Wednesday, November 11, 2015
#1: Sweet Sunset
#2: Hiked up the Golden Hills that overlook all of Fairfield,
California. Of course we brought the camera to take pics.
#3: Canal St. #A$APROCKY
#4: Eating my moms chili that she shipped to me from Utah. Hahahha
#5: On top of the world.
#6: Sweet Sister VanWeerd that does our laundry for us every week.
She's my favorite lady in the whole world.😍❤️
WEEK 19- Fairfield 2nd Ward
Family and Friends,
I don't even quite know where to begin. Describing the experiences
that I had this past week will not nearly surmount to or express the
slightest bit of importance and profound effect they had on me. I
really can't believe that week after week, the Savior teaches me
something new. He provides me with new opportunities to step outside
of my comfort zone and learn from what is placed before me. He gives
me room to learn and to improve both spiritually and emotionally. I
think the best way to put how I'm feeling into words is this quote
coming from Elder Richard G. Scott.
He says "The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development.
That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you
through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be
to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you
are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will,
when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured
of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling
attainment from this mortal experience." Again, I don't quite know how
I am going to put this into words but I'm going to give it a shot.
The most beautiful thing happened at a less active members house this
past Wednesday night. Elder Smittenaar and I had been trying to get
into this families front door for a long period of time now, but it
just so happened that we stopped by at the perfect time. This family
consists of three kids and their parents. All of which are members of
the church, but the hardest part in the dynamic of this family happens
to be that all of these children are mentally challenged. The youngest
of the bunch is an autistic boy named Dougie. From the moment we
walked into this home, a precedence was set in which Dougie had an
extremely high desire of always being near me. He continued to follow
me around and in everything I did he was right there by my side. He
felt a bond with me. Now, we laughed about it for a bit, but the
events that followed were of the utmost importance to me. As we sat
down to share a quick message with the family, Dougie continued to put
his feet on my lap. He kept pointing to his feet and in a conscious
effort to explain to me what he was thinking, he kept whispering
"pressure. pressure". (Now, for any of you that know me really know
that I have a serious phobia of feet and I don't like them WHATSOEVER.
It literally took everything in me trying not to freak out that his
feet were on me.) Later while we were in the middle of sharing our
message with this sweet family, Dougie began to cry out in pain and he
made it quite evident that he was very uncomfortable. We all tried to
figure out what was wrong, but Dougie couldn't communicate with us
what was happening. His mother tried everything. We continued to try
to provide some sort of relief to him, but nothing was working. I
quickly began thinking of ways that I might be able to help but the
only thing that came to mind were the few short words that Dougie had
whispered to me only a few moments ago. "Pressure. Pressure". With
every fiber in my being, I tried to disregard this prompting. I sat
there for a minute and began to ponder as to how selfish I was being
because I wasn't acting on a prompting (that I had just so clearly
received) only because of my strong disliking of something so
insignificant. With all the courage in the world, I immediately picked
up his legs, placed them on my lap and began putting pressure on and
rubbing his feet. To our great surprise, the panicking and anxiousness
that Dougie was expressing had suddenly stopped. He began to become
relaxed. He no longer was feeling the pain that he had felt before. It
had stopped. We all sat there and everybody watched as I continued to
rub Dougies feet. With every fiber of my being I felt more discomfort
than I had ever felt before. But... then again a sudden sense of
happiness entered into the room. A sense of love and peace overcame me
and I was no longer worried. The stories of the many amazing things
that The Savior did while here on earth in his mortal ministry started
to render through my head. I began to think of the things that The
Savior would've done to have provided relief for this young man and
the love he would've shown to overcome his own selfish concerns. In a
certain sense, I felt like I was providing an act that our Savior
Jesus Christ would've done had he been with us in that very room. Now,
in no way shape or form am I inferring that what I was doing could
even come close to epitomizing the Saviors acts, but - I felt
extremely humbled for the chance to wear his name on my shirt.
Everyday I am given the opportunity to act in his name and provide for
the people here in Fairfield, California. Even if the simple act of
giving relief for this young man was what I needed to do, I was there.
Now, this story sounds so silly and may sound quite boastful but
again, in no way am I intending this. I was beyond grateful for this
experience because it truly testified to me going along with what
Elder Richard G. Scott had to say. In conclusion: There's no growth in
the comfort zone, and there's no comfort in the growth zone. Even
though we are often times be placed with an opportunity that may seem
against our wishes, Heavenly Father intends it to be for our own
personal growth and well being. His eternal perspective and knowledge
far outweighs our thoughts or feelings. I walked away from this
experience so thankful to know that we can ALL serve as the Savior
did. We don't have to be wearing a white shirt and a name tag. We
don't have to hold high and holy callings within the church. Our own
power within us can change the lives of many and potentially change
situations for the better.
In the next couple of days I found myself again in another surprising
situation. Our Sister Training Leader of the Fairfield Zone, came to
me personally and asked me for a blessing. Yeah, ME?! I thought to
myself... "What in the world? Of all people sitting here in this room,
she came to ME?" There were tons of other Elders in the room that were
FAR more spiritual than I. I really began to be nervous and my stomach
started twisting and turning. I mean, I didn't even know what she
needed a blessing for and yet she still came to me? I was beyond
nervous to say the least. To make this long story short, we came
together in a room and she began to explain the problems that were
causing her. (To be conscious of her privacy I don't feel comfortable
sharing, but she really needed a blessing of healing.) Elder
Smittenaar then anointed her head, and my blessing followed. In the
few short moments of walking over to her and placing my hands on her
head, it felt as if I was on a roller coaster. I was taken by such
surprise and I didn't feel ready for this. But, in an act of faith I
placed my hands upon her head and began to give her a blessing. The
feelings of nervousness and anxiousness were completely gone and I was
no longer feeling this anymore. The only thing I felt was the power of
the Savior speaking vicariously through me. I had never been so
influenced by The Spirit and it seemed that everything that came out
of my mouth was what she needed to hear. I felt the impression to tell
her that she would be healed from all of her persisting conditions and
the pain that she was going through would subside. Soon after I closed
the blessing, she seemed to be completely fine and back to her normal
self. She was no longer in pain and this ordinance that had just been
performed literally healed her. I was VERY taken back as to what had
just happened, but in thinking back to this experience it just proved
to me that it isn't us priesthood holders performing these ordinances.
It's our loving Heavenly Father guiding us in directions to help and
better serve others. (What a marvelous opportunity we have?!) The
whole rest of the night I was mesmerized by this and the power behind
this experience is truly indescribable.
Aside from these two things, the work here has dramatically slown down. A TON.
-People are cancelling on us like none other, and our number of
lessons have gone down a great amount.
-We are still working with an investigator named Etella (who shortly
committed to baptism after we taught her) and she is progressing a
tremendous amount. She's the sassiest black lady on the whole planet,
but we love her so much.
-Our homies Joseph & Vick have been completely M.I.A. and we haven't
been able to get in contact with them for the past couple weeks.
-Elder Smittenaar and I have been doing a lot better now that I sat
him down and we had a calm, respectable, lengthy companionship
-I had tacos 4 nights this week, so I guess that was kind of cool?
Hahaha these short emails don't do any justice as to sharing how great
missions really are. I can't wait to tell all of you in person, about
these crazy experiences and the other ten million great things that
happen out here. There's far more things that I would love to share,
but seeing that this email is getting pretty long, I must quickly
close my epistle. ;)
I love you all so much. You mean more to me than you'll ever know. GodSpeed.