understanding what faith was for me and how to develop it. This week it all came together. From last week you´ll remember that I spoke of how God answers prayers and testifies to us again and again, well this is related. To make a long story short the last week I got the chance to watch many church history videos and read about the teachings of the prophets. And that´s when it all hit me. I was watching a clip on Zion´s Camp lead by Joseph Smith that went to fight in vain. They were saved by a storm from the opposing troops but many died on the journey. They returned home when nothing to show for it (or so people said). But out of the men who went and had that experience many were later chosen to be apostles and 70s.
Throughout my whole mission I have been learning patience. Every trial I have had, every experience was to teach me that one principle that has always been the hardest for me. I could never completely understand why I wasn´t seeing the fruits from my obedience, diligence, and hard work. I new everything depended on the timing and will of the Lord but I didn´t truly understand it.
From an accumulation of everything I realized that faith for me is being patient. Truly excepting the Lord´s timing and will, and understanding that there is a plan in everything we do, that everything has a purpose and a reason. I had to learn patience before I could learn faith. As much as I would love to baptize hundreds of people and see lots of success that isn´t what the Lord had in my plan so far. I am here to learn and to be perfected into what God would have me be, not only to help people here in Spain right now but to help my family and others for this life and the eternities to come. If we give ourselves over to God he will make much more of us than we can ever make of ourselves- he is making masterpieces, he is making Gods. For each one of us, just like the men in Zion´s Camp, God has a plan for us and knows who he wants us to become. In the moment we don´t know why we have the trials that we have but he does, so we have to trust him and trust that everything that happens is a part of the great plan in order for us to become more perfected through our Savior Jesus Christ.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;
God knows the design of our lives, faith is trusting in that design and if the results from our faith don´t come in the way we want we still believe in the Lord and trust that that is what is needed for us (or others) in that moment.
15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made;well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand,O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast setup.
God can and will but if not it will be okay.
15 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church.
Well love you all and be comforted because all things will work together for your good. I love this gospel and I know that it is true. Have a good week!