Thursday, March 21, 2013

My last P-day in the Mission Training Center

Hi! Happy belated Birthday to you Momma! How are you?

This week has been NUTS! Like...whoa! I feel like I say that very week, lol, but I leave the MTC for California on Monday! WHATTTT!?! It's super weird. You know how I am, it won't hit me until my first lesson out en campo (the field).

Miracles DO happen, and I got to witness one personally this week.

Elder Dohner had surgery on Tuesday! As we all remember, he got an MRI of his knee, and some sort of scan too, anyway, he got one and it showed that he had a Bucket-handle tear in his meniscus. So he went in for surgery. Well, we prayed. And we prayed HARD. Every single prayer I have said since he was hurt has involved him. There was fasting, and MORE prayer, there was temple prayer rolls. WE PRAYED! And we got a miracle. :) When he went in for surgery Tuesday...his meniscus was FINE. He had some tissue around his knee-cap that needed to be removed, so they did that, but he will be just fine in 1-2 weeks. That means, depending how he re-cooperates, he will only have to stay behind for 1 week, and he doesn't have to go HOME! Can you believe that Mom? It's so awesome.
Celebrating the good news with Elder Dohner.
So, do you remember Pablo? The one who I said finally got the light back in his eyes a few lessons ago? Well, there is more:
Before, he had mentioned how he has tried to change his life, but he always falls back into his old ways. He has tried, and tried to change but he can't seem to stick to it for long. We talked about change and what that really means. About how we can't ever truly change without the help of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. (For the record...I just wrote that in Spanish and had to go back and translate it. Que pasa, Spanish skills?!?) I said, (in Spanish), Pablo, I think you've never tried to change through Jesus Christ, and with the help of The Lord, have you? He kind of chuckled and said, no. I said, that is the difference. We read some scriptures about trusting in the arm of the Lord, instead of the arm of the flesh, and about how we can't do things on our own.
In our lesson, where he got the light back in his eyes, we talked about the first quarter of Alma 32, and about how the people who had been cast out of their synogagues because they were poor and didn't have nice clothes, etc. The people asked Alma what they should do, and Alma rejoiced because they were humble. Then we brought up questions about why bad things happen, and why life is so hard sometimes. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and one of the reasons why we're here is to gain experience, and to learn and grow. We asked Pablo why he thought Alma was so happy that the people were humble and he said, "Because they were easier to teach and they were ready to learn and hear him." I about fell outta my chair! You could see him thinking, and those wheels turning in his head. Things were connecting, and the Spirit was testifying to him! Then we read Alma 32: 13, 16, and 21 which says:
13- And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentence; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.
16- Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.
21- And now as I said concerning faith-- faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.
It all came together. We talked to him about how nothing is too big for the Lord, and that Heavenly Father loves him. We were then out of time so we committed him to read the rest of the 32nd chapter of Alma in The Book of Mormon, which breaks down what faith is. And the he prayed for us, and we left.
Which brings me to our next lesson:
The next time we met, he was happy, he still had that light in his eyes. He told us he had not 'slipped' up at all this week, We talked to him about what he'd read in Alma Chapter 32, and asked him what he liked, we answered his questions, and then talked about repentance. We talked about what it really means to actually repent, and how repentance helps us all to change our lives. Heavenly Father WANTS us to live with Him again. Heavenly Father WANTS to forgive us. Pablo was concerned that his sins were to big, and we reassured him that as he gives his whole heart to the Lord, as he gives up his addictions, and bad habits, The Lord will sustain him. Then, when he gets baptized he receives the gift of the Holy Ghost who will help him as he continues on and resists temptation. The I asked him:
"Sequira elejemplo de Jesuchristo al ser bautizada por algun que posea la autridad del sacerdocio de Dios?"
And Pablo looked at me and smiled and said, "Si." He was so happy! I tried not to let my jaw drop too much. I almost forgot to set a date for his baptism. LOL
That day, when we were leaving class, Hermano Usecitch says (in Spanish), "Hermana Dodge, do you remember the lesson you had with Pablo where you shared Alma chapter 32 and asked him about Alma and the people who were cast out of their synogagues?" and I said, "Si." ...and he said, "That is the lesson that changed Pablo. It couldn't have been better, even if I'd have plucked it straight out of Preach My Gospel. Way to go! That really helped him." I about bawled! I rmember my email after that lesson when I told you we saw Pablo smile for the first time. It was comforting and humbling. Who am I to be an instrument of the Lord? Me, a little girl from Highland Village, Texas. I KNOW, that the Lord does NOT call the qualified, he qualifies who He calls.
There are so many things coming together in my life, it is crazy. I HAD to come on a Mission.
Oh super important thing: I saw Elder Thomas Duty!!!!
Today I saw Elder Thomas Duty! Elder Duty is from Ryan's Mission in Tulsa, OK. Ryan baptized Thomas! They are good buds! Anyway, there I am, in the hallway talking to some of the otra Hermanas in my zone, and this line of people (I think it was a district) comes walking down the hallway, so we kinda move to one side and keep talking. Then I hear this unfamiliar voice say, "Hermana Dodge!!", so I turn around and it's some random Elder beaming at me from ear to ear as he sticks his hand out to shake my hand! I said, "Hi....." and then (while still shaking my hand) he turns and shows me his badge that says, "Elder Duty", and then it clicked! That was THE Thomas Duty in the flesh! The picture of him on FaceBook, and his FB friend request rushed back to my mind! I MET Thomas Duty at the MTC. He is going to Argentina on HIS Mission. I about died. It was wonderful. I shook his hand more excitedly then! Hahaha. We took a picture, and I told him to say hi to me WHENEVER he sees me, and then he had to run off to do some online language study. How COOL IS THAT!?!? Whoa, tender mercy...and SMALL WORLD!
Elder Duty & Hermana Dodge
Provo Utah MTC March 2013
I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has a Plan of Happiness in place for His children. I am thankful to be a part of the WORK. I am happy here. I love you all so much!
Hermana Dodge
Me and Hermana Hall studying. It was EARLY!


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