Something that rings true to me. This week and this moment.
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore it is vital that we serve each other." -- President Spencer W. Kimball
Missionaries are in the service of others twenty four/seven. Or at least we all should be. We go around day to day declaring the good word of God and offering service. We talk to those around us and invite them to come unto Christ. We often times will be that person who helps meet the needs of the others. That is, if they take the time to listen and to accept.
I witnessed a miracle or two or three this week. It was because the spirit helps us missionaries recognize those who are ready for our good news.
Maria. A woman in a yellow blouse on the nine o'clock bus home. She was the first person I saw when I got boarded only six stops from my home. I saluted her and took a seat. Thirty seconds passed while the argument went back and forth in my head. "Talk to her. No you are about to get off. Just ask her how she is. She is not Peruvian therefore she will not listen. What is the worst that could happen. She will reject me. Who cares, she is a daughter of God." (or something of the sorts.) Finally I stood up and looked at her again. I started the conversation just asking how she was doing. Eventually it got to the fact that I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Maria looked at me and asked, "Why me? There are thirty or forty other people on this bus and you chose me." I was surprised and responded with whatever came to my mouth. In all honesty I do not remember much of the conversation, but I know (possibly for the first time) Maria knew she was something in the eyes of her Heavenly Father. That was what I had to tell her. That her Father in Heaven loved her so much as to design a plan just for her. In the end, she would not accept a visit from us but we left our phone number and address of the chapel. Even if she did not accept me now, I pray that she considers what I told her and recognized who she is. A daughter of a king!
Anna and Eliana Oliveira. Two crazy ladies from Brazil. Nearly two months ago I was in contact with Eliana over the phone. All I knew is that she was baptized in Brazil. She eventually stopped answering our phone calls, until Saturday. The Anziani ran into her mother, a non-member, who said we could come over. Our evening was free so we stopped by. Anna welcomed us in and we began to talk. Eliana came home to a surprise visit from the missionaries. Sunday morning we were at their house at 8:15 to take them to church. This could have been Anna's very first time in an LDS church service and Eliana probably has not been for atleast 18 years (since she has lived in Italy). They loved it and we love them!
Katuscia Lamalfa. She walked into church for the first time last Sunday with one of our members. She set an appointment with us and we went to visit her. She came to church again this past Sunday and we visited Monday night, spur of the moment. I have never seen an individual so excited about what we have. In fact so excited that a baptism date was set and she could not stop smiling. She is recognizing the testimony she once had of our plan and purpose and is so excited about what changes she is already making in her life. At this point in her life, she needed the missionaries and the Gospel. Her member friend was brought into her life so that she could meet the church. The Lord is working through others to reach those who are searching.
I love being a missionary because you get to witness the love, the experience and the change. We must be doing something right to have seen so many miracles and blessings. Of course I see miracles every day through the grace of the Lord. I am grateful for experiences such as the ones above to help me remember my purpose as a missionary. Even my purpose as a member. We are all so important in the lives of others. There are people waiting for us to put the fear behind us and invite them to church. Who knows, they could be a Katy.
Happy September. Crazy. I love you all. I love your letters. I love your love. Thank you for being the wonderful missionaries that you are and keep it up. I promise that the joy you feel when you help someone come to Christ is enough to fill a lifetime. The promises of the Gospel are true and beautiful.
will you stand by me,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll