Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Says Messes?! (6 Months?!) 4/11/16

Hellloooooo! I mean Hi!

So on Thursday this past week... I.... hit... my... 6 Month Mark... and I am NOT HAPPY about it. There is no way that I am the missionary that I want to be and I am seriously concerned that I am beginning the 1 year countdown. Despite my feelings of sadness that 1/3 of the best part of my life is over, I have a few thoughts on the progress that I have seen. 

6 months. 6 months of my life already given in service to the Lord. While I feel amazed at how far I was enabled to come, I am also extremely determined to be a better missionary than I have been. I feel like my life is changing drastically right now... most definitely for the better. At the beginning, I was bugged and prideful about having to be reminded to change to fit missionary standards, Now however, I am trying to humble myself and do my very best to be exactly obedient, and live so I can look back on my mission for the rest of eternity with satisfaction and peace. This time is precious and sacred. I believe that how I finish my mission will determine the rest of my life. This next year I am going to double my efforts and give it ALL I have. My focus has been reset on my purpose to bring souls unto Christ, while becoming fully converted myself.  

Aside from the mind boggling fact that I have been living my life as Hermana Tobler for 6 months. We had some serious MIRACULOUS MOMENTS this week. WOW. Here goes:

My 1/2 companion Hermana Godoy and I were just finishing our lunch one day when we got a frantic telephone call. Because I am in charge of the phone this transfer, I picked up the call to a woman speaking 90 mph in the blessed language of SPANISH. For those who have had to learn a language, while in the process of learning, it takes every single ounce of my focus to understand about 70% of what the person is saying. With a little help from my native 1/2 companion, I learned that a woman had found our number online while desperately searching for people from a church to come help her. We prayed to know how we could help the woman, and felt that it was best for us to go visit her. 

The home was relatively decent but pretty run down, and all of her four children were sitting outside playing with a ball. Each of them had dirt streaked skin, clothes that probably hadn't been washed in weeks and tangled greasy hair. My heart ached. She lead us inside her home and we were astonished to see absolutely nothing. Her home was completely empty of furniture, food, and hope. Except for a few black garbage bags in the corner, a box and 2 bar stools, there was nothing. She ushered us to sit and we perched precariously on the tiny stools. She sat on the box, and looked up at us hopelessly. Her eyes were heavy and unfocused with exhaustion, and tears streamed down her cheeks.

 Her story goes as follows: Her husband had a relatively stable job for awhile but little by little his paycheck began to be cut. Soon, the family of 6 was living of $1,000 a month.. In California... Because his income was not nearly enough to pay for their needs, bills, and her dialysis treatment, they were in the process of being kicked out of their house. She told us that she never let the children inside because she didn't want them to be continually reminded of their circumstances. She said the police were due to come by any day to kick them out and after that she assured us that they had no place to go. 

We listened in silence, and I wracked my brain and heart to think of something that would help this woman at this time. While our purpose does not entail providing for people's material needs, we were more than willing to offer spiritual encouragement. After a few humble words of testimony. Hermana Godoy and I invited the whole family inside to pray together. The children shyly shuffled into the room and we all knelt in the center of the bare living room. My companion offered a lovely prayer and we felt the strength and peace of the spirit wash over us. I felt a change come over the family as we prayed, and by the time we were finished, a few lines of worry had released their hold on Mellie's face. She still looked tired, scared, and stressed but there was a tiny light of hope in her eyes. I know that God will provide a miracle for them. I felt his love for this sweet family as we prayed together and I know that each of us are very important to our Father in Heaven. I am grateful to have had this beautiful and sacred experience.

Every Member a missionary. This story is a perfect example to me of why we need to be member missionaries. This darling old man, called our Bishop last week asking for us to come visit him because he had a friend who shared his testimony. Gerardo traveling a difficult path right now. He recently lost his dearest companion on the 30th of December. He is desperately lonely and absolutely heartbroken. Gerardo's friend shared with him his testimony on how the gospel enables us to be able to live with our families for eterninty. This simple act gave Gerardo hope that there was more to this life, and that God is aware of him. 

My companion Hermana Jordan and I sat in his clean, well kept home and listened to Gerardo's story. Gerardo told us of his wife's quick passing to a heart attack, and the grueling difficulty of living a life completely solo after nearly 50 years of marrige. He grieved her loss of companionship and wept bitterly as he described his life without her. We felt impressed to share a bit of the plan of salvation with him and I can honestly say it was one of the most spiritual lessons of my life. The spirit was there and it testified that life continues and families are forever. Gerardo came to church this Sunday and loved every second. The ward wrapped him up in their arms and he is in good hands. 

Stay Safe& God Speed
Love, Hermana Tobler

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