Aceasta saptamana a fost plina de incercari si miracole datorita credintei noastre... asa e viata!
Life is just full of ups and downs, and this week was no exception. There were some days where it was just plain hard being a missionary. Being a missionary is definitely harder than I imagined. I remember one day walking through the center of down, trying to contact, but having ZERO success, and just feeling a little overwhelmed at the task of finding someone that is truly ready to hear the gospel. It is safe to say that I have often felt "unqualified" for the work, as these past five weeks have been very humbling being a trainer and realizing that most of the time I don't really know what the heck I am doing! The wonderful fact that I try to remember is that "whom the Lord calls, he qualifies." I saw evidence of this during the course of the week. My faith has grown and have seen God's power manifested through two boys and the desire and faith of one who is coming to the fold of Christ.
|Selfie with Leonard|
I have focused a lot of my studies recently on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Something that I noticed is the pattern of Christ truly blessing the "one," after they perform an act of their faith. There are countless examples, but one that I really loved from this week is found in John 4...
47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
52 Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
|Photo by Mark Mabry from "Reflections of Christ"|
This man asked Jesus to heal his son, but it wasn't just a request, it was a plead in faith. The man went his way BELIEVING, and as he journeyed, he was greeted with the news that his son was healed. This miracle was not done just because Christ had the power to heal, but also because the man ASKED and WENT with faith. Also, Christ commanded the man to "go his way," which represents a sort of commandment that he gave to the man... remember this!
I had the amazing opportunity to help Mirela learn to exercise her faith so that she can begin to see miracles.
|Selfie with Mirela|
It started with confusion on Elder Krieger and I's part... we were in a sort of rut as to how we can help Mirela progress towards being ready to be baptized. We got a call from our zone leaders asking if we had taught her the commandments yet, and then it hit me... OF COURSE! She was doing all of these good things like coming to church, praying, and reading the scriptures, but she was missing one of the most important aspects in allowing God to work in her life... keeping His commandments.
All of the sudden, the connection between faith, keeping the commandments, and miracles just clicked. We needed to give Mirela the opportunity to qualify herself for the promised blessings of God to those who keep the commandments.
It was hard to help her see this, as it is in all of our lives. We want results now and without much effort. This, however, does not help us grow, which is why Christ did not work in this way!
How would we help Mirela see that it is through keeping the commandments that she will find this peace and blessings that she so desperately needs!? Simply put, she just needed to commit. And what better way to commit then to promise her that if she does not see the blessings which are PROMISED to her, then I would cut my hair... really short...
|Mirela's commitment to stop smoking... love it!|
This is not because I was desperate to have her keep the commandments, but it is because I wanted to help her see that faith coupled with action (in this case, keeping the Word of Wisdom) really will bring blessings. As I testified of the reality that keeping the commandments brings blessings and that she truly will be blessed for her actions, I could feel an overwhelming feeling of love and desire for her to keep these commandments. It was another little taster of the love that God has for this woman. I also reflected on how much God wants ME to do the same because he is anxiously awaiting to pour his blessings on me and Mirela and all of us.
What a blessing it is to be on the front lines of this great work of bringing souls unto Christ. There is nothing happier or more fulfilling to see someone who you have grown to love, make the courageous decision to build their foundation upon the Savior, and see their life and countenance changing for the better every single day. The worth of souls is truly great in the eyes of God and I am starting to realize why.
Mirela has started her journey back to her "house" (I'm referring to the story in the bible again) and is going forward with faith and hope that God will bless her for her courage to keep the commandments. I have no doubt that after Christ commanded the nobleman to "go his way" that Christ prayed for that man. This is my role in the story... to be Mirela's support in her journey and never lose faith that God will truly bless her.
|Andrei and I... found a new tennis buddy!|
|Still got it!|
|Playing on clay is heaven... in memory of Roland Garros!|
I love this gospel. It is real and blesses lives. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone and has shown us the way to have joy in this life, and prepared for the next.
|Leonard is an incredible artist... I now have my own portrait!|
I can't wait to email next week- with long hair and all! Let's go forward with faith and stay firm in keeping the commandments of the Lord!