Monday, April 4, 2016

Sink Showers

I went to the doctors this week for my back. I’m taking some medication now. It has helped a bit. Patience and time, baby! That’s all I need.
Tuesday morning, water started leaking into our bedroom from the shower. We are in the process of getting it fixed. But this whole week we have been taking "sink showers." #ghetto
This week has been full of many great spiritual experiences. My time here has been very hard. But I feel so grateful for it. Looking through my journal, I have realized how God has been guiding me through all of it. Like ALL of it. I just have to look to see it.
I’ve been asking myself a lot if God is happy with my efforts in what I’m doing. I said a prayer and asked for guidance. A few days later in my personal study, I decided to make a list of all of my sectors and write in what ways I grew/changed and in what I learned. After, as I looked at the list and pondered, the Spirit helped me see how I have changed. I felt that God is happy with me. Elder Holland’s talk from general conference helped me a ton as well. His talk was like an answer to a lifetime full of prayers. And a comfort to an Elder West that has been too hard on himself all of his mission. God is guiding me. He loves me. I’m growing.
We had a bishop from another ward come and check our shower because he works in that kind of stuff. Afterwards, we chatted for a bit. He expressed to us some of the stresses of his calling. We talked about missionary work. Talking about the gospel, he said that "If the members don’t want to share it, it is because they aren’t living it." That hit me hard. As I have thought on my life before the mission, I realized the times when I was actively applying the gospel in my life is when I was the happiest and had the greatest desires to share the gospel with others. I knelt and prayed for opportunities, for courage to act, and for discernment to recognize the opportunities. And I was blessed.
In Chile they have things called "micros." They are basically short buses with a whole lot less leg room. They cram as many people into them as possible. As we rode to the doctor’s for my back, I was seated next to a guy in his 50s or 60s. I didn’t say anything. That bugged me. I should be talking to this guy and sharing with him the most important message in the world. Literally. But I was scared. So I said a prayer. I said, "Heavenly Father, I want to talk to this man but I am scared. Please bless me with the courage to talk with him as I act and open my mouth." I felt filled with faith after the prayer, but still a little nervous. I acted. And as I acted, I was blessed with courage. I know God blesses us as we pray with faith (action).
Miracles of the week:
-We passed on our golden contact’s info to elders in Antofagasta. Sad because she was so prepared. But it is great that others will be blessed to see her conversion process.
-We passed by a store and a lady called out to us. She told us she is inactive. But she has a friend who has been investigating multiple religions and just hasn’t found the right one. She gave us her friend’s info because she has been asking her lots of questions and wants to meet with the missionaries. We passed on her info to the missionaries in her sector.
- Last night we passed by a cita we had made. As we were shouting "allooo" for her to come out (that’s how you knock doors when they have a fence), a young lady popped her head out of a nearby car and called out to us. We thought she was just trying to cat call or mock us because that happens a lot, so we ignored her. Then she gets out of the car and approaches us. She asked, "What do you guys even believe? I see you outside ALL DAY LONG trying to talk to people. What do you believe?" Then she told us how she has been passing through multiple difficult things in her life, and she asked us so many questions of the soul (Preach My Gospel, chapter 5). We were stunned. We took her information, and we will follow up. Sometimes, we find the prepared people, and sometimes they find us. It was also cool to see that God puts people in our paths, and guides our plans, even though citas fall. He knew the cita would fall, and we would be there, and Javiera would see us and talk to us. It all works out.
Well, that’s it for this week. I love you all. This is God’s work.

Elder West