Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Testimony

Week #36

You know you're a missionary in Oregon when you are drenched from head to toe. (I feel like I may be using that one a lot.)

Really though. I slipped into a foot deep puddle today. So wet.

There is a reason why our Heavenly Father rested on the seventh day. This 10 day week pushed my limits. Let's just say that I woke up on the floor this morning still dressed in my proselyting clothes. I'm a little tired. I've had multiple members point out the circles under my eyes (make-up doesn't stay on very well in the rain), but it's Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!

This week has been pretty full. The 17 year old girl that we have been teaching for a while is doing great. We are just waiting on an interview on Sunday and we will hopefully have a baptism the next weekend. We already have her program see up and everything. We are so excited! It has definitely been a bumpy road with her, but it has all been worth it. Last night we were at her apartment talking about our blessings and she told us that she was thankful for the chance that she has to be clean. I wanted to cry (let's be real, I did cry). I love this work so much! There is nothing else I'd rather be doing.

This has been a week of little miracles. Well every week is really, but I've seen our Heavenly Father's hand so often recently in our lives and in the lives of those around us. This last week we felt prompted to go visit a former investigator and we found out that the whole family (who was separated before) is all living together and that they are reading the Book of Mormon as a family! We also found some really prepared people this week and there are some miracles that I can't share quite yet, but when they are for sure I will let you all know!

So this week we have been focusing a lot on gratitude because of the season. There is a Mormon Message from a few years ago that we have been sharing a lot. In it, Elder Oaks talks about being grateful for our adversities. I think that I need that reminder sometimes. We came down here to earth because we wanted one thing, to be like our Heavenly Father. That requires a body and physical experiences including what may seem as bad ones. There are so many blessings in everything. I am positive that our Heavenly Father had adversities and He made it to perfection so we can do it too.

So adversity this week. Well, we got locked out of the church building in the rain. We left our phone, keys, bags and coats (did I mention that it was raining?) in the building. There was someone inside, but we couldn't get their attention. They always seemed to be on the other side of the building. We found an open window and tried to crawl in. That resulted in getting awkwardly wedged in a window in a skirt. We finally did make it into the building, but did I mention it was raining? So . . .

Adversity: getting locked out, stuck in a window (which resulted in bruising) and wet and cold.
Blessing: I have a funny message to email home :)

Hey look it works! Adversity and blessings!

Also, I have gotten two eviction letters since I've been in this apartment. Maybe Heavenly Father doesn't want us living here.

We had a fun Thanksgiving dinner as a branch this last weekend. It was awesome and they even brought a turkey. We also had a dance after. Everyone knows how to dance. It must be required if you're a Hispanic. It was really fun, but we were exhausted. The party was a good 4 hours long and they still had energy. It was impressive.

I really am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve. Earlier today I was thinking about last Thanksgiving. I had just recently received the letter that told me that I was not eligible to serve a mission. I was so confused because I was sure that I had received the answer that yes, I should serve. It made me doubt if I really could recognize the Spirit in my life or if I had just made it up. I really struggled with my testimony. I am so thankful for the little habits I had developed. The habits of reading my scriptures, being in His house on the Sabbath, talking to my Heavenly Father through prayer. Those little things saved my testimony and gave me the strength to decide to re-submit my papers. I had received a prompting from the Holy Ghost to serve. 

I have definitely gained a testimony that we are called to a place *at the right time.* I know now that if I had received my call earlier I would not have had the same MTC experience. I would not have had the same trainer. I would not be here in Forest Grove teaching the same people. I am thankful for what seemed like an adversity at the time. That adversity has changed my life and has made me appreciate this opportunity so much more.

One more thing I want to share. We had an amazing Sacrament meeting on Sunday. The speakers talked about the Sacrament. They spoke with such reverence. They reminded me of the blessing that we have to partake of the the Sacrament every week. One of the speakers talked about the apostles in the garden where they fell asleep. He told us that when we come in late, when we are thinking about school or work during the sacrament, when we aren't focused on Him, it is as if we are asleep. 

As if we are asleep.
"Could ye not watch with me?"

That really hit me. The reason we go to church is to partake of the Sacrament. To remember His Sacrifice. To learn more of Him. How can we do that if we are asleep?

I love you all,

Hermana Dickson

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