Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DC Week 10!

Hey Family!

Thank you all so much for the letters/emails/pictures/packages! I will slowly but surely respond to each of you, I promise. It means the world to me having so much support. Those tiny kinds of things really "fuel" you out here, and I appreciate it!

Quick story for today--(cause I spent most of my time attaching pictures form the last several weeks).

For the last half a transfer, Sister Lawrence and I have been trying to get back in touch with Paul and Iris with little to no luck. Oh, we planned for the other people, and worked on strengthening ties with the partially active members in the ward, street contacting and whatnot--don't you worry, we always have plenty to keep us busy. But they were always at the back of our minds. Sister Lawrence told me that this kind of thing happens all the time, and that if they weren't going to show progression soon, then we would drop them to spend our time (which is so valuable) with those whom the Lord had already prepared to receive our message. I was very reluctant, but reasoned with myself that at least they will have had one "contact" with the church. At least that exposure was there...

Well yesterday evening, we decided to pay them an unplanned visit, and to our elation, Paul answered the door with a grin.  He beckoned for us to come in and Iris came out from the kitchen with a smile on her face as well. We greeted with kisses (handshakes for Paul) and commenced to catch up. As we talked with them, I began to see just how much they valued our friendship. They truly are our dear friends now. But Sister Lawrence and I have been worried that it is all surface; that they only invite us over for some Khatta Meetha to talk about the cherry blossoms and that's it.  Anyway, so we decided to follow up on their Book of Mormon reading. Nothing. They were honest. And we were grateful for their honesty. But in that moment, I began to understand what Elder Holland once talked about so fervently...about his command to"be devastated". I had never comprehended it quite so strongly as I did in that moment...and I began to feel it. That undeniable awareness that this was no act. That this was real devastation inside me. And I ached for them.

By now it was dark. And Sister Lawrence and I flipped open to the chapter we had planned and began reading with them. Each one of us taking turns. We hoped they would feel something, anything. But soon I knew this visit would be no different. Iris started going off again about how the Bible is the only word of God, and that "Lard Jezuz" will save us all through grace, etc... It was the same vicious cycle, and I knew that we would have to drop them. It was something I had already been preparing for. What was the loss? I had rationalized. In that moment, the lights went out. The electricity in about a five mile radius had failed.

Iris and I went to the kitchen and lit some candles. The glow cast long shadows on our faces, and their small musty living room. And by candle light, I flipped open my scriptures again. I turned to 2 Nephi chapter 29 and began reading:

7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. 

And I bore my testimony.

The next, (I kid you not) two straight minutes were spent in absolute silence. The four of us sat, not saying one word. I glanced up at Paul and Iris several times. Both had their eyes closed. I could feel the Holy Ghost stronger and more powerfully than I ever had before. It was working on them. And I knew it, neither dared to interrupt it.

We then prayed, they thanked us, and we said our goodbyes. Paul walked us to the car. And that was it.

I don't know what will come of last night. I don't know if they will chose to act.  Or if they will chose what is easy. But I do know this: that God's entire work and glory, is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He does nothing save it be for the benefit of mankind.  He is working miracles in our lives every day. When we are in tune...we cannot go amiss.  He will perform His great works through us. That is why it is so important to be the most worthy vessels we can be. This I know, and want to leave with you as my humble testimony of the truthfulness and glory of this wonderful work we are all doing. Never forget the worth of souls. "What is the loss," I asked?...  Detrimental. These are Spirit children of our Heavenly Father. And their value is immeasurable. Our potential is out of this world. We have no limits, nor should we set any for others. With Christ, all things are possible.

Oh, how I love you all. 
Hope you are all enjoying spring!!

Sister Graff

"The enabling power of the Atonement purifies us [...] The redeeming power of the Atonement sanctifies us." ~Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy


1. Good Morning DC.
2. Back for more sunrise pictures!
3. They bloomed just for us!
4. Cherry blossoms…
5. The Pacific states…
6. WWII Memorial.
7. Chillin’ by the Tidal Basin.
8. Love her.
9. Looked like something out of Tangled.
10. ...
11. Roosevelt Memorial.
12. Perfect Day.
13. Looking out at the Jefferson Memorial.
14. Hope Diamond. 45.52 carats. This is for you, Mama J
15. Inside the Natural History Museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment