Monday, March 23, 2015

Miracles Abounding

Bonjouuuuur tout le monde! Salut ma chere petite famille et tous vous
chers amis aussi!

Well I'm currently in Noumea once again. We have a reunion de zone
tomorrow so we had to come down today. And I will be honest, it is
really hard to leave our secteur so often. I feel like we just abandon
it and leave those people hanging, even when its just for a couple of
Just a Walk Along-- photo from Soeur Gunn
days. This work and these people are too important. Hahah we were
tempted to just ask to skip the meeting so we could stay up in
Bourail, but alas, it is important to be spiritually edified and
instructed so here we are.

Just heard that all missionaries in Vanuatu who are almost done with
their missions have to go home early because of a lack of housing in
Vanuatu. We were so protected from all of that, but it is quite the
experience to be right on the edge of this natural disaster. There are
lots of Ni-Vanuatu who live here and have families who are now living
in the churches over in Vanuatu. I am incredibly grateful to be here,
to be safe, and to be able to stay out. Keep sending your prayers
their way, they certainly need it.

I'm gonna try to give a bunch of different stories this week. My
fingers are happy with a keyboard as opposed to the regular tablet, so
maybe I'll even write more. Oh lala who knows :)

First things first. HIGHLIGHT of all highlights! Guess how many amis
came to church yesterday?!?! Not just one. Nope, not just two. THREE.
Three amis came to church! And this might seem like just another
Sunday to so many others, but it was the most incredible blessing and
straight up miracle for us. We have been here for 5 months. Five. And
have invited people to come to church since day one of those 5 months.
And yesterday, we had 3 separate amis come. Two of them just came for
the first hour, and one of them stayed all three hours! The Spirit was
filling our little storefront and I was overcome with gratitude and a
gentle confirmation of the truthfulness of this Church. I was sitting
there, praying for these dear dear people to feel the Spirit testify
and warm their hearts. And I can't speak for them, but as for myself,
I felt all bubbled up and full of joy all Sunday long. A calm, sure,
steady comfort, along with a deep joy. Our church service is simple.
Just 12 of us in a storefront bearing testimonies and studying the
scriptures together and sharing our love of the Lord. But it is GOOD.
And it is TRUE.

During our lesson with one of our amis who came (he is incredible and
the most solid ami of all time), he offered the closing prayer. And in
it he expressed thanks for Soeur Gunn and myself. For our constant
smiles, for the joy and light and hope we radiate. He thanked Heavenly
Father for us and said that when he sees those things in us, it makes
him want those things too. He wants to feel that same joy and light
and hope. Moments like that make it all worth is. What a beautiful,
sweet, humbling experience. I am eternally grateful to be these
peoples' missionary. To be one of the missionaries that served them
and cried with them and loved them and led them along the path to
eternal life. How blessed I am.

That same day we had gone to visit one of our other WONDERFUL amis.
She studies and searches the scriptures between every visit so that by
the time we teach something, she's already read all of the references
about it. Oh sweetness. Well out of nowhere, we and Soeur Gunn felt
like we were supposed to teach the Word of Wisdom. Hahaha we didn't
even have our D&C with us. It was just a prompting. So, of course, we
taught the Word of Wisdom, using the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And
our ami started to share a story. She said that when her 25 year old
daughter was born she stopped smoking. YES. But then recently with
stress she suddenly started smoking again. Oh no. And THEN. She said
that the day we showed up, the FIRST time we introduced ourselves to
her, she stopped smoking. She just stopped. Just like that. Fast
forward a few months and many lessons and for the first time ever we
teach her about God's law of health, including not to smoke. God
prepares His children to obey His commandments. There is always a way
prepared that we may accomplish the commandment that is given us.
Miracles everywhere.

Another ami, who read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon in one night, is doing
superbly. Hahah ok, I forgot to mention her last week. But that
happened. This week she said that after we leave she replays the
lessons in her head all week and finds answer after answer to all of
her questions. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has ANSWERS. We must search,
but as we search, we will find.

We went with one of our members this week to go visit a less active
woman. We'd never met this less active, but had talked to her on the
phone and gotten directions to her home. All we knew was that is was
on a dirt road and we had to "cross some rivers". So off we go with
our member knowing it will all work out despite knowing essentially
nothing haha. Long story short, after legitimately off-roading it for
an hour on mountains and cliffsides, and crossing three rivers, we get
to a point back in the mountains where we are completely lost. We had
called the member basically every 5 minutes asking for more directions
as we came to other turns and rivers and all. But suddenly our member
was frustrated, we were lost and the only thing around the base
directions off of was trees and rocks. Hahah not great. Soeur Gunn,
bless her, asks if we can say a prayer. And as we open our eyes from
this prayer, the less active member came walking down the hill in
front of us. Miracle. She had walked an hour to meet us because she
knew we were lost. These people are STARVING for visits.

Then after we finished our lesson with her, we try to leave. But her
neighbor had locked us onto the property. He'd put a lock the size of
a grapefruit on the gate and then hid in his house. So we were
trapped. We called the police and finally after 3 hours of waiting,
the lock got cut and we got to leave. There is always opposition.
Don't let it stop you.

The Lord is so endlessly good to us. We had a million cancellations
this week and almost no lessons. Everyone else (aside from these
miracles) avoided us or ignored us or cancelled. But in between it
all, the Lord rained His bountiful blessings upon us.

I will never stop being grateful for this mission. My life is changed.
I am changed.
I love you all,
Soeur Evans

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