My oh my it's been another eventful week! There is a picture that goes along with the title of this email (notice street sign in picture). :)
Well I am a busy sista and don't have all the time in the world here but I would like to share a few words~
As I write this I am plagued by a horrible carpal tunnel that has been viciously intensifying over the past 5 days. Please pray for me! I normally try to be "tough" and don't like to draw attention to things like that but I could sure use the extra prayers.
I found new meaning this morning in the part of the Standard of Truth we recite each morning. The "no unhallowed hand[s] can stop the work from progressing" was definitely meant to apply to me at this time! :)
But on to some great news! I'm training a new missionary. I've secretly wanted this my whole mission but now that I was "100%" sure that wasn't going to happen, it did! Crazy how that works. I"m really excited! :)
Our trio is breaking up! SIster Weaver is going home and Sister Osmond and I are both parting ways and training. :( It's been really great.
Great news. Brother Brown has accepted a baptism date! OK, his story is amazing. 5 months ago he was agnostic, didn't believe in God at all. BUT he's been reading the Book of Mormon with his wife for 62 days in a row now and he has a STRONG testimony that the Savior lives! He knows it's true. :D I told him, he's got a stronger testimony than I did when I joined the church at 8 years old AND more than anyone else I've seen join the church on my mission. The most tender and special part is that he told me he felt the spirit so strongly last Sunday when I played the cello. :) AWww! I brought the cello over to his house to play just for him and I surely will at his baptism. I'm so grateful and excited for him! And, i need to clarify that I have only taught him like 4 times now. But I'm grateful I got to take part in his conversion. He has some concerns, like I would totally join if everything depended on the BOM being true. Well YAYA it does!! Haha. I told him that his concerns, (about not having read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price) are a lot like Sister Brown's ice cream (SO DELICIOUS!!!). You know it's good with just one bite! You don't need to eat the whole thing to know it's amazing. ;) He liked that. Also, we are keeping his date a "secret" from the ward, and the Lord totally led us to the Stake Center at EXACTLY the right time to stop the Bishop from congratulating him on his baptism date. Ahhh, miracles!
We are meeting awesome new people. Life is grand! And Sarah is working actively toward her date too and Latoya will be baptized in Green Bay. Not sure if I can go yet. :) And there's a lady named Kelly in the 4th ward who will be baptized soon. She has mouth cancer, has endured blood clots and radiation and is SO POSITIVE! I might have mentioned she flagged the missionaries down and said "HEY are you LDS?" Bahaha. :) I love her.
I also played the cello again in sacrament meeting (after downing a million ibuprofen) and President was there! That was surprising. :D We also gave talks in the 1st ward! We all talked about the sabbath day and it was fun to present it as a "trilogy." Haha, it was hilarious!
We went to visit a less active and met a totally prepared soul named Lavesha. She has totally been to church before, has such strong faith and asked to meet with us! She totally agreed to baptism and can you tell she is totally awesome!!!? :) Yep.
I also forgot to mention last week that we ate goose claws at a chinese family's house!!!! You spread the fingers apart and eat the webbing. There are pictures... or at least there should be, AHEM! :) They told us they season and boil it, then eat it on the couch as they watch movies... like popcorn!!!! #eeweth
The Lord is pouring out his tender mercies and it's ridiculous. I've learned so much especially lately. I know that times are hardest right before the blessings. See D&C 58:3-4 for a doctrinal backing for that statement. Seriously, I have learned that SO MUCH these past weeks. We go out tracting in the 100 something degree heat and are dying of sweat and are about to give up right before we find some awesome new investigators. My carpal tunnel flared up right before I start training a new missionary. I'm about to sink in despair before I'm placed in the most amazing trio of all time. I testify that as we pass through the sentinels of suffering in our lives, there is a bright beam of mercy just up ahead. "Every trial and experience you have ever passed through is necessary for your salvation." -Brigham Young. Remember that! It all comes down to faith and acting out of love for Christ. If it weren't for suffering, even upon those who are "truly good and without guile" (not me necessarily) how could we ever learn to do that? Our every wrong action would be immediately condemned and we would cease and thus cease to act according to our free will. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. I wouldn't trade all the painful trials I've faced over the past 18 months for anything, not for the world. I've truly discovered that the Lord is beyond merciful and that the most valuable thing I can possible possess is my testimony and conviction of the reality of the Son of God and the restoration of HIs church in these latter days. I know this with all my soul and I wouldn't have attained that without adversity. But, above all I hope you can see that I am beyond happy and that the happiness in our lives far outweighs the sorrow and always will as we turn to God. I have many more thoughts on this subject but, alas, it will come forth in due time. :)
I love you all!!
Have an amazing week!
Sister Lacey Woods