Sunday, March 27, 2011

Miracles and Mission Work

I am posting this wonderful teaching experience written to me at my request by Elder Maxfield. It is such a beautiful example of Elders doing the Lord's work in the Lord's way. What a miracle! We love our missionaries. They are obedient and faithful.

"Dear Hermana Laycock,

Claudia is an "antiguo investigador" (old investigator). We found her by looking through our Area Book. There was no reason stated for why the missionaries had dropped them, and when we talked to the family, they didn`t know why either. We began to teach them, realizing they had plenty of doubts, worries, and misunderstandings. One lesson was particularly difficult. On Tuesday, 15 of February, we taught Claudia and her husband, Diego. It was hard to share the doctrine because of their constant interruptions with doubts. In the end, Diego left feeling frustrated without giving us the opportunity to explain the doctrine. Claudia was left feeling flustered and doubtful. The only thing we said before leaving was: “We promise you will receive answers to your questions.”

On Thursday, the 16 of February, we returned. The first thing Claudia said was “Let me tell you about what happened to me yesterday.” She then shared with us her miracle.

Wednesday, Claudia had gone to work at the hospital, and during a break, she noticed a co-worker not drinking coffee and jokingly asked him if he was a Mormon. Later he approached her and told her that he was. They talked for a moment, and he lent her the movie “Legacy” to watch in her spare time. As soon as her conversation ended, her phone rang. On the other end was one of the bosses of the hospital, Gabriel Garcia, who is an Area Seventy of Chile. He began his conversation telling her that she had been on his mind for some time, and that the Lord had told him to call her. He stated that he had spoken to the bishop of our ward who informed him that Claudia had still not attended church. He then told her something to the effect of: “Let the Lord into your life. Let him bless your family. Let him help you. Let him in.” And immediately after, he began to expound on the exact doubts and concerns she had – all by the power of inspiration and revelation. We had not talked to him, and neither had she. This was the first phone call he had given her. At the end of the conversation, she was left speechless. She knew she had experienced a precious miracle. And as she hung up the phone, she began to pray expressing her gratitude to the Lord.

We knew we didn`t have much more to do that day. Elder Garcia had already committed her to attend church with us on Sunday. So we confirmed that and said we would stop by to pick them up.

Sunday came, and they (Claudia and her seventeen-year-old daughter, Dani) were ready when we stopped by. They both walked with us to church. We had already called and planned for some members to help us when they arrived at church. The members were there waiting, and they welcomed them very warmly. They sat with them during Sacrament Meeting and then introduced them to the Bishop after the meeting. They stayed for the second class with “animo” (excitement) and participated with thoughts. After the prayer, Claudia shared the same experience from Wednesday with those in attendance and began to cry expressing her love for the Lord knowing that he was watching over her. The members again accompanied her to Relief Society, and they both felt very welcomed. At the end, she expressed to me that the hours “flew by.” These same members drove her home.

This experience helped me realize that the Lord is doing His work. The Holy Ghost is so important, and causes miraculous changes in people. I know that as we listen to the Holy Ghost, do the Lord`s work in his manner, and work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, then miracles do happen.

I love Claudia, Dani, and her whole family. I know they will get baptized if they continue doing as the spirit directs them, and as we help them. I feel immensely blessed to have been a part of such an experience. We have high goals for them this change, including a fecha this week, and baptism in the coming weeks."

Here is the follow-up that I received a few weeks later from Elder Maxfield...

"This week was wonderful! As we worked on forgetting ourselves so that we could focus on our investigators, we saw more miracles. Claudia and Dani both had “fechas” (baptismal dates) for the 20th of March. We planned to go by their house every day to make sure they were progressing well and were on schedule for the baptism.

On Tuesday, we went by and the first thing Dani said to us was that she was not going to be baptized on Sunday. That came as a shock because she was usually the more enthusiastic of the two. We spent a good amount of time talking to her and encouraging her. We gave her about 10-15 minutes to be alone to contemplate and pray, to ask God whether or not she should get baptized this Sunday. By the end of our visit, she was in tears and confusion, and she held firm on her decision to not get baptized on Sunday. She said the reason she did not want to be baptized was that she had had a dream in which she arrived Sunday for the baptism, and someone said, "If you are not 100% sure about this, it is better that you do not get baptized."

That dream really made her question herself, and it caused her some confusion. Let`s just say that after this lesson, it became a matter of sincere prayer for us. I prayed really hard for Dani and Claudia the next few days. Wednesday, we had a “noche de hogar” “(family home evening) with members. Thursday, we had more members come to her house to talk, and then we showed up and taught her a lesson. By the end of the lesson, she mentioned that 3 Nephi 27 (the last reading assignment that we had given her) had really touched her. She was somewhat bewildered that we had not left that scripture with her earlier. But at the end, she told us that she wanted to get baptized with her mother. We finished Friday, and Saturday we had their interviews. They both went great. It is so satisfying to see the changes that have taken place in their hearts and in their eyes over the past 2 months. They have completely changed and learned to rely on the Lord for everything.

The baptismal service was wonderful! We started filling the font with water before the meetings. After sacrament meeting we realized that the “calefont” (heater) was not working, and that we only had cold, cold water. I didn`t know what to do, so I uttered a few silent prayers asking the Lord to warm the water to the degree that we would not feel the affects of the cold.

The time for the baptism arrived. Dani went first. As I descended into the water, it was freezing! But as I stood in the cold water of the baptismal font, I smiled at her. I saw the tears of joy in her eyes, and the cold went away. My legs and body suddenly felt warm. During the whole ordinance and afterwards, I did not feel the cold. Later, I asked the other three who had also entered the water if they had felt the cold. Each one of them said that during the actual baptism they did not feel cold at all. It was a miracle in answer to our prayers.

Through their tears, they both bore pure testimony that sounded like they came from the lips of members of 20 years or more. Claudia and Dani are miracles."

1 comment:

Francisco Garcia said...

Sister Laycock:
Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with all of us.