Monday, January 25, 2016

Hark and Happenstance

Hark and Happenstance (sort of sounds like 'Pomp and Circumstance.'And that's the only cultural reference I have for you today. It's the name of that graduation song, right?)

Hark: literary, listen.
Happenstance: coincidence

We had a worldwide mission conference, something they haven't done in a decade. WORLD-WIDE. That means all the 75,000 full time missionaries from all around the world, together, listening and singing and learning from apostles and disciples (except for those in Tokyo and stuff, time-change problems). I took SO MANY notes, listened intently, and received some useful correction.  The intermediary hymn was "Hark, All ye Nations."  During that hymn, I thought of all my friends serving missions:  Marissa Farmer, Devin Nordine, Elisa Martinez, Kimberly Pace, Jackie Lupton, McKenzie Schoffield, Paul Swenson, Stephanie Williams, Ashley MacKay, Wiliam Orchard, Michael Hilton, Megan Wiseman, Amanda Randall.  In places all around the world: Norway, England, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Peru, Utah, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, other states, and good old EspaƱa.  All singing together. Kind-of incredible ¿no?

Interviews with President.
We talked business; the area, the ward, my companion. Which I realize I haven't mentioned lately so... Ana and Norma are still incredibly faithful. They have several REAL problems going on right now and might be kicked out of their piso[apartment] at the end of the month. There's nothing much we can do but share strength and comfort and pray for them, but we do that a LOT.  There are several friend/investigators (Elba and Muna) that we've been nursing along like a bad habit but we've been being a little more fuerte [strong] with them lately, have them on fecha, and we'll see if that gets them going.  A lot of things are still in need for change, but transfers are coming up and usually bring PLENTY of that.  Ok, so that's the area. Other than that, our interview was pretty tranquillo. They trust me a lot.
The view of a Zaragoza pueblo
A miraculous happenstance.
We planned an intercambio [exchange] because of convenience, seeing that all the missionaries would be in Zaragoza, and deciding to save ourselves a return trip. Just convenience and a pure coincidence that I went on an intercambio with the Hermana I trained (Hermana Manotas) a year TO THE DAY from when I picked her up? That only happens NEVER. It was fun to talk about old times, new prospects, be introduced in citas [appointments] as "mi entrenadora" [my trainer] and be told that I did a good job. Near the end we got stuck in a cita, stressed out, trapped in the bus huelga (strikes), and just BARELY made it to where we needed to be in time. Honestly, it was a lot like our companionship a year ago. :)

Also this photo. Perfectly describes our companionship as it once was
and was again that day... ;)

 A fuerte [strong] testimony
We were in a cita with a family, and at first it went really well. We started explaining the Book of Mormon with the Dayton's doodle (by the end of my mission I'm sure there'll be dozens of my "doodle-work" in scattered Spanish homes), but as we got to explaining prophets and authority the father of the family started fighting with us. We pulled out examples, used scriptures, and tried to explain but after several futile attempts he started shouting, his wife joined in, and we knew that we were getting nowhere so we decided to get out. Somehow Hermana Ingram got the floor and started to bear testimony of the simple little truths. She spoke with more power and conviction then I've ever heard in a lesson and tears started in the corners of her eyes as she spoke, ever so clearly, about the savior. She lead right into a prayer, and then we left.
I learned a lot in that moment. You can only teach the teachable. But you can testify to EVERYONE.

So I want to wrap up with a couple of these little truths, so there is no confusion.

We are Christians.
The Book of Mormon is not the Bible; Nor does it replace it. They are both sacred scriptures.
We do not worship Joseph Smith; But we know he is a prophet called of God.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and of our souls.
He died for our sins.
He provided the way for us to live with God again.
Baptism, by someone who holds the restored priesthood authority of God, is the way that we accept Christ's sacrifice for us and show God that we are willing and worthy to follow him.
We are part of the eternal family of God.
Our families can be eternal.
You are a child of God with divine, eternal potential.
And He loves you.

Hark, ALL ye nations! Hear heaven’s voice
Thru ev’ry land that all may rejoice!
Angels of glory shout the refrain:
Truth is restored again!
Searching in darkness, nations have wept;
Watching for dawn, their vigil they’ve kept.
All now rejoice; the long night is o’er.
Truth is on earth once more!
Chosen by God to serve him below,
To ev’ry land and people we’ll go,
Standing for truth with fervent accord,
Teaching his holy word.
Oh, how glorious from the throne above
Shines the gospel light of truth and love!
Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray
Lights ev’ry land today.

Share a little bit of what you know, and join in the effort to light every land.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hermana Alayna Een

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