I began this week sorrowful. Monday was hard... But I got through it. I was worn out physically and emotionally from being sick over the weekend, we didn't get many of the things done that we needed to, and I received devastating news. My sweet Cynthia from the Vancouver 1st Ward, who was on date to be baptized on March 28th, passed away a few weeks ago. My heart broke, and it just added to the vast horizon of dark clouds that I felt were looming over my head. It was a very difficult day, but I had a wonderful study on Tuesday morning that helped me to get back into the swing of things.
"Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me.
....She hath done what she could."
"Lord, what would ye have me do?"
If we humble ourselves enough to recognize that we are weak and can accomplish nothing on our own, and go to the Lord in faith asking Him this question, He will always answer us and give us opportunities to follow the Spirit. I am so grateful I made this discovery early on in the week, because our week was so full of blessings as soon as I asked what it is He wants me to be doing specifically in this moment.
The first answer to that prayer came on Wednesday when we had our interviews with President Taylor. Without prompt, he told me EXACTLY what he wants and needs me to be doing for my last 3 transfers. He told me he is very grateful for the work I have done so far, and he is going to be trusting me with some special responsibilities for the last 4 months of my mission. That probably doesn't mean a leadership position, but ya never know with President. I think it means with the companions I have and the areas I serve in. There are things in each place with each person that he wants me to help him with, and he knows I can do it. God knows I can do it, and that is why President told me what he wants me to do. It was awesome! And the answer came so quickly! I prayed about it on Tuesday night, and got the first part of my answer on Wednesday morning. :) God is good. Plus, the day was full of happiness and sunshine! We were excited about it.
I had heard a quote while we were sitting at interviews that somebody said, "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds." It wasn't until this morning when I received an email from Mom sharing that same quote that I found out it was President Gordon B. Hinckley that said it. :) God doesn't do random! Anyway, I have been thinking about that quote all week just thinking, "Missions are for growth. Spiritual growth. I am supposed to grow, and I am supposed to help others grow. So we need to work harder!" That day, we WORKED. I mean, we were running around so fast and trying so many people without dilly dally or delay, and a huge miracle happened. We had dinner with a recent convert, and her nonmember son was there. He asked questions over dinner, and long story short, he is getting baptized. He picked his own date too! He wants to be baptized on August 4th because that's his mom's birthday and his daughter's birthday, so he wants it to be his rebirthday. :) It was amazing! We are now teaching him at least once a week. It was quite the miracle.
This propelled us forward for the rest of the week! We were just so pumped for EVERYTHING this week! We wanted to go at the work with full force, giving it ALL our energy! After all, the work is hastening, so we better hasten our pace too! We had a super fun service project for the zone where we all picked up litter on the roadsides in Troutdale, and we kept our same speed and zeal for that work too!
Lastly, and possibly one of the greatest experiences on my mission thus far, Panda Express. Haha! On Friday when we were doing our weekly planning, we got a call from one of our investigators saying she just got home from shopping and had a sudden migraine, keeping her from being able to put away her groceries. We ran over and I put away her groceries while Sister Eyerly talked to her and kept an eye on her kids so she could rest. I did her dishes while she sort of napped, and when we left we offered to help with dinner. She didn't want us to have to cook anything, so she asked if we could just go pick up Panda Express for her and she would pay us back. We were happy to do so! When we got to Panda it was PACKED! And super small, so it was rather noisy and crazy in there. Everyone was clearly anxious to get out. I ordered her food, and as I was standing at the cash register getting ready to pay, a big black man on my left tapped me on the shoulder and yelled, "What church do you go to?" I replied, pointing to my tag, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day..." "No no no no, WHERE is it?" he interrupted. I started to tell him where it was and he asked me to write it down. I frantically searched for a card, but I was out, and Sister Eyerly was ordering her own food, plus the man was on the phone and seemed in a rush to get out of there. I was slightly panicked so I said, while desperately searching for a pen and paper, "Are you a member?" He said, "No, but I want to be! I'd like to be baptized!" ...I did my best to keep my composure. Instead of getting him a card, I just handed him our phone and he entered his number and said his name was Carlos. And just as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone. It was amazing. Definitely a HUGE and obvious blessing of service.
Heavenly Father does not break His promises. He rewards us for our service of others, no matter what capacity we are able to work. He simply asks us to try. In His compassion and mercy, He answers our prayers... And we must go forward with that same compassion, willing to give whatever we possibly can to help be His hands, answering the prayer of another one of His children. Elder Holland closes his talk with these words: "I promise that God will be generous to you, and those who find relief at your hand will call your name blessed forever." That is a promise from an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I testify that these things are true. I know that God loves you and desires your happiness. I know that as we put our best foot forward and just TRY to do what He asks of us, we will be blessed. The more we pause to ask, "Lord, what would ye have me do?" and follow through with what we feel prompted to do, the easier it will be to feel of His love and recognize the blessings that He is so anxious for us to receive. I love Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Sister Nicole Guilott
P.S. Thank you so much for the flowers!