So, as most of you have been able to perceive from my less-than-animated emails, I’ve been struggling a little bit this past month. The culture change of Tampa, the pressure of training a new companion, and the confusion of opening an area all combined to turn me into this stressed out mess of an hermana. Luckily, I’ve got the most amazing family, friends, and fellow sisters out here. You all really showed up when I needed you. Basically I got letters on days when I most needed them saying the exact words I needed to hear. And then I have inspired sister training leaders who gave me words of encouragement that I’m pretty sure were straight from Heavenly Father.
Basically, I’ve come to realize that all I can do is all I can do. The area is different. The work changes from day-to-day. But, just cause we’re not spending every second teaching doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t guide us, that He isn’t proud of us, or that He can’t give us miracles. He does guide us, He is proud of us, and we’ve seen miracles every day. President Cusick recently encouraged us to write down all the miracles we see in a separate journal. [I now have 6 journals, all for different purposes. It’s fine.] As I’ve started to write down these miracles, I’ve noticed more. I don’t know if He’s giving us more or if I’m just more aware. But either way, this week has been full of those little miracles that give us just enough “missionary energy” to keep on going.
We were in Walmart one day and a man came up to us and acted like he knew us. “It’s been awhile!” he said and asked his young daughter with him, “Remember when the sisters came and prayed for you when you were sick and then you felt better?” This precious little girl nodded her head.
“Um, I don’t think we’ve met?” I told him. He explained the the sisters used to go over and teach his family. And then it clicked. This was a family that another hermana had told me about, but that we hadn’t been able to find anywhere in the area book. He gave us his card and invited us to come over to see their family soon. WOW. We literally just stood there in shock for about 5 minutes. Did someone just contact us? And in Walmart of all places. We’ll take it. It was amazing. I don’t know how we ever would have found that family otherwise.
It’s been bike week this week so we’ve been tired out of our minds but those endorphins sure do make up for it. We were riding on this trail in a neighborhood close to ours and we saw an investigator walking with her sister. “Hey Sonya!” we greeted her as we sped by [the sky was looking treacherous]. We ended up stopping by her house later that night and she told us that her sister asked her after, “Who in the world are those happy ladies?!” To which she replied, “Oh they’re the missionaries!” That’s us. The Lord’s servants. Happiest girls in Tampa.
There’s this family that has basically become my second family out here. Jose and Nancy Fracica. He has known about the Mormon church for awhile, has a few LDS friends, and is the sweetest guy I have ever met. His wife Nancy is just as kind, and we recently have been able to meet with them more often. Nancy is usually taking care of their youngest daughter and doesn’t come into lessons but this Friday she sat right down with us and participated in our lesson. We even had a member there. We couldn’t have asked for better!
Although I do have some bad news. I utterly fail at being Cuban. A member gave us some platanos after teaching us how to make tostones. So I tried making it yesterday. And ended up with a reeeeeeally unfortunate oil burn on my forearm. Shoot. Well, it’s a mission scar right? The cool thing is it came from the oil that we bought after meeting that miracle family in the oil aisle at Walmart. So maybe something amazing will come of this burn as well?
I’ll keep you updated.
So challenge for you all: Keep a miracle journal. Separate from your normal journal [if you even have one of those.] And write specifically the little miracles that the Lord puts in your life. There are no coincidences. As soon as you start writing them down, you’ll see more.
Thanks again for being the best support group in the entire world. I’m the luckiest hermana ever.
Love you all so much!
Til next week,