Monday, March 3, 2014

3/3/14 - In the furnace we've seen miracles

Whew, well, can you spell R-A-I-N? The past few days California has been hit with cloudy skies and flooding. On Friday, the water was running down driveways like waterslides, and we could barely write the numbers for the house addresses because the water in the gutter covered up the #'s on the street. It was SOO AWESOME (no sarcasm, I swear;) Nah we both loved it. Our poor elders riding bikes, I felt so bad. Having a car is super nice. But we found out that people now will open the doors out of pity for the two girls on their doorstep. Hey, they still think we're crazy, but I love being able to show our dedication like that. The answer is still the same, now just a delayed no, but I really feel happy because we must have left some kind of impression in their mind. We also had to help members move because the workers/ward members refused to leave their houses cuz of the rain. Psh, thank you for raising me tough dad! 
So, this week we have been in the furnace, and in that, we've seen miracles!! Oh man, how do I even start?
So-disappointment, our progressing investigator w/ baptismal date keeps skipping out on our appointments. Now, yes that's a bummer, but even more so when you have to drive 40 minutes to get there. And she's deaf, so we can't call her to double check she'll be there. So, Friday, showed up, missed again, we're all feeling sorry for ourselves when we run into this guy at the gas station. He gives us directions (apparently we look like the clueless white girls in town) and he is all excited that we are Mormons. We give him a pamphlet and the area where he lives, so that was neat. We won't be able to teach him, but that joy in having someone care that we're there, so awesome!!
Okay, I'll summarize faster now, miracles knocking:
Jeff- his wife tells us off and that she's Jewish and not interested, and we start down the driveway when her husband Jeff comes out and starts chatting with us. We explain who we are, and he asks for the address for the church and said he'd try to drag his wife in. Didn't see him yesterday, but not about to give up on our first-accepting Jewish man!!
Beverly- cute older black woman, opened the door and is so excited we are teaching about Christ. Says she stopped partying and now gets drunk with the spirit. She's a nanny, so lives somewhere else so we might not get to teach her, but was so excited to learn more about Christ. Had prayer on doorstep w/ her, spirit was so strong.
Bridget- Also adorable black woman, not quite so much energy, but straight up asks us what we believe cuz she wants to know. Started right with the pamphlet, spirit was so strong, but when we asked her to read what Joseph Smith said about the experience, she misinterpreted and put it in her purse and promised to read it later. She also told us again that she was planning on praying to see if it was true (know the answer to that one) and we will see her again this week!!
Last one I have time for is Marc - He comes out on the porch and starts telling us, nicely but honestly, that he has no belief in God and that he's not gonna change. We keep talking with him, and he starts telling us about his son and how he's in the 12 step program to quit an addiction, and how he's noticed that most people tend to turn religious and to GOD when going through rehab. Well, 8 hours before, that morning in companion study we made a goal. We'd give a Word of Wisdom pamphlet to a 25-35 yr old man who was married. KID YOU NOT I PROMISE THIS IS TRUE, that was our goal. Now, this obviously is not going happen every single day, but I testify God heard our prayers and answered them when we gave Marc that pamphlet & he admitted that it might be time to change. Miracles happen, but first you need to sacrifice more than your usual. You need to up your sacrifice and up your faith if you want to up your experiences.
God answers prayers and He changes hearts. We're not called to prepare people, we're called to gather the people that God has prepared.
Love you all, promise it’s from the furnace you find the best of diamonds. If you want to see amazing things, you have to endure through amazing trials.
Love forever, exhaling the valley!
-Sister McNeill

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