Monday, June 17, 2013

[6/17/2013] Week 14: The Hand of God

Elder Marsden, a great example to me
This has been a wonderful week! While it was still difficult and had its disappointments, some amazing things have happened. On exchanges with Elder Galante, we passed by a house on our bike and were invited in to help with painting the walls. As we worked, we taught two men in their twenties about basic Mormon doctrine. They told us that they have been in and out of jail, have struggled with drugs, and are looking to get their lives back on track. One of them, who goes by "D", is 25 and undergoes dialysis three times a week. He expects to live no longer than two more years. We visited with D on Sunday while he and his brother, Chase, were running a yard sale. They have seen a lot of trials together and agreed readily to read the Book of Mormon. We sat with D and read from 3 Nephi 11 about the coming of Jesus Christ. He told me that two days ago, he and his son's mother were having an argument and instead of blowing up on her, he thought of me, and decided to keep his cool. This was after we had only me
t twice, for periods of 15-30 minutes! We had an opening prayer and two closing prayers with him - he said the second. Afterwards he described a remarkable feeling: goosebumps, hair standing up on the side of his face, peace, calm, and a floating sensation. Of this experience he said, "Ain't no drugs ever made me feel like that right there!"  He made it clear that we're welcome back anytime.

Another lady, Kim, was referred to us through some missionaries in Everett. Her daughter was baptized about three years ago, and she is ready to start learning. Elder Benedict soft committed her, and we have an appointment set for Friday.

Kelly, a woman whose life is in turmoil, walked into the church building yesterday because she felt drawn to it. She accepted a Book of Mormon and asked us to return this week.

On Thursday, Elder Benedict and I were riding our bikes down 51st and the Spirit told me unmistakably to turn around. I did, and entered a cul-de-sac through a small pathway that cut through a tall hedge. I was directed to a house in the cul-de-sac (I felt like I was spiritual harvesting!) and as we approached, Elder Benedict asked what I was doing. I could scarcely tell him that I wasn't sure before a voice boomed from beneath an old van in the driveway: "Can I help you?" The man changing his oil was Larry, and his life has also been a shambles lately. Elder Benedict and I taught and bore testimony powerfully of the Restoration, and he agreed to have us back when he had more time.

I felt impressed to drop back by Carol's, and she was still definitely uninterested. Oh, well! In due time.

We also ran into a recent convert who went inactive as soon as she moved to our area, but expressed that she would be happy to have us back.

This has been a great week. Again, it wasn't an easy week; Elder Benedict and I worked very hard. But I can see that the Lord is blessing us with more work to do, albeit in ways I didn't expect. There is a lot on our plate for this coming week, and I am excited to hit it hard.

In the words of modern-day prophets as well as those of old, I have found comfort and counsel. I am grateful for personal study time, where I feast upon words that are surely directed right at me in this time of my life!

I pray for Seth and Margo every night, that they might strengthen testimonies of the Gospel. Like you said, it is so important, especially when the fiery darts begin to rain down!

Lela and Virgil Kovalenko with me
It was really cool to see Brother K. We didn't have a whole lot of time to talk, but we did get a picture! He said he recognized me right away because I look like ya! He also told me to tell you, Dad, to "get off his back about Facebook". He said in all seriousness that "it's an abomination". Tee-hee.

Leanne just told me that she'll be training in four weeks. Isn't that insane?? She's a rock star!

Keep me updated with everything at home. Dad, I do really enjoy your letters. They're a great pick-me-up. How's Christian doing?


Elder Martin

The pictures attached are of me with Brother K and his wife and me with Elder Marsden, a Spanish speaking missionary who just went home. He was a crazy hard worker with an infinitely positive disposition. Pretty much everything I learned about how to train I learned from him over the course of five or so days. He reminds me so much of Brandon and was a much-needed older brother to me.

1 comment:

  1. Elder Martin,
    You are doing great things.
    Love you forever.
    Sis A