Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 4 in Palermo

Consisting of last minute changes, the shape and color of our blessings, contacting miracles, and the power of the spirit, this is the 4th week of PALERMO.

Zona Congreso
with President and Sister Ayre

So, let's get going;)

On Monday we left the apartment early to go to the mission house and view the woman's conference. I was extremely excited, as was my companion. Upon arriving and saying hi to a LOT of other hermanas all of us gringas gathered into a little room to watch the session. I had come prepared to receive answers and act on said answers. However, the answer I received was the Last thing I had expected! I had been praying and wondering when I would be going back to BYU. I had considered going back in April or even in June, but didn't feel like I'd gotten an answer from the Lord as to what He wanted. Yet, while sitting in the conference I felt a strong impression come rushing into my mind: "What if you went to school in January?" The very thought scared me, as I'd never considered such! However, to be obedient to the answer I wrote it down among my notes. And then every single thing said afterwards confirmed the answer I'd received. God was clearly telling me that I needed to go back to school in January. I wasn't very hungry after receiving the news! 

At the end of Pday we went to have a family home evening with Soledad and her family. My companion shared 3 Nefi 14:13-14 and shared her testimony regarding the straight and narrow path that we must take in order to get back home. I felt prompted to share that God's path for us is narrow, and that to travel through it our eyes must be closed. So much depends on the trust we have in God. It's not that the path is extremely twisty or full of rocks. It's that we must take the path with our eyes closed, trusting that God will guide us every step of the way, because we really can't go even a step forward on this path without Him. 

That night I called President and told him what had happened and the experience I'd had. He told me to follow the spirit, and that he would support me. And so here I was, with the answer I'd been searching for for quite a while and terrified to finally have it! However, as I prayed that night I felt very at peace. I knew that I was going to do what God had planned, and once I knew His will regarding the matter, all of the stress, doubts, and concerns melted away. 

Thus we move into Tuesday. One of the office elders had called on Sunday to let us know that our building contract would be ending on Wednesday. Concerned regarding this, as I didn't know where we would be living, I called him in the morning. He responded that Yes indeed we would be leaving the pension, that we should start packing immediately, and that we would be moving in with the sisters from Juncal. What?! 
The apartment we left

Thanks to Raul for his help!
And therefore we packed, and packed, and packed. I can't say I was too sad, as we would be leaving the huge cockroaches behind... I have to say I was a little apprehensive to be moving in with other sisters, but upon arriving I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It's like being back in college! Not to mention that my first hija, Hermana Yancey, lives a floor beneath us... talk about unexpected plans and blessings! 

The morning started out with going to exercise machines on the 10th floor for exercises. Spoiled much? I love it! From there we all went to the zone meeting. My companion and I talked about the importance of obedience. I also talked about the blessings we are sometimes waiting for. At times we are obedient, expecting to receive a certain blessing in return. Perhaps I'm on the look out for a blue box the size of my hands that will obviously come to me from the right side. But if I'm so busy looking for This blessing, My will, I might never notice the yellow star shaped blessing flying towards me from the left. God picks the blessings, how they come and when. We can't be so busy looking for what we want that we miss what He is sending.  

After the meeting and a vianda in the church we visited Hermana Sandon and helped her cut up more onions, followed by inviting Daiana to set a goal to how much of the Book of Mormon she wanted to read daily. It was great to see her enthusiasm!

Thursday morning was spent with President in interviews! As always it was Great to see him and hear from him how I was doing and where he wants me to go in the mission:) After interviews and lunch my comp and I were both feeling pretty ill (with colds or something similar) so we stayed in the apartment. My comp rested while a guy came to fix the lock on the door. After he left we switched places and I got some needed rest. 

On Friday the miracles came pouring down on us, as well as the rain. I felt as we were leaving from visiting with a family that we Had to contact a referral we'd received on Sunday. My companion wasn't initially thrilled, as it was far and we had a different appointment in about an hour. I refused to be moved, however, and she agreed that we ought to go. And off we went! We ran the doorbell and she immediately answered! Her mom invited us in, and we began to share with Karina and her mother Dolores the Restoration. As I shared the first vision of Joseph Smith in his own words the spirit was Undeniably present. As I finished I couldn't help but ask her, " Can you not Feel this? The spirit?" She looked at me as tears came to her eyes. "The Holy Ghost?" "The same" I replied. The spirit had touched each one of us in a Powerful way. An unmistakable way. When we invited her to be baptized it wasn't surprising to hear a yes leave her lips. She had already felt a spiritual confirmation. We all had. We left the house in awe at the mercy of God. My companion and I had had a difficult week with the last minute move, doctor's visits, and sickness, but had both felt that we were going to find someone prepared to receive us. And find we did! 

After Karina we stopped by to see the Gonzalez family. We explained how trials Bring us to Christ as I shared Alma 38:5. It was also a spiritual moment. 
Gathering to watch General Conference

On Saturday and Sunday we enjoyed General Conference. Listening to our prophets and apostles, for my third time in Argentina, was a beautiful and sacred experience. It's hard for me to believe that a year ago I was watching the conference in Argentina, in Parque Patricios with my mission mom. And now here I am, at the end of the mission sort of, watching these same inspired leaders in Argentina. The experience was very similar, but I am a very different person than who I was before. Every little bit of me has changed. I've been stretched, stretched into being more, being stronger, being closer to my Savior. More humble. More willing to apply the atonement in my life. More willing and able to pray, to read my scriptures.
A Wonderful Meal of French Toast with the Hunter Family

On Sunday Karina came to the last session of conference all by herself. Yet another miracle and tender mercy from a loving Father above. 

What a blessing it is to be a part of God's work. To be the hands. To be molded myself.
Hermana Dickson

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