Hey yinz guys!!!
This was a fantastic week. We have seen so many miracles it is unbelievable! I know that Heavenly Father is aware of us and he is always leading and guiding us. There have been so many times when I don’t even realize that He is leading me. It’s crazy!
The first miracle happened with Paulo and Victoria. We had lunch and a lesson with them this week. We were running late to our appointment and showed up 15 minutes late. Whoops, but it actually plays a part in our miracle so it is all good. We catch up on the week and eat our lunch. Then we transition into the lesson and we follow-up on our commitments with Paulo, following up is key as Elder Ballard said, and we find out that he didn’t read OR pray! So we put down the pamphlets we were going to use and we tell him we can’t move on so we will read with him. He took the Book of Mormon closed his eyes, flipped to a page and pointed. He started reading Alma 25:10 and continued til the end of the chapter. We asked him how he could apply it to himself and he said that he needed to get rid of his pride and his arrogance and be humble. Paulo told us that he has actually noticed a change in himself. He works at a casino and every time he would go into work he would just judge the people and try to take all their money, but as he has started meeting with us he feels more at peace and he doesn’t judge people anymore. When they come in he just lets them do what they want and he doesn’t care. In the middle of the conversation he looked at us and asked if we had our phone. I told him it was in my coat pocket on the couch in the other room. He told me to go get and that he had prayed about something and he wanted to see what happened. I got up and grabbed the phone. When I came back into the kitchen he said, “Turn it on. What do you see?” I told him that all I saw was Jesus Christ and showed him the picture on our lock screen. He then had a surprised look on his face and said, “There is no message?” I said no. He then showed us that he had sent a message right before 12. It said, “Sorry sisters! Something came up and we can’t meeting today. We’ll have to reschedule for later this week.” He told us that him and Victoria had gotten in a fight right before we came and he wasn’t feeling in the mood to talk so he hurriedly texted us telling us not to come. After he calmed down and thought about it he realized that he enjoyed our lessons and that it was always better when we came over. He said a prayer asking Heavenly Father that if we were meant to come to their house that He would make a way for us to come. Paulo told us that he thought that since we were late that we weren’t going to come, but then all of a sudden we showed up at their door.
I had a huge smile on my face as he told us this story. We never received Paulo’s text message and we still showed up at their house. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but Paulo was able to recognize that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. I testified to Paulo that I know that Heavenly Father sent Sister Amendola and I to Pennsylvania for a reason. He sent us to Carlisle to meet him and Victoria. (Of course I cried) But as I bore testimony to Paulo i could see it in his eyes that he was feeling the Spirit! I left their house that day with a huge smile and my spirits high. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing Paulo and that we had just witnessed a miracle.
Victoria told us that she has recognized that their house is more peaceful since we have been coming. She also said that she has been feeling the spirit a lot more in her life as well. Both Paulo and Victoria are being strengthened as they have these spiritual experiences together.
We had another miracle with a sweet less-active elderly lady that we visit once a week. Her name is Juanita. She always has so many stories to tell and they are always ones that you would think only happen in movies! She told us her conversion story. She became a member when she was in her early 50s. She was so drawn to the D.C. temple that she loved to visit it even when she wasn’t a member. All she could think about was going inside some day. She eventually took the lessons from the missionaries and loved everything about it. She got baptized and she wanted to serve a mission as a senior sister, but then her health went down hill and hasn’t gotten better since then. As we were meeting with her this week she told us that she had given a copy of the Book of Mormon to one of her aids that comes to help her. We told her that the message we had for her dealt with missionary work. We then went into the message we have been sharing with all the members by calling them to be member missionaries. No one has had the reaction that Juanita had that day. We began by asking her if she had a desire to serve God. She then bore us a powerful testimony about how God is the only one who gets her through her days and that she doesn’t worry about anything other than being right with God. She began to cry as she testified. It was powerful. We then called her to be a member missionary and gave her a call letter and tag. She was so overwhelmed that she began to cry again. She told us that this was amazing and that she had been waiting for her day to be called. She always wanted to serve a mission, but never had the chance. She was so excited to put her badge in her wallet and share the gospel with her friends as a member missionary. It was overwhelming for me to see how much this impacted her. I had no idea this would happen when the thought came to me months ago to call members to be member missionaries. It was another moment of Heavenly Father leading me unknowingly. Juanita kept telling us that we made her day and that she was so grateful for what we did.
Another miracle happened last night. We have a less-active named Ash that we work with and we haven’t seen her in awhile because she has been depressed, but we actually got in last night! We talked with her and let her tell us what was going on. We were there to comfort her and tell her everything was going to work out. We talked to her about the importance of having faith and not fear. I read her the story of Peter walking on water and how as soon as he started to fear/doubt that is when he started to sink. Life is like that sea. We are like the disciples in the boat rocked by the trials that come our way. But if we want to be with Christ and Heavenly Father again we have to brave the sea and have faith that we will make it through. We told her that she may have times of fear or doubt but that is when she needs to exercise her faith even harder. Normally we don’t get through to her, but last night she really took it in and she was more calm by the time we left her apartment.
So many wonderful things have been happening here in Carlisle! I don’t want to ever leave!! We find out this Saturday if one of us will be leaving. My hope and prayer is that I will stay 🙂
Weeks like this are the reason I am out here. The gospel changes lives and there are so many miracles that happen!
I love you all and I hope you have the best week ever!!
Sister Stacie Jones
Sister Amendola drew me as a mermaid. Isn’t she talented?