Wednesday, October 23, 2013

After 8 Months

if i've learned one thing in the past 8 months its humility. i have learned
to fall to my knees and cry out "Thy will be done". this past week was when
Heavenly Father let me know He is pleased with my progress. after 8 months
in the mission, i had the pleasure to see the fruits of my labors. on
wednesday i woke up and dived straight into studying. i read a prophetic
promise that stated, "You dare not live for the moment; rather, you must
live for the eternities. Remember always that if you are obedient, you will
'have glory added upon your head for ever and ever'".
shortly after reading that, the phone buzzed with a message. it was Rodrigo
who said "what do you think about me getting baptized this saturday instead
of the 26th?" i immediately called my district leader, and we set up the
interview for friday. as we worked wednesday, i told hna rios that we were
going to ask a member to come with us to lessions in the afternoon. we
picked up hermana mendez from the ward, and she walked her entire
neighborhood with us. she bore powerful testimony to a few of her
neighbors, and taught me what it's like to love people through my words.
after a few hours with her, she said "hna bond, you know my son turned 8
yesterday? could he get baptized this saturday?"
i began to weep. as a zone of missionaries, we had placed a goal for 2
baptisms for every companionship in the zone. at the moment we set that
goal, i did not feel confident that i would be able to do my part. but, as
i learned more about humility, and applied my heart, mind, might, and
strength to the work, the Lord just provided the way! we set up Leo
Mendez's interview for friday as well.
the interviews went well, and everything was good to go. we talked to the
other sister missionaries in our wardon friday night and they shared with
us that a family i taught last change in their area was also getting
baptized saturday. i spent quite a while praying friday night, in complete
gratitude, for the way my Father has shown me His love.
saturday was the baptism, and a group of missionaries came to support us,
knowing that this would be my first. we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" at
the service, and i was reminded that i truly do need my God's help every
step, every moment, every hour of this life. how beautiful are the ways He
displays His immense love for us!
saturday was also stake conference, and guess who came back! Elder Ochoa,
who i met last change, and who also spoke in General Conference. hna rios
and i sang in the stake choir, so i was sitting pretty close to Elder Ochoa
when the conference let out. he approached me and shook my hand (the
two-handed kind that i love) and looked me in the eyes. "sister bond,
you're different." "Elder, i had a baptism today. thank you for the counsel
you gave us in august. i did everything you said, and it worked!" "thank
you for changing your life. may God bless you always, sister, to be
obedient to the Lord's word." what a rich moment in my life.
after conference on sunday, we went to the bishop's house for dinner with
Rodrigo and some other families from the ward. Rodrigo, with tears in his
eyes, said "Bond, i want to tell you an experience God gave me today!" he
told me that after church, he was driving home, and he saw a family walking
on the side of the road, so he picked them up and offered to take them
home. they got in. the father of the family asked what church Rodrigo
attended, and he answered "i'm a mormon!" the father made a sigh and said
something along the lines of that Rodrigo had fallen into the routine and
was mistaken. Rodrigo thought for a moment and asked the man if he was a
member of the church. he said yes. and Rodrigo replied "if you really feel
that way its because you arent praying." i am so proud of him!! isn't that
cool? he is already having missionary experiences!
well, my heart is full, and i've never felt such desires to do what is
right. i know the revelation to Joseph Smith given in Doctrine and
Covenants 18:15 is true:
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance
unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall
be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"
my heart longs for that joy, and i know that through humility and
diligence, i will be able to receive many more blessing that will be added
upon my head.

i love you