I come bringing good tidings of great joy! The gospel is true! And many miracles are to be found within!
In all reality, yes. I've seen miracle after miracle. Starting a day before my birthday. We had planned to weekly plan and do some referral tracting, but the thought came to my head that we should go see all our investigators and invite them to church personally. While only three of the several came, it was productive. This one couple's granddaughters were just baptized a couple of weeks ago and have just fallen in love with us. The wife came to church on my birthday, not knowing it was my birthday (I didn't tell anyone). However, one of the elders in the ward knew it was my birthday due to records in the mission office (dang assistants) and wished me a happy birthday during our Sunday school class, which we taught. I think the entire room gasped with shock due to the fact I didn't tell them. They called me to repentance and are feeding me a birthday dinner tonight. The miracle in this is the investigator wife is starting to feel the love within the church. She and her own family are making mends. In my own life, I think the zone leaders said "happy almost birthday!" everyday for a week, and all the other missionaries had been hiding things from me.
My actual birthday was great. Sister Porter rolled out of bed at 6:30 and walked into the kitchen. She never does that. She comes out with a cooking tray with the words "Happy B-Day" spelled out in snap peas, and sings to me. She takes pictures as I open the package from my parents. So great. An hour later, the zone leaders call and they along with my district leader and his companion sing to me a wonderful harmonized birthday song over the phone. An hour after that we get picekd up for our shift at the VC, to where the senior couple on shift gave me a homemade coconut cake and cookie salad. 15 minutes later the VC director and his wife call and wish me a happy birthday. 15 minutes after that, the sisters on shift with me swarm me with love. I finally get a break ... 4 hours later the sisters that were to replace us at the VC so we can go to church swarm me again. I was feeling clostrophobic at times. At church it was a little better, except the elders greeted me and said "Happy Birthday" in front of the whole ward in the hallways, in class, etc. They serve in the office at times so they knew... and please refer to the story above for what happened there. Sister Keyes called right after the 3rd hour. I was able to hide the rest of my birthday until the closing song and prayer at the VC. The sisters sang to me. Oh goodness. And it doesn't stop there.
Monday morning we (the whole zone) play sports at the church gym for an hour. At the end of the hour, one of the elders shouts "we have a surprise!" I dash for the doors but I was too late. They all start singing and I am presented a soccer ball, signed by all the missionaries in the zone, as well as presented strawberry shortcake. Favorite. The love just kept coming. Everything else is a blur, but it's Wednesday, and I'm still hearing the reference of my day of birth from the missionaries. Needless to say, I am overly loved here. And I am so grateful for it.
So, you are probably tired of me talking about how loved I am out here. Where are the miracles?! Good question. We see miracles, small and large, everyday. A couple of them happened yesterday. I was down in the referral center calling a few people. This couple came into the VC a couple weeks ago and the first thing they said was "can we get a Book of Mormon here?" Of course you can! let us show you the center! Very neat people. Accepted missionaries. I called to see if the missionaries ever showed up. When I got ahold of them I asked how their reading was going. The wife starts talking and says in a very passioante tone, "Oh, I just picked up the Book of Mormon and I was witnessed to that it was the word of God. I started reading it and yep, I know it's true". I was a little speechless. I sent the sisters over there. Miracle! Another one brought shivers to my shine. A woman walks into the VC and asks for a couple of us sisters to help her sing a hymn. Another sister and myself go to the piano with her and sing for maybe a minute, then we start talking. She's a recent convert, baptized last March. She was at the VC because she was waiting for the zone leaders. She told us about how she got introduced to the church. Her exhusband had to have brain surgery and it changed his personality enough that he became abusive. She took her daughter and left and finally moved to Blue Springs. He filed for divorce which shook up the daughter so badly she's been seeing professionals ever since. She, while in the hospital, got in contact with the missioanries and loved the church. She introduced her mom to it and her mom joined, but the daughter was never able to for whatever reason. I asked if she would be willing to see the missionaries again and if we could send them to her. She agreed and said "yes, I've been thinking about sending the sister missionaries to her. She just got to Nevada, Missouri yesterday". My heart skipped a beat. Whitney just got transferred there. Whitney is one of those sister missionaries that would go see her daughter. I told her that my best friend is serving there and that she would take care of her daughter. I got the contact info and hopefully Whitney will get it soon. I found out later that the appointment this woman came for was actually scheduled for today, not yesterday. We called the ZL's and they apologize to her and set up the appointment for tonight. She was supposed to be at the VC last night. Miracles.
Miracles happen everyday. I'm slowly learning what I need to and what potential I truly have as a daughter of God. I have set higher goals for myself because I know with the Lord's help I can reach them. I'm so grateful for the help my Father in Heaven gives to me as I honor the covenants I have made with Him. We have power as we accept and honor our baptismal and temple covenants. I know God lives and loves us. I know His son lives and loves us. I know that we are all here for a specific purpose, and our adversity helps us achieve that goal. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and helps us understand the things that happen to us and around us. It brings peace and light into your life that you never even knew existed. I'm grateful for me His servant. I'm grateful for this understanding. I'm grateful for my family and the miracles I see within them. I know Christ lives. Forever and always.