Tuesday, May 17, 2016

There Are No Accidents

After an exchange with some elders in our District, and giving each of them a pep-talk about obedience and getting along, I looked up "happiness" and "joy" in my studies and found something interesting.

In the English Bible dictionary for "happiness" it lists words like "cheerfulness" and "eternal family." But in the Spanish definition for "joy," the synonyms are "obedience" and "obey."

It says that True Joy comes when we follow God's commandments.  Thought that was cool.

Took a pic of a flower
Last Minute Miracles
This week we've been achieving our goals, but it seems that the results are had by some last-minute miracles.  For instance, Friday, we pushed to meet our goals, but come evening, our appointment falls through. It's 8:50pm. We decide to go to the member's house (who was going to come with us) to tell him about the cancellation, and when we arrive, we see a kid (Toby) we have invited to English Class playing video games with the member's kids.

The member invites us in to go teach Toby. We do, putting an emphasis on the Sabbath day. By the end of the lesson, Toby has committed himself and summoned the help of member's kids to come and get him out of bed every Sunday.

Gearing Up
We are gearing up to 2 baptisms. One is a 15 year-old investigator from the hermanas and the other is our youth investigator, Jermemias. Should be awesome.

Fun Facts:
-  When I listened to Kachmir/Four Seasons mash-up instrumental by Jenny Oaks Baker, I first thought it would be a boring classical song, but then I heard the tune from Iron Man and all was good.

-  Saturday night was daylight savings so we got an extra hour of sleep. My entire Zone did not know about daylight savings. I found out from members 2 weeks ago and told my District.

-  It surprises me how common it is for women to breast feed in public. They usually do the blanket cover thing, but there are those who just whoop it out in the middle of lessons. Just have to maintain eye contact.

Deconstructed Service
We helped a family in our ward deconstruct their house because they have to move it back 50 feet onto a new foundations they built. Wish we had more of our ward priesthood there to help.

Elder Cowley and I are hoping to do a little deconstructing of bad attitudes and apathy in the ward's quorums and help the ward care for each other like family. That's where they will find strength.

Power of Prayer
Before we left the house-moving project, I said the prayer, asking for us to find people who would help strengthen the ward. Little did I know how quickly that prayer would be answered.

That night, we end up knocking a door and a 30-something guy invites us in. We find out that he is a less-active (for like 12 years). His wife (who is Catholic) and 4 year-old daughter are willing to hear our message. Right then, the words from my prayer start ringing in my ears, "that we will find those who will strengthen the ward..." (en Espanol, of course).

That's when I begin speaking about eternal families. At first the wife was closed off, but as the lesson continued, she softened, and by the end she was looking forward to the next lesson.

There are No Accidents
After that, we traveled to a different part of town, knock a door, and IT'S THE FAMILY OF THE LESS-ACTIVE GUY - Mom, sister, and her evangelical boyfriend.

We teach a little about studying scriptures. They were really nice and showed a sincere desire to draw closer to God. It was my Kung Fu Panda moment, "There are no accidents!"
Oogway, "There are no accidents!" in Dream Works'  Kung Fu Panda
Everything has its purpose in God's grand plan.  Sure we won't understand all things. All we can do is strive to strengthen ourselves, our families, friends, ward, stake, and work in general, to make the world a better place.

This is Christ's message to us - to try and strengthen. And me? I was strengthened by our goal commitment this week. Here we made a concerted effort to focus on our goals and Heavenly Father came in the clutch whenever anything fell through.

That is a great feeling.

Here's to a Joyful Week!
Elder Connor Nef

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