Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DC Week 65!-- May 5, 2014

On Saturday we went to visit our recent convert, Gladys Pereira.
Single mother, six kids. Amazing family. We had hoped to teach our
investigator, Haydee who lived in the same house--she was a referral
from Gladys, (I love member missionary work!!!) However, upon finding
her "out" even though we had a set appointment, we decided to stay and
spend some time with our dear recent converts instead. They are, after
all, like family to us. After our visit had run its course, she asked
us if we would be willing to visit her aunt, Elena Cruz. My heart may
have skipped a beat. I knew what that could entail, but being on the
Lord's errand and not our own, we of course said yes. So we resolved
to stop by that very evening. After all she lived just a few blocks
away. Let me explain:

Hermana Pirir and Hermana Shaw had been diligently teaching Gladys and
her family last fall. During those visits leading up to their baptism,
Elena did everything in her power to stop their progression. The irony
being that she was a member herself. Her reasons are her own, and I
will not go into detail right now on her story. Though it seemed they
were faced with all sorts of temptations and attractive detours,
Gladys and her young family stayed strong and followed through with
the baptism, without Elena's consent or presence. On Thanksgiving Day
just shortly after, Hermana Pirir and Hermana Shaw had come over for
dinner, following which they began their planned mini testimony
meeting on what they were all thankful for. During the middle of one
of the little girl's testimonies, they saw headlights in the driveway.
Soon enough, in stormed Elena and out went the spirit. Needless to
say, after a yelling match and a lot of shed tears, the sisters were
escorted out of the house, and ordered never to come back again. With
the start of a new year, January brought a new brightness of hope, and
in time...that open wound scabbed over. Elena began to allow the
sisters to come, but only during certain hours of the day. She kept
her distance, and they sisters never heard from her again so long as
they respected her conditions. That's when I came to the area. I never
met her. Only read during my area studies upon arrival that she was a
"DNC", (do not contact). After several weeks, Hermana Pirir opened up
to me about what had happened. I asked if she was ready to change,
(because after all, in my mind, and throughout my whole mission, I
always liked to refer to those kind of people as "do not contact...FOR
NOW." Never forever. She still felt it would be best to at least wait
until she was out of the area. I respected her prompting. She was
entitled to as much revelation as I was. So we never stopped by. Then
in February, Hermana Pirir left, and Hermana Hansen came to me. One
transfer went by. And almost two...and I had forgotten. Well maybe not
completely, but she was always on the back burner. Never actually made
it into our plans. I just didn't think...Until Gladys asked us to stop
by on Saturday. The Lord surely didn't forget. She was His daughter.
Of course He wouldn't. Well, we decided to take the subtle hint from
Heavenly Father, and comply with Gladys' request to stop by.

Not quite sure what to expect, we planned a sweet and simple thought
centered on our Savior. Figured it was a pretty safe topic of
discussion. We parked. Prayed. Walked up to the front door. And

I think we both expected the following to be a little bit harder than
it was. Because she then answered the door with a smile, invited us
in, and proceeded to introduce us to our investigator, Haydee who was
sitting on her living room couch!!! Hahaha! Man we all got a kick out
of that. (Plus now we know her hiding place when we can't find her at
Gladys'). The evening went beautifully! And the best part was we had
The Lord on our side 100%! Man it felt good to have Someone like that
backing your every word. There was a very sweet spirit there as we
visited. The best part? Elena was actually testifying to our
investigator! We had the most unexpected, unplanned, best "member
present" lesson we had had in a while. Everyone was It's amazing what time can heal. Before leaving,
we invited them both to church, and they said MAYBE! (Okay I actually
meant for that to come across in a good way, because I don't quite
think you guys understand what a huge MIRACLE it was to just be able
to enter the premises). And sadly, no, they didn't end up coming to
church. Missionary work is not always rainbows and unicorns, and they
still have their agency, but the fact that we were able to make such a
stride, was pretty darn amazing. God is so good. He is just so good!
We called Gladys as soon as we left to follow up. She was elated! Then
Sister Hansen and I had a mini dance party in the car on the way home.
#justsaying #completelywarranted

Sure love you guys. Miracles do happen every day. Be on the lookout
and then be amazed at what you can find.

Sister Graff ;)

Sent from my iPad in DC :)

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