Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anaheim, where miracles abound

January 13, 2016

Betty is on for baptism! Whoo! She is just loving the gospel. It's such an honor and blessing to teach her. She loves everything she learns and is very excited to have her daughter, Melitta (about fifteen months old) to grow up in the gospel. If all goes well, she will be getting baptized on the 24th! Pray for Betty! 
Now, not too much has happened, but I do want to share a miracle with you all.
We were driving up from contacting in Tustin to ASL class in Fullerton. I don't usually get lost, as I know this area well enough not to ever need a GPS. It was dark outside, but I had the exit signs on the freeways to guide me. Well, we eventually got to a point in our drive when the area didn't look familiar in the dark and I had thought I missed an exit. So I got off the freeway and headed in the direction I knew I needed to go so as to get on the freeway I should have been on. We drove about a mile or so when I realized that I was completely unfamiliar with the area we were in, and that it was not where I thought I was. I had a thought to pull out the GPS to see where in the world I was. It told me to turn around and go back the way I came in order to get to the place I had been originally heading to. It said to go about a half mile further and turn right through a neighborhood to turn around. There was a light up ahead between us and the neighborhood that I could have just made a u-turn at, but I just couldn't bring myself to make the u-turn, so I drove ahead to the neighborhood.
As I was turning into the neighborhood, I could only think to myself, "How in the world could I have gotten lost? That never happens... This has to be for a reason. Maybe there is a deaf person around here we have to find." I slowed down and looked around, searching for someone signing. Then, the houses on my left caught my eye. The thought came to me that maybe there was a deaf person in one of them. My car came to a stop as I stared at one house in particular. In my head, I quickly asked Heavenly Father if we needed to go knock this house. I was filled with the spirit and knew we needed to go contact that house.
You have to understand, in our ASL program, you don't just go around knocking on houses to find new investigators. Deaf people don't just stick out like that. They are extremely hard to find and the chances of finding one where we were, were little to none. But the spirit told me to do it, so I told Sister Richardson we were going to go knock on that house. By this point in our companionship she has learned to just go with it when I do something out of the ordinary like this. We said a quick prayer and went to the door. I rang the doorbell. No answer, although the lights inside were on. "Heavenly Father," I thought, "You sent me here for a reason, they have got to answer the door." I knocked. One long minute later, an older gentleman opened the door. He was hearing. We later learned his name to be John.
John, "Hello."
Me, "Good evening, how are you?"
John, "I'm fine, thank you."
Me *what in the world am I supposed to say... Oh well.* "We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We teach people about how to have our families together, not only here on Earth, but for forever."
John, "Oh, well, I am well aware of your message."
Me, *he isn't interested... Heavenly Father, what do I do?* "Is there anything we can do for you?"
John, "No, I don't think so."
Me, *.........* "I just got a feeling we should come talk to you. Is everything ok?"
John, "I believe so."
Me, "Ok, well we serve the deaf community. Would you happen to know anyone deaf?"
John, "Actually, my daughter is deaf."
This is the point in which I would have hugged Heavenly Father were He standing there, but I settled for a quick high-five with the Spirit.
Turns out John has a deaf daughter who lives with her family in New York. After a little persuasion, he was willing to give us his email address so he could later give us his daughter's information. As we were leaving, he said, "Thank you for coming by! You made my night!"
As we drove away, all I could do was smile and tear up as I felt the love Heavenly Father has for me, to allow me to be a part of such a miracle. Sometimes, He works miracles that are grand and magnificent, such as sending an angel to Alma the Younger. Other times, He works miracles by having one of His many sister missionaries take a wrong turn. I love having the gift of the Spirit. So many times have I had the sense to listen to it and have a miracle turn out. It happen with this miracle, with approaching Rosario and asking her if she wanted to learn, with asking the right questions to others to allow them to open up to the gospel, and more. One of President Monson's greatest loyalties lies in the Spirit, and he always follows a prompting, no matter the nature of it. Being on a mission has taught me how to have the same loyalty to the Spirit, how to hear it and how to follow it. It is one of the greatest, most useful lessons I have learned, and if that is the only lesson I have learned, then I can know I have had a successful mission.
I am so lucky to be on His errand and to do His work. The opportunities to serve His children bring lessons in humility everyday. The work of the Lord still rolls forth as "the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands." Yet His hands are over everything and guide His work through His servants through "small and simple things."
Sister Smyly Crawford

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