Well folks, it's been one interesting week. Six of the past seven days have been kind of down. Both Elder Sahue and I fell sick (nothing major), it's rained everyday, and we don't have any phone credit, so we haven't been able to call and make appointments. That's just a few things. With the pouring rain and being sick, there were two days this week where we were confined indoors. After a whole week of feeling a bit down, I really needed (and was praying) for something to help lift me up.
Then, as i was playing prelude music for Church yesterday, President and Sister Weed walked in! And I was like, "Wait! This is their last Sunday in Africa!" Anyways, it was an answer to my prayers, their visit. After sacrament meeting, I was able to talk with him. Afterwards, I again felt the power of the Atonement work in me. I felt the burden that was on my shoulders lighten as I realized, once again, that this is the Lord's work, and He is capable of doing what He wants to do.
As it was the 5th Sunday, we were all combined for the 3rd hour. President Kazotti (the Branch President) gave the lesson on how our homes can be a reflection of heaven on Earth. This lesson was one of the best lessons that I have ever participated in the Church. There were so many good insights and experiences shared about how each member of the family has their own duties to make sure that the home is a safe place in this unsafe world. What I took specifically was that the father is not a dictator in the home, rather, he is the guardian. President Weed shared a wonderful story of the transforming power of the gospel in families' lives.
Afterwards, we received word from two of our appointments that they would not be there. We still went out to our first appointment and decided to go to see if the last appointment we had scheduled was there. He was, and we had a great lesson with him. We had trouble finding a next appointment, so we went to go looking for one and found someone we had found the previous week who is very interested. Unfortunately, he is not in our area, so we had the member that was working with us go with him to find the house so that he could go there this next week with the other companionship.
We still didn't have a last appointment, and we didn't feel satisfied. Having no phone credit, we weren't sure what to do. Then, I just decided to try sending a text to one of our recent converts to see if he could meet us at the church at 6 o'clock. I didn't think it was going to go through, not having credit, but then it did! I was so amazed, but I recognized that the Lord's hand was 100% involved in that.
We went to the Church and waited for him (he was a bit late). We had planned to talk to him about personal strength in the midst of persecution because he and his family are undergoing a lot of persecution right now, but he brought up a problem that he and his wife have had with a couple branch members. We then completely switched modes.
Trying to talk calmly and lovingly, we both talked quite strongly with him that we should always be ready to forgive others of their faults. When we had finished talking, there were a few moments of silent reflection, and we had started talking, the Spirit filled the room. He demeanor had completely changed, and he thanked us for having spoken with love but still showing him that what he was doing wasn't good. It was a good experience for all of us about forgiveness and D&C 121:43-45.
Anyways, last night, as I laid in bed reflecting on my day, I was amazed at the turn around that had happened during my day. After a week full of slight depression, my mindset was completely turned around after two things: 1) the Sacrament (others call it communion), and 2) speaking with my priesthood leader for counsel and direction. It was another testimony for me that these things are very real. God lives and is watching over us. God DOES answer prayers. And He has provided us with everything that we need in order to make it through this life to eternal life, but it is up to us to choose to accept His plan.
I hope that each of you have been able to feel the Lord's hand in your lives as I have in mine. I think that I have barely begun to feel how deeply Heavenly Father is involved in my life, but it is still the sweetest feeling to see and feel how He helps me every day.
I love you all so much, and I hope you all have a great week.