The Sisters we live with were having a Blitz in their area, and before we headed out to find people for them to teach, Sister Cozzens and I said a prayer together, to help us find. Last week we made it a goal to be more specific in our prayers, so we prayed to find four people! That's kind of a huge jump from zero, and that's all that we had known. I was kind of uncertain about four. Finding two people sounded challenging enough! But then Sister Cozzens did something that I will never forget.
She changed her mind and prayed for us to find SIX new people!!
Six??? What?!? Now I knew my companion was crazy. There was no possible way for us to find six people after weeks of the field NOT being white and NOT ready for harvest. But I was overcome with a feeling of peace, and I suddenly felt that finding six people was possible. After all, in the strength of the Lord we can do all things.
We headed out! We started walking and we first talked to a football coach. He was busy, getting his car packed for a game he was heading out to, but he asked if we could come back to share our message. One person found for the Sisters.
We continued walking down the road. There was a woman hooking a horse trailer to her pickup who called us over and started talking to us. She had talked to Elders before and had seen the Sisters on their bikes before. Though she didn't ask for us to come back, she definitely seemed interested in the message. And the Sisters know where she lives;) Two people found.
The road looped into a cul de sac and we followed it. A woman was sitting out in her yard smoking a cigarette. We started a conversation with her and found out her mother was very ill. She had finished her final round of chemotherapy but was still in bad shape. She seemed flustered. We invited her to watch the Because He Lives video (I cry every time I watch it) and she asked us to come back when her mother was healthier so she could hear the messages as well. Three people found. We asked her for a referral, and she pointed out a house at the end of the cul de sac. Four people found.
We walked on! I couldn't believe our success, and I know that we were being led by the Spirit. Sister Cozzens decided that the next person we saw would be all mine. I would be the one talking, navigating the conversation to the gospel, and inviting them to take the lessons. Though I was nervous, I was excited that my companion had so much faith in me! A man was mowing his lawn and we waved. He turned it off to talk to us, and he was such a nice man. He just moved into the area with his wife and two baby boys (the oldest is two years old) and is getting to know the neighborhood. We talked about his family, and I explained that we were
The Blitz was almost over, and I knew that we'd find that sixth person. We had prayed for it! We were putting in the effort to find and to teach! I knew it was possible! Time was running out, and we talked to people on the sidewalk, but none of them were interested. Time was finally up. No sixth person appeared. I was discouraged, but I knew that we had done well enough. Five names for the Sisters was nothing to sneeze at. We headed back to the car and just sat in there for a bit. That's when the miracle happened. We were parked on the side of the road, and a car had driven past and parked in front of us as we sat there. An old woman got out of the car, saw us, and beamed. I've never seen a human smile so widely. We smiled back and even waved! She waved back and waddled to the side of our car. We rolled down the window and she said, "It's so nice to see you! I don't have time for you to come teach me right now, but I'd love to see you soon!" She waved again, told us to have a blessed day, and walked into her home. The sixth person we prayed for had found us. There is no doubt in my mind that God hears our prayers and answers them.
I had another spiritual experience that involved a less active woman. She's been through a lot in her life, and she has a very simple mind. She doesn't learn new things and has forgotten most of the gospel. It's nothing that she's able to control, just that's what her life is. We went to teach her and I was so nervous. It's really hard to teach someone who doesn't learn, and I wasn't very confident in my ability to teach the doctrine or find a connection with her. At a point where I was unable to focus on the lesson or this woman, I had my eyes opened. I suddenly saw her as what she was: a daughter of God. I had a few moments where all I saw in front of me was a glorious soul, whose worth is above that of rubies, whose sins have been cleansed by the power of the Atonement, whose pains have been felt by our Savior. It was such a powerful experience and I wish that I could see through those eyes all the time. But with the success we've recently experienced with praying, maybe that's all I have to do to feel like that constantly:)
One more story before I close! We went to teach another less active woman during the week. She has severe arthritis and it's hard for her to get to church because every movement she makes is painful. She has a son living with her, and he's a bit of what I like to call a "gangster." He had his "gangster" friends hanging out at the house and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated. We were teaching her a lesson when one by one these "gangsters" filled the room. We had this teeny, tiny bedroom filled with 7 people, two of which were me and Sister Cozzens. We asked the men what role God had played in their lives, and all of them said, "God is everything in our lives." They all believe in Christ, that He is the Savior of the world. One of them mentioned that he did Christian Raps, and those are basically gangster raps centered around Christ and His gospel. I jokingly said under my breath that I did that too, but I didn't say it quietly enough. Long story short, I gave my Restoration Rap and we have a new investigator. A "gangster" named Adam. Never underestimate the power of music;)
All my heart,
P.S. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. - President Henry B. Eyring