Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mexico, Near Cancun

Hi Mama & Daddy,
This week I didn’t get to finish telling you what I wanted on our P-day email. There are so many miracles that happen when you not only ‘listen’ to the Spirit but ‘heed’ the Spirit. I think we need to change our verbiage and just say ‘heed’. Because, to ‘heed’ actually means; to give careful attention to.
Example: Yesterday we went out tracting/visiting members who have not come to church in a while. We go to this one Sister’s house (she wasn’t home) and left her a note that basically said, ‘Hi, we’re the new Missionaras in your area & we’re trying to visit all the members. So give us a call, we’d love to see you.’ Then we decided we weren’t going to leave that area until we understood why we were led there, aka, until we found who-ever it was who needed us. So we walked around the block a bit and Hermana Foster asked, “Why aren’t we knocking on this door?” –or- “Why are we skipping this one?”, etc. I simply told her that it was because they weren’t ready yet. She would knock, and no-one would answer. Here is the thing about planning and knocking; if you plan by the Spirit, the Lord will guide you to the streets you need to go to. Then, if you tract or contact by the Spirit, the Lord will lead you to the people who need you, whether it’s a ‘golden contact’ family, or someone who just really needed to hear our message & a seed will be planted for the future.
Anyway, Hermana Foster kept saying, “I feel like we’re supposed to be in this area, but I don’t know why.” So I said, “Well, let’s go find out why.” So we were kind of walking back towards the direction of our car and this house just ‘sticks out’ to the both of us. So we knock and then we hear someone inside say, “There is two white girls at your door!” (in Spanish) and then a lady walks up and says, “Hi Sisters!” then the gated door opens and this middle aged woman opens the door and asks us to come in. Her name is Sis. P and she used to go to a ward in Palmdale. She is a convert of about 10 years, but hasn’t gone to church in a really long time because her friends moved away and she moved out here to Lancaster where we were. It was a miracle! We enjoyed getting to know her. We shared (Alma 7:11-13) and talked to her about how Jesus Christ suffered everything. He didn’t just suffer for our sins and transgressions, but also for our HEARTS! She started tearing up and told us how much she needed to hear that and how thankful she was that we stopped by. She said she saw us walking around a bit, but wasn’t sure if we were Missionaries or not. So she was so glad we stopped by her place. We prayed with her and we are going back this Thursday to see her again.

We also have a few sketchy places in our area. REALLY sketchy. Let’s just say…we are watched over and protected…a LOT. Not to scare you or anything, but just to let you know that if the Spirit tells us to be somewhere…we WILL go. After one such very interesting knock….my Companion and I looked at each other and still felt like we should be there. So we kept knocking until we met Anna M. We talked to her about prayer and I looked at her and said, “Anna M, your Heavenly Father knows you and loves you. He hears your prayers.” She just burst out BAWLING and hug-attacked me and said she had been praying for some help and then here we came! It was so cool.
Anyway- you can see that knocking on every single door is so ineffective!! Listening to the Lord directing you through the Spirit is much more effective.

I went on my first Exchange as a STL (Sister Training Leader) I was so nervous, and yet I was calm, and confident at the same time. I was with this new Missionary who didn’t know her way around her area…at…all. And she wasn’t the best at looking at a map. Luckily, she had me as a co-pilot. J It went well! She was kind of stressed to kind of ‘be-in-charge’ of her area for 24 hours, but you could totally tell they were obedient Missionaries. They take great care of their area book, and they are planning how they should be. So, I consider that a success! Anyway- we had a really cool experience together. Her and her companion had planned to go see a potential investigator at 1pm. So, we went there and the lady wasn’t home. So the new Missionary I was exchanging with just walks back to the car. I asked her, “Do you feel like we have fulfilled our purpose in this area?” She stopped and thought about it and just kind of shrugged and said, “I mean, I guess so. I don’t feel a big pull to stay here. What about you?” I looked around and I felt like we should walk around the corner (to an area I felt was out of our sight) down the street. So I said to her, “Hey, let’s go down that street a little ways.”
So, we knock on a few doors. One guy said he was Catholic, the next door doesn’t answer, the next guy jokes and said his wife wouldn’t ‘appreciate’ him listening to us. So as we walked away, I was thinking and praying, ‘Come on, come on, come on…where are they?’

Then, next house we walked up to …there was an older Hispanic woman who had her door open, but not her screen door. She was smiling a big grin at us and began to fiddle with the knob on the screen door. We got right up to the door and we introduce ourselves and tell her that we are Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are in the area sharing a special message about Jesus Christ. I asked her if she believes in Jesus Christ, and she said, yes of course she does, she comes from a Catholic background. I asked her how her testimony of the Savior has blessed her life. And without hesitation she said that He has blessed her with a good family.

So, as it turns out she was there visiting from Mexico. She actually lives near Cancun. Anyway, she was visiting and her son had left for work and he locked the doors and told her NOT to let anyone in. We laughed as she was trying so HARD to open that screen door to let us in. She began to feel bad that she couldn’t open the door. She said she was so sorry. We told her it was okay and that we could teach her through the screen door. And we just started teaching her. When we left we got her information in Mexico so that the Missionaries there could go visit her. That made her so HAPPY. We also gave her a card which had a picture of Christ leaving the tomb, and on the back of it was a number to call to get a free DVD about finding faith in Christ. We told her she could call that number and Missionaries would visit her, but that I would also forward her information down there as well. We also wrote the Hermanas number on it as well and told her if she needed anything this next week, before she goes back to Mexico, that she could call on the Hermanas to help her. She never did get the screen door open so we just had to slip it underneath the door! (Where there is a will, there is a way!) She was so happy, Mom! We prayed with her before we left and she was crying! We all totally felt the Spirit. As we left she said thank you, God bless you, etc. She then put her hands up on the screen door and we put our hands on the screen door where hers was. It was a super tender moment. She kept saying, “Thank you.” over and over as we left and walked away. I was thinking as we walked away how much I loved that experience, and I was thankful that the Lord’s work WILL go forward…even through screen doors. I also began wishing I could have told her everything about the Restoration of the Lord’s gospel. Oh well, I must be thankful for what we were given and thankful for the Missionaries in Mexico, near Cancun. I looked at my new Missionary and she was smiling from ear to ear. I said, “Okay, NOW we can leave the area. Our job here has been fulfilled.” I was actually freaking out inside because of how cool that whole experience was. I couldn’t have planned for a better experience to have with this young new Hermana. WE MUST trust the Lord, and He must be able to trust us. I’m so thankful.

I love y’all dearly. I’m having the time of my life!
Hermana Dodge-

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading her posts. Wonderful to hear how well she is doing. What great stories!!!