Monday, August 11, 2014

The Lord's Timing

Dear Family and Friends, 

Happy Birthday to Clara this week! 

I don't really have much to say this week, other than it was full of missionary work, full of tender mercies and challenging times. However, I still continue to love every minute and find that I can't wipe this smile off of my face.

We had Zone Training in Kingston, which is always a spiritual experience. We are very blessed with some amazing Zone Leaders here right now. I left with the assurance that good things are going to happen. Not to mention, the Kingston chapel is BEAUTIFUL!

Have I ever mentioned much about the Napanee chapel? Well, it's tiny. Actually, there is no chapel, haha. There is a room with chairs which is the Sacrament room, then it divides into Gospel Doctrine, Gospel Principles and Youth Sunday School. Then it is used for RS and Priesthood and YM/YW. There is a Primary room, a small library, a kitchen, the Branch President's office, washrooms, and a baptismal font and that's it. I would say that the entire building could fit in the upstairs of our house back home. But I love it. I love the members. They are all SO close and so loving. You can feel the unity that they have.

We met an incredible part member family this week that we are now teaching! Miracles miracles miracles! Mike Powley is a member, and he is actually Sister Leavens' son. His wife and kids are all not members of the church. His wife knows a lot though and got close to joining a few years back. The kids are adorable. Nathan is 12 and Becky is 11. Also, there is an older son that we haven't met yet. Needless to say, they are golden. Mike was explaining to us that he has been thinking about taking his family back to church! Such a testimony builder that God is preparing His children and that there is the right timing for everyone. So Sister Puruganan and I are excited to work with them!

Sister Puruganan went to the doctor for her head on Friday. We went to Dr. Savic in the next city over, who is a member. He was sooo good to us and helped Sister P a lot. He is from Bosnia and has the sweetest accent ever.....And he didn't even charge any money for the visit! Bless his heart! So now she is feeling much better. She is also going to physical therapy for her shoulders and back which seems to be helping. 

The Melhuish's had us over for chicken wings on Friday. Let's just say....I made a Hardcastle of myself. Dad, you'd be so proud. 

So we had an interesting experience with our investigator Hope. She freaked out on us. We met her at the park where there are lots of people. At first, she was calm, but suddenly yelling at us and throwing down a lot of anti-issues. It took so much prayer in our hearts to be calm and composed amid her negative discourse. We simply bore our testimonies with her and politely bid farewell. As we got out of the lesson, we evaluated our responses, and we are thankful that we were able to hold ourselves together. One of the things that we learned from that experience is that we can strengthen our testimonies of the gospel by firmly, but politely standing on it. We still love her, but maybe right now is not yet her time. I have always loved the saying that in bearing our testimonies we find them, but I also think that in defending our testimonies we find them as well. 

This morning during personal study, I was reading an Ensign from July 2011, and one of the articles in there hit me so hard. I thought I would share the story with all of you. It's title is Start Moving by Elder Von G. Keetch. He shares a story of some smoke jumpers who were to go to the top of a ridge and work on the fire from the top down. Their instruction was to get to the ridge and then radio the dispatcher for further instructions on which way to go. Once they got there, they found that there was no signal, so they couldn't get in touch and get instructions. They kept trying and trying, but still no signal. Eventually, they took off their backpacks, sat down and even napped. They tried for hours and hours and still could get nothing. From the ridge, however, they could see many routes that they could take, but they didn't want to take the wrong one and throw everyone else off. It says "Seven hours after the smoke jumpers arrived at the top of the ridge, a weary crew chief from the group fighting the fire farther down the mountain came up the trail and found the smoke jumpers. He was flabbergasted. Approaching their leader, he asked, 'What are you doing lounging around on the ridge? We really needed your help. The fire almost got away from us because we didn't have help to contain it. And all this time you've just been relaxing up here on the ridge?' The lead smoke jumper explained their predicament to the crew chief. They had been promised instructions from the dispatcher. They had been vigilant in trying to obtain those instructions. But the dispatcher had ignored them, never responding to their calls. True, they could see several paths down to the fire. But they were afraid they would take the wrong one. So they decided to wait until they had the promised instructions from the dispatcher." It goes on to explain that the crew chief took the man's radio, walked down the ridge a little ways and got a clear signal to the dispatcher. The crew chief explained that they were standing in a "dead spot" and because of that, they were worthless in fighting the fire. So, this is my favorite part - "Often in our need for spiritual guidance and direction, we can be tempted to do exactly what the smoke jumpers did. We find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We see several paths available to us, and we're not sure which one to take. We have been promised inspiration and help from our Heavenly Father, but it doesn't always come immediately. We grow frustrated and decide we are simply going to sit down and wait until the promised guidance comes. We wait and we wait and we wait, wondering why the divine Dispatcher doesn't help us with our course. In so doing, we ignore an important principle of revelation. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use our own intelligence, ability, and experiences to chart our initial course. As we press forward along the path we have chosen, we are in a much better position to receive the course corrections He may have for us. But if we simply plop down on the ridge and recline on our backpacks until He gives us instruction, we risk finding ourselves in a spiritual dead spot." There is a very wise lesson to be learned from this, and I know it to be true. 

We haven't been able to see Tom or Jim this week. But it will happen, in it's own due time. 

Sister Puruganan taught me the funniest dance from the Philippines. I can't wait to show you all when I get home! It's so awesome. Keeps us laughing for hours. 

Well my friends, the church is true. 100%. I love you all!!!


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

15 Months!
Beautiful Flower!

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