Sooooo...we had some fun miracles this week! :)First, there is a less active that somehow ended up on our ward's roles. Her name is Jewel. We've been doing 100% Accountability to make sure the records are all up to date and to meet all of the members, active and less active. No one knew who Jewel was and her address didn't exist, so we weren't really sure what to do. One night this week we decided to call her just before finishing planning to see if she would answer. SHE DID! And she was so nice and coincidentally didn't have work for the next two days. We set up an appointment for the next day and met her at the stake center. She's 21 years old and doesn't really speak Spanish. This is her story, in short. She got baptized when she was 15 in Fresno, CA and then moved to Camarillo to come to school a few years later. She loves the church SO much but after being at college and attending the singles ward for a few months, she got a job, a boyfriend, and lots of homework and slowly church fell out of her life. It was so sweet to meet with her in the church. Hermana Huey said the first prayer and when
Second, we received a referral from a member of the English ward for a woman who works for him and her family. We met them this week and they are awesome! A cute 16 year old member came with us and got Angie, the 12 year old girl in the family so excited to come to church and young women's activities! Gloria, the mom, wants the best for her family and it will be a special experience to see how the Lord works in their family as we more forward with them. They have a really special spirit :)
Third, we had an AMAZING youth activity this week! The youth have been preparing for the last two(ish) weeks to receive mission calls and teach the message of the Restoration to the members of the ward. This last Wednesday, they came to the church, received name tags, and went to teach! They came back ON FIRE!! These are some of the things they said:
"When we walked in, I didn't really know what to do. But when we came out I really felt something special."
"I'm excited to do that full time!"
"We didn't get started until 8:30 because they were on the phone..."
"It was really sad because she was really old and couldn't remember her own birthday, so we decided that we want to go visit her again and take her a birthday cake."
They all loved it and it was so exciting to see their love for God and for missionary work!
My testimony this week is about the power of our testimonies. I made a connection in the Book of Mormon that blew my mind. So Alma 7 is a pretty common chapter that we share as missionaries. In this chapter, Alma teaches and testifies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, saying:
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (verses 11-12)
To me, it is evident that Alma has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and the power of His Atonement. But where did that testimony start? How did Alma come to have unwavering faith in the Lord? Well, if we rewind a bit, you'll remember that Alma first heard about the gospel through the prophet and missionary, Abinadi. And what are some of Abinadi's most prominent teachings? They are of Jesus Christ. Abinadi quotes Isaiah in Mosiah 14, saying:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (verses 3-5)
Sound familiar? *Hint* Scroll up and read Alma 7 again.
Okay, now come back. Check out how Abinadi expounds the scriptures and testifies of them in Mosiah 15.
"And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father. And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men—Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice." (verses 5-9)
There are so many similarities in these scriptures and it is so cool to me how much Abinadi's teachings really reached the heart of Alma. Even more special is how Abinadi continued on and taught of missionary work and the importance of declaring the glad tidings. Alma took that to heart and because of his missionary efforts, thousands were brought the a knowledge of the Savior. Including me. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. For the prophets who sacrificed so much to write and work so that we could know more of our Savior. I know He lives and loves us. I know he atoned for us and that His atonement is infinite and eternal. I love my Savior and I feel the great necessity to declare His gospel. I love this work and I know it is the Lord's.
Take care and ENJOY CONFERENCE!
P.s. sorry that was a lot of scriptures to read, I don't blame you if you got bored :)