Yet another week here in beautiful Cajamarca... my favorite (and pretty much my only) area! This week I don't have a ton to say, but I will share one precious truth that I have seen time and time again throughout my whole mission but ESPECIALLY this week: GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!
For the last nine months of my mish, I am going to REALLY study and develop the nine Christlike attributes in Preach My Gospel, chapter six. This month of April, I have been studying FAITH and have been working crazy hard on my own faith. I love the classic story in Matthew 14:26-31:
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
I may have come out on the mission taking that first great leap of faith simply WANTING to follow Christ, just as Peter did. However, I must admit that the longer I'm here, the more I realize how imperfect that faith really is. I see that for this time and for the rest of my life, I'm gonna get scared, doubt, start to sink, and call out, but the assurance I have is that the Lord will ALWAYS be there to catch me and ask me that same powerful, soul-searching question: "Oh though of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
This week as my companion and I have been working on "praying with faith," (PMG pg. 93 ROCKS) we have seen not only answer to our prayers, but we have felt the arm of the Lord catching us as our faith wavered a little, and then grew stronger.
Experience #1: We have a super sweet less active family we have been trying to visit. We made an appointment, but they are Never there when they say they will be. So about an hour before the appointment was scheduled for, we prayed that she would be there and that we would be able to teach her and her family. We decided to call and confirm the appointment, and they were just getting home and were there waiting fur us to come. If you only knew this family... It was a MIRACLE we were able to teach them. They rock.
Experience #2: We planned a "Noche de Hogar" (Family Home Evening) with one of our investigators in the home of our converts Mario and Melani. We were SUPER excited about it and were kind of overstressing about what we should teach as the lesson. (As much as I would have liked to have Mario give the class, he starts with a simple thought about prayer, then gets to the Great Apostasy, then the three degrees of glory in about two minutes). Well, during our planning session, we were STRESSING. We wanted to have just the right lesson & game for all of them. As we frantically looked through the Church Liahona magazines for ideas, we stopped and decided to pray. We were able to find a quick story about the spirit and it turned out to be a beautiful night! It was awesome.
Experience #3: We had a lesson this week with a VERY less active member. He was baptized more than 15 years ago... active for a while but then decided it all wasn't true. Let's just say he knows how to push my buttons. In this lesson this week as he spoke apostasy while trying to get us frustrated, we simply smiled and bore very BOLD and DIRECT testimony to him. He was caught off guard and committed with his wife to come to church (we pretty much dared them to come and NOT feel something). So all weekend long we prayed in faith knowing that the Lord could help him soften his heart. Well... they came. Serious #MIRACLE! They seemed to have a wonderful time and find some old friends. We have yet to have a lesson with them since, but I know they felt it. It was incredible.
Experience #4: Assuming I had forever to decide, I have been putting off a few kind of important personal life decisions... well, lately I've realized that maybe I don't have as much time as I thought and these hard decisions have been consuming my mind and prayers just a little too much. Without giving me the answer exactly, the Lord responded to me in the most powerful and direct way possible.
From these personal experiences, I testify that the Lord answers prayers of faith. He will always do His will but through our faith, His will can become ours. And when our faith is wavering and we are scared, He's there to catch us but He will always ask us, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Until next week,