Monday, July 27, 2015

He is Aware of All of Our Struggles

Dearest Mother:)

I really do love the letters you send me every week. They make me cry:) Although, I am your daughter, so I guess its expected. I'm glad Robert and Dad got my letters, and that the boys are home now. I do have to say thought that this will be the first time in your life, that you have only sons in the home considering both your daughters are currently elsewhere in the United States.. Haha

Jonathan and Ashley on her baptism day!
This week has been an extremely spiritual week for my companion and I. As you aware from last weeks letter, one of our investigators Ashley got baptized last Saturday. Her boyfriend Jonathan, despite the car breaking down, and being irreparable, managed to make it Friday night home from BYU-I and was able to baptize her the next day. This baptism was so awesome! I was able to be a part of her being taught from the beginning, and since then have been working really hard for her to be prepared for her baptism. I watched Ashley start to cry because of the overwhelming feeling that the Spirit brought in to the room. I then turned to look at the mother and she was silently sobbing on the side of the room. I knew then that the Spirit was testifying to her of the truthfulness and rightness of the teachings we share and Ashley's commitment to it and the Lord. I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it, even for these short few months that I have been in Warner Robins.

We have this investigator named Evon. (Well actually she introduced herself as Evelyn at church one week, so I think that's her actual name, but she tells us to call her Evon). She is the strongest lady I have ever met. She goes into dialysis 3 times a week, and on two of those days, she has us come over and teach her. She told us once that even if she is in extreme pain, she will tell people that she is fine because she doesn't want them to worry about her. It is only when the pain is more than she can handle that she will tell us otherwise. She has also since I met her been through 3 surgeries. We saw her after one of them, and she told us that she was not feeling great at all, which made us worried because she never complained, but we let her rest. The last two weeks we have been trying to see her and her car has been there, but she never answered the door. We knew she loved us coming by, and she is the type of person who if she had wanted to stop the discussions would frankly tell us not to come back, and that she would never leave us hanging. Day after day we would try her, but no one would answer. It made me sad and a little worried as the days turned into weeks. Yesterday our phone rang, but we didn't answer since we were in a teaching appointment. We didn't recognize the number, and so we listened to the voicemail that was left. The voice was very weak, and even on speaker phone we could hardly hear, so we pulled over so we could concentrate on listening to the voice. It was Evon! She started out by telling us who it was, and where she lived, and then apologized to us for being MIA for so long. We later found out, that she had very nearly died, and that it was only the grace of God that keeps her heart beating. Her last surgery had many complications, and she ended up in ICU for a while. As soon as she was able, she got our number and called us to let us know that she was still alive, and that she was sorry she hadn't been in touch since. She was still in the hospital in Macon, so we couldn't go see her. We called the APs in Macon and asked if they could go visit her for us, which was a problem at first, because we didn't know what room number she was in, and all we had was her name. They were able to find her though, and they left a Book of Mormon with her so that she could read it while she was in the hospital, since her Book of Mormon was here at home. She was very grateful for that. After our dinner appointment, we were finally able to get a hold of her ourselves, and we talked to her for a little bit and got more of the information of what actually happened. She was very grateful that we sent the missionaries to go see her when we couldn't, and she even told us that she had prayed about the Book of Mormon, and that she is only getting good feelings from it. That was something we were trying to get her to do last time we talked with her, and I'm so glad she was able to recognize the importance of the Book of Mormon. I know that she has great potential to recognize the Spirit and the truthfulness of the things we are sharing with her. I know that even though she has a hard life dealt her, that even if she were to pass away before she was able to be baptized, I know with a certainty that she would accept it later. I hope I can be here when she does take that step for her eternal progression, and I'm glad Heavenly Father has allowed her a little more time on Earth so that we could continue to share with her our testimonies of the truthfulness of His plan for her.

There is this other family that we try to visit (I've only shared something with them once). They are an in-active family, and the mother is very bitter towards God. She has three sons, and all of them have a disease that has something to do with genetic blindness, and they have all undergone surgeries to prevent it (the oldest is 9 and the youngest is 2). She tries to help them, and there are times that because they are in pain, and she is restraining them from hurting themselves, that they get angry towards her, and it breaks her heart to see them in so much pain. She is mad at God for their pain, and she hates the idea that their suffering is her trial. However, she will still accept blessings for her children before their surgeries, but she expects them to be healed completely rather than relying on the will of God. Her youngest was scheduled for a surgery a few weeks ago, to fix the cataract in his eyes. When they went in for the surgery (after the blessing) the cataract had disappeared! I know that it was God's hand in the healing, because things like that just don't happen on their own, especially since the cataract was huge just the week before. We haven't yet been able to see the mother, we just spoke to the father briefly, but I know that God is aware of this family, and that He knows their struggles, and is right there with them trying to help them overcome it. 

I know my Father in Heaven loves all of these people. I know He knows their struggles even more than I do. I know He is trying to help them in every manner that he can. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be an instrument in His hands to help them, even when I won't know the outcome. 

He Lives! He Loves! And He is aware of all of our struggles! Nothing escapes His notice, and if we but turn to Him, He has this beautiful plan for me, for you, and for everyone to be the happiest we have ever been forever and ever. 

I love my Savior and this Gospel. The peace it brings me is awe inspiring. He is Hope.

I love you all!

-Sister Monica Lyn Walker

PS We found this really cool apartment complex that we didn't know existed, and we already have 5 investigators there, and about 6 good potentials. And we haven't even finished tracting the area!
These are ninja blackbelt gingerbread cookies.. my district found out I'm a 2nd Degree black belt, and now they are all obsessed over it, so some of the Elders made us these. 
 P.S.S. This was my training I did! It was super fun:) I had an obstacle course in which I blindfolded three Elders and told them to make their way through it. One companion I told to guide him step by step through it, another I had yell from across the room, and the last I told not to say anything. It was supposed to represent the three kinds of companions you could have. One who takes them step by step through the process, another who just tells them the end goal, and the last who doesn't tell them anything at all. The first made it through with still a few bruises, but very little, the second ran into two tables, 5 chairs, a trashcan, and some other items, the last wandered around lost until he finally, but very slowly made it to the end, long after everyone else. It was awesome:)

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