Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease - Sis. L's Story Continued

For the first half of the story, please read the March post, "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles."

Saturday, March 29 
We taught Sis. L about tithing. She was now up to 3 Nephi 15 so the sisters had her read from 3 Nephi 24 about Malachi. I asked Sis. L, “Do you know what tithing is?” The sisters told me later they were nervous about my approach because they thought there was no way she’d know the answer. But Sis. L answered, “It’s a tenth. My mother always told me since I was little that everything comes from God so we have to give him back one tenth.” Then she held out her hand and said, “When we give God one tenth, he gives us back so much it’s heavy and we can’t hold it.” It was another amazing miracle, Heavenly Father really has been preparing her all her life! I invited Sis. L to be baptized, explaining to her that one of the sisters might be transferred (transfer date is April 14) and if she was baptized on April 13, both sisters would for sure be there. She said she’d pray about it:)

Sunday, March 30
I picked Sis. L up for church. Her sister had sent her a skirt to wear, she looked beautiful and was radiant! It was amazing. A Filipino sister was on the program to speak, how awesome is that? Another miracle! The topic was testimony, so perfect. Then in Gospel Principles class, the lesson was Chapter 20 on Baptism! One of our senior couple elders, taught it so plainly and clearly. Miracle after miracle! After church, I took Sis. L home and asked her how she liked church. She said she loved it. I asked her how she felt about baptism, she said she wanted to be baptized! We have one more lesson to teach her this week, her baptismal interview will be this Sunday, then baptism on 4/13!!!

Monday, March 31
After such a miracle Sunday, Sis. L had a huge setback:( She texted saying her employer was angry, reneged on allowing her to attend church, didn't want us meeting with her anymore, didn't want us calling, etc.:(

Sunday, April 7
We have lost all contact with Sis. L and don't know what to do. She doesn't text us any more. I don't know if her phone was taken away, if she left Taiwan, etc. I was able to talk to a couple in the Chinese ward here that are both lawyers. They say it is unlawful to employ someone 24/7 and not allow them any time to themselves. Also provided a 911-type number in instances of abuse, and another phone number for help with employment contracts. I just don't know how to get the info to her:( I know I can't lose faith, and question why. I have come to realize that Heavenly Father will provide miracles, but He won't take away people's agency. Sometimes the wicked prevail, to their condemnation, like in Alma and Amulek's situation when the women and children were martyred. But we have already witnessed the miracles. We have already seen the Lord answer our prayers. We just have to have faith and ask Him what we should do.

Friday, April 11
Our prayers were answered and Sis. L contacted us this week:) Her phone had run out of minutes and she was able to text us only after she re-loaded her account. I have been praying that she would know what to do. She wrote me saying , “I always pray that God will show me what to do.” Then she told me she woke up at 2am and saw her triple combination scripture on the floor. She opened it up to D&C 9:8 and she prayed to know if her decision to honor her contract was right. She felt good about it. Then the next day she read Elder Hales’ talk, "General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony," and he taught from the same scripture! It was another answer to her prayers. I know I don’t have to worry about Sis. L if she is being guided by the Holy Ghost. The Savior’s Atonement will comfort her, keep her safe, and swallow up all her afflictions in joy (Alma 21:38).

Monday, April 14
As I prayed for Sis. L, I felt a priesthood blessing could really help her. So I delivered Sis. L a letter and asked if she desired one. She wrote back and asked me, in humility, if she was worthy of one. Wow, of course she was! 

Tuesday, April 15
President and I, the APs, and the sister missionaries met Sis. L tonight. The very same missionary that first found Sis. L six months ago, who happens to be our newly called Assistant to the President returning to the area (hereafter known as Sis. L's AP), gave her a priesthood blessing. Sis. L cried afterwards for 5 minutes at least. She was so grateful to be blessed, through the power of the Melchizedek priesthood, with the strength to overcome her trials.

Thursday, April 17
Yesterday, I delivered Elder Bednar's talk, "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease" to Sis. L. She wrote me a letter that leaves me amazed at her faith. She said, "Indeed! That message was for me. It gave me more power and understanding." Then she told me about her friend who is a caretaker as she is, only in Saudi Arabia. Her friend suffers so much more, as she has to work harder, is only fed one meal a day, and she sends her money home to support her husband's education while she hears reports that he is having affairs with other women. She took opportunity to share Elder Bednar's talk with her friend. She felt so much more blessed to have friends in the gospel. Later that day, Sis. L was at the Buddhist temple with her employer, reading the Book of Mormon while waiting, when she was approached by a stranger. Observing what she was doing, he asked, "Are you a Mormon?" She anxiously replied, "Yes I am, are you?" She was disappointed when he answered, "Yes, but not for a long time," and then quickly walked away. She read Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, "Come Join with Us" and asked me, "...why do the Church members go away?" Lastly that day, Sis. L was able to share some gospel truths with her employer's son. He questioned why the television program was named, "7th Heaven." Sis L taught him about the Lord's kingdoms of glory. Sis. L is a daughter of God and valiant disciple of Christ, declaring His gospel with every opportunity, and is grateful in any circumstance!

Easter Sunday, April 20
This week while I was praying, I thought of how Sis. L had promised the Lord six weeks ago that she would read the entire BofM (which she finished way early) by Easter Sunday and asked Him to make it possible for her to attend church that day. I thought of D&C 118 where the four apostles were called to leave for their missions on April 26 (9 months later) from the Far West temple lot. However, by the time the date came, the extermination order had been issued. Fulfilling the revelation meant returning into Missouri under threat of death. They knew under those circumstances the Lord would excuse them, nevertheless they snuck back in the middle of the night on that very day, were set apart as missionaries on the temple site, and departed. I thought of how Sis. L had already attended church three weeks ago, Heavenly Father had answered her prayer early. Then the thought came into my heart, and I felt that if Sis. L couldn’t go to church on Easter Sunday, we could bring church to her! I obtained permission from the English branch president. At 8pm, on the sidewalk corner where surprisingly someone has left chairs and a park bench, next to a homeless man asleep mostlikely from intoxication, we held an Easter Sunday sacrament meeting. The APs, sister missionaries, Sis. L, and President and I were in attendance. SIs. L's AP even printed a program. We sang, “He is Risen,” the sacrament was passed, each of us shared 30-sec testimonies on the resurrection of Christ, and then Sis. L's AP asked her if she would like to share her thoughts. She talked about how grateful she was for her new friends, the gospel, and the Book of Mormon. She talked about her father, how he physically abused his children when they were little, and how much she and her siblings suffered. How much her siblings hated him and all wanted to report him so he would be taken away to prison, but how she never wanted to because she loved him anyway since he was their father. Now that he had passed away, she knew through the Plan of Salvation that one day she will be able to be with him again. She says the trials he put her through made her strong, and helped to prepare her for what she is going through now. How amazing is her faith??? Sis. L's AP asked her to close with prayer, which she did so beautifully. We all feel so blessed to know someone so “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [her]” (Scripture Mastery scripture, Mosiah 3:19).


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