Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mormon 9:15;19 HE CHANGETH NOT

"God of my Everything"
not actually sure who sings it. The USB says Aaron Shurst but... who knows. The USB has been wrong before. 

This week was so amazing! so many incredible things happened! There's no way that I'll have time to write them all, we're short on time this week because it's Hermana Tolman's last pday as a missionary, and so we've been running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done. I'm just amazed that I had time to brush my teeth this morning! I haven't even eaten yet today and it's noon!! Woah! 

Well the first and most important was our lesson with Hector. 
Oh my gosh.
Have you ever read that account in the Book of Mormon when Alma the younger sees the sons of Mosiah again and they're all just so happy and wow! That feeling is a real and legitimate feeling. I didn't know that feeling of happiness even existed. I could relive that moment over and over again. 
It was so funny. 
So we were walking on the street and getting closer and closer and it was honestly just... wow. The anticipation was killing me and then we round the corner to his house and THERE HE WAS!! And I was just so done with the situation like Hermana Tolman and I just wanted to run up and hug him but then he wasn't wearing a shirt so we definitely DIDN'T do that...  So instead I just turned around and walked the other way haha cause I was so done with the situation. LIKE WE HAVE LITERALLY BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS MAN AND HIS FAMILY FOR 5 WEEKS AND THERE THEY WERE? 
Just no!! 
Miracles like that do not just happen!! 
But they totally do!
And this week they did! 
Well, Hector was his usual sassy self and we just could not stop smiling and we  bore our testimonies that they were ready to make this commitment and that God had allowed us to find them again because he knew that they were ready and we invited them to be baptized and they said yes and we all lived happily ever after.
Except not really because Hector and his family live in West York and so we don't actually get to continue teaching them... :( So we had to send them over to the elders which was truly unfortuante because I would have given anything to teach them because they're so prepared... 
But I was just praying about it, wondering why we couldn't have the opportunity to teach them because honestly I was just sad... and the answer that I got was this really warm feeling of peace and a voice that told me, "If I needed you to be teaching him right now, he would be living in Lancaster." And that was enough for me. All the fear and sadness was just replaced with this peace and gratitude that I had been given the opportunity to take part in the miracle of finding him again. Like... 
Just wow. 

We had so many other awesome miracles this week!
It was just a week of miracles! 

One of those miracles is Rufino.
So when Salvador was baptized last Saturday (the 4th) we passed around these little cards and invited people to think of a name and write it on the card. Then our branch mission leader just got up and testified that whatever name the Lord was going to put into their mind was someone that He had prepared to hear the message. 
One of the sisters - Hermana Concha - had this person come into her mind, but she didn't think it was the right timing or anything, so she didn't write him down or refer him to us. 
But the very next day, Rufino was calling her and told her that he was feeling really lonely and lost and that he felt like something was missing in his life and he just wanted to be happy. 
She was all like, "Whaaa??"
So she told us to go contact him and he was so happy to have us over. We taught him the message of the Restoration and he loved it and invited us back and even came to church this Sunday! The members were so sweet and welcoming and it was just such an amazing miracle.
He's Salvador's old roommate! 
So when Salvador showed up at church we told him, "Hey! Rufino is here!" And he was like, "What? Rufino? How?" And they sat by each other and smiled and laughed and were so happy and honestly I've never seen Salvador that happy than to sit in church next to his friend who had decided to follow the Savior just like he had... 
 Ugh. So many tender moments. 

And speaking over sacrament meeting... that may have been the biggest miracle of all... 
A lot of them were just visitors. One of the members - Mercedes - had her daughter in town and all her family from the Dominican Republic and they stopped by to visit. Well Mercedes' son (also a member), was giving a talk in sacrament meeting that day - he had been assigned to do so like a month in advance. So when the whole family came to visit, he was like, "I'm sorry guys, I have to go to church because I'm giving a talk." And they were like, "Oh, it's fine. We'll just come with you!" IT WAS SO COOL! 
The spirit was super strong. Hermana Tolman gave a departing testimony and I was just bawling because I'm gonna miss her so much. The talks were very spiritually uplifting and I think a lot of the visitors and less actives that were there felt the spirit super strongly. There have been some less actives coming out recently that haven't been to church in YEARS and it's been so incredible! 
One of those is our best friends Eunice. Ugh. she seriously means the world to me. She came yesterday for the first time in a really long time. Like I don't even know how long it's been since she's come out. Then, later in the evening when we had a lesson with her, she told us about how peaceful she felt. We committed her to just keep it a habit now, and she said that she would. She's committed to coming to church again next week!! It was such a break through! 
Anyway! After sacrament meeting we talked to this couple who were visiting from Washington, they're members of the Concha family (the family that is baptizing nations in this Branch - Hermana Concha referred us to Rufino and the other Hermana Concha referred us to Salvador. So basically they're boss.) but the guy apparently has been less active for a couple years, and his wife wants to take the lessons and get baptized!
Pretty much just another day in the life of Hermana Tolman and Hermana Bills. People just walking around, asking us to be baptized ;) hahaha. ;) 

Not much else happened this week. Just trying to finish up some loose odds and ends before Hermana Tolman heads back home to that eternal pday in the sky ;) We said goodbye to a lot of people. 
One of my favorite things about serving in a branch as opposed to serving in a Ward is that you have the opportunity to help out a LOT because the members need a lot of help. So this week, because there are not a lot of sisters in our ward, but a lot of less active sisters to visit, we were given a visiting teaching list of people that we're assigned to visit teach. Haha. Didn't think I'd have one of those for at least a couple more months! So we had a good laugh over that. 

In other news... we had Zone Training on Wednesday. Learned about setting expectations and how important that is. 

We watched President Packer's funeral. So sad 

We found an investigator in Columbia. So our next step is to just go ahead and baptize everyone living in that city... or at least have enough work there so that President Johnsons can send another set of missionaries to start working there 

IN OTHER NEWS!! There was a tornado warning in Lancaster County and we were just leaving a dinner appointment when the storm hit, and I don't think the tornado ever touched down or anything but the wind definitely tore a bunch of stuff up and knocked some trees over and wreaked a decent amount of general havoc and made a mess and blew stuff around a lot. You know. typical wind business. The craziest thing was that we were RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT and it legit was probably one of the most exciting moments of my entire life. Like.... Hands down. I don't think I've ever been so excited about anything. Cause we were just driving and it's like 5:00, right? But the sky is all like dark and greenish and then the lightning just starts flashing everywhere and the clouds are literally like SO close to the ground and it was just like we were in this tiny little dome of crazy hulk weather... and then it just starts POURING down rain like in these torrential sheets and we're literally driving like 12 miles an hour and the wind is seriously trying to blow our car away and I think that is one of the single happiest moments of my entire life. I was just so sure that I was going to see a tornado. I have never seen weather like that before!! Ugh. Coolest. It was so cool. 

Lastly, we committed two of our investigators to get baptized on August 8! It was amazing! They both said they feel so ready to start a new page in their lives. So hopefully we'll be having a couple awesome baptisms in the near future! 

Guys, thanks for all that you do for me! For the love and prayers and support. And the letters!! Thank you for all of the letters! You guys are seriously amazing. There is nothing that brings a bigger smile to my face than getting a hand-written letter from someone in our little mailbox on hitching post lane ;) hahaha. So if any of you are looking for a pen pal who usually doesn't respond to anything you send but at least you'll know that she was happy to hear from you... I'm your gal! ;) 
Hahaha. I love you guys. 

Hermana Bills 

 15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
19 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.

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