Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week #32 in Texas - Monahans, TX

Sheesh! I feel overwhelmed at the task of writing an email this week because so much has happened, and there is so much to say! It has been an AMAZING week, full of miracles and the love from God.

We can just start off with the main event - That I got to meet Elder Bednar on Friday! And WOW. That was a once in a lifetime experience. ALL missionaries from the Texas Lubbock Mission were crammed in one chapel. All 260 of us! And we got to hear from an Apostle of the Lord. The unity and the Spirit that were in that room were absolutely indescribable, and I am so grateful for everything that I was able to learn from the Spirit that day. He talked a lot about being agents for ourselves, and how it is so much more effective to help people act for themselves, than to force them or act on them. He related it to our investigators and then, plot twist, he talked a bit about marriage and how to raise our children based on these same principles! I know this explanation is all over the place, but I can’t really describe everything that the Spirit taught me! It was just amazing. And, at the end, he switched it around and we were able to ask whatever questions we wanted, and he answered them. So amazing. That was an experience that I will never forget. And at the end of it, we were singing a closing hymn, and I looked up and President Heap was trying so hard not to cry just looking out at the sea of missionaries, and he lost it. He just began openly weeping, and then I lost it. I could just see that pure love that he has for each of us, and the Spirit was so thick and strong. My spirit is so filled.

A Sister Missionary from the branch came home this week! Her homecoming was great! Sister Davidson, Elder Carlile and I sang Savior Redeemer/Called to Serve, and it was so wonderful. The Spirit was so strong and it was a great meeting! And then today we had Zone training, and all the Odessa Sisters sang the same song, which is us, and 2 other sets of Sisters, and it was beautiful as well.

We got to go do service for the sweet Williams family this week, and we went and entertained their kids because their family was going through a hard time. So we baked a cake with them and made it a "Testimony Cake".  As we added each ingredient, we made it something we need to do to build a testimony. Like oil was prayer, eggs were scripture study and so forth. Then you put the cake in the oven, and relate that to going through trials. You aren’t very comfortable going through the trial, and it might burn ya a little, but you will come out way better then you were before. Then we spread on the icing and sprinkles, and that was the Lord sprinkling his blessings out upon us.  Then we cut it up and shared it, and it was us sharing our testimonies with the world through missionary work! It was so cute! And the kids really enjoyed it, and actually got the message that we were trying to share.  We hadn’t really planned on doing that, so we weren’t really prepared with what we were going to say, and did it as we went, but the Spirit actually helped us to be able to teach, even if it was a lesson while baking a cake. It’s crazy how i can really feel the Spirit doing anything uplifting now. It is so abundant! I even got a little emotional…making a cake! I know! I’m a mess. :)

We had a lesson with a new investigator family last night! They’re a referral from a member in the Branch and they have 6 kids! All above the age of 8! We taught them and it went SO well! There were a few parts in the lesson where the mom asked some really HARD questions, and I’m so glad I wasn’t teaching because the Spirit answered all those questions perfectly! We were talking about the Priesthood and how it was needed for baptism, and she said, "So my 6 kids baptisms aren’t valid??" and woo that was scary. But somehow the words that came out of my mouth perfectly answered her question, and it made sense to her. I can’t believe that the Spirit could teach her something like that, and she would accept it.  But the spirit said it in the perfect way that I never could. This work is NOT about the missionary. It just isn’t about me. The second it becomes about me, your productive teaching stops. The Spirit is the ultimate teacher, and we are just the devices he goes through to teach his message. So amazing to be that tool and instrument! that’s another thing that Elder Bednar really hit on. It was great!

We also went to a members’ home to take pictures with their sheep so we could do a whole "Feed my Sheep" pun. Good idea right? NOT. Sheep are the scariest things on this planet and their tongues are black and so icky. I went up to feed the savage and it baaa-ed at me and I started bawling. But yes, I still got my picture! After I pulled myself together! So yeah!

I’m so grateful for the Spirit for teaching this Gospel, and that I just get to be that tool in the Lord’s hands. It is a wonderful feeling.

I love ya’ll and wish you a wonderful and Spirit filled week this week! Go out and share what you know to be true!

-Hermana Bleyl

"Your testimony doesn’t convert anyone. But it entices and invites others to gain one for themselves."  --Elder Bednar 

Show and share your testimony with everyone so they will want one as well!

I wish I could better explain the things that happen during my week and all my blessings and miracles, but the Lord showers them out too quickly for me to keep up!

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