Please…We’re Never a Coincidence

The end of General Conference weekend. It is comparable (I assume) to the feeling of leaving a mission, seeing the Hill Cumorah Pageant cast leave, saying goodbye to your best friend before she goes on study abroad, etc. I know I’ll see it again in just six months, but that strong hunger and thirst for more is eating me alive right now. The feeling of asking questions and realizing that they actually have been answered is something I live for. It’s so much revelation in such a compact amount of time. I’m going to write a blog post about it later…so you can read that if you really want to.
The weather past week in Western New York has been pretty nice. A few cold days, but we have been able to get out and walk most of the time! It feels really nice to be outside–clutching the Book of Mormon, and talking to everyone on the street. As expected, we received more “no’s” and “you’re weird’s” than we wanted to, but whatever. That’s a part of the job. If you’re going to sign up to put Jesus Christ on your sleeve, you better be expecting somewhat of the wrath that He Himself received. I take it as a compliment.
The story of the week is from a woman we met back in January doing her laundry next door. Amelia was the one that knocked on our door, thinking it were our clothes that were done, and knocked to let us know. After we told her they weren’t ours, of course being missionaries, we introduced ourselves. She immediately recognized our nametags, and told us she was baptized a member of the Church in Guatemala when she was eight years old. There were two tall white boys with those same nametags that came over and just…loved them. She doesn’t remember what they taught, the only thing she remembers is how she felt while she was around these two men. We didn’t have much time to talk, so we got her apartment and phone number to check up on her. Periodically, since January, we’ve gone up to visit, but she’s either been running out the door taking kids to soccer practice or not home. On Thursday, we decided to go up again, and just see if she was home. We caught her at a time where we could just sit and talk. Her kids were gone–it was obvious it was her only day she had to herself in awhile. We did the whole “how to begin teaching” thing from Preach My Gospel, she asked a bunch of missionary life questions in her heavy Spanish accent, and then we got into the good stuff. She told us she had practiced Catholicism when she came back to the states, but that eventually died, too. But when we met her back in January, ironically that same day, she was telling her co-worker she needed to go back to a church. “Then…you show up,” she said. “I went in the next day and talked to my co-worker again and told her it was a sign from God telling me to go back to Church!” We all laughed, and then the spirit not only filled the room, but engulfed us. I had the quietest prompting to tell her Who we were really representing. “You know, Amelia, we are direct representatives of Jesus Christ. I know that was not a coincidence. And that feeling that you feel right now…it’s the Holy Ghost telling you that what I’m saying is true.” She didn’t even blink when she had huge drops of tears welling up in her gorgeous Latino eyes. Then, it just all came at once. She didn’t know why she was crying, so I asked her to pray that night to ask Him if all of this was true. That set up the perfect scene to re-teach her the Restoration. After we discussed it, I had a line from one of my dad’s letters running through my head, “Don’t be afraid to tell someone that Jesus Christ loves them.” At that moment, I was about to open my mouth to say exactly that, but Sister Johnson said, “Do you know that your Heavenly Father loves you?” (Companionship unity at it’s finest!) She just cried more and nodded her head. We told her to read and pray, and we would be continuing to visit her. You would think this was out a movie or something…I really felt like a true missionary. Amelia is just one of millions of people who really feel like that each day, and really have no idea what to do about it. I’m just really glad that I can be the one who lets people like her know there is hope.
There is so much information I need to study and more experiences I need to learn from these next six months. It’s my last inning to prove to Jesus Christ that I’m ready for my training wheels to come off and go into the real world. I’m slowly building my foundation in Christ and getting to know Him while walking in His shoes each day. What I wear under my clothing is a jersey proving that I’m good enough to play on God’s team. Not only do I look to Christ as the star-athlete, but I’m making all of the assists while He scores the points. We’re on the same team. We are joint-heirs with Him. Everyday, I realize more and more the scripture, “How great is your calling!”
I hope you will watch and re-watch the talks from General Conference this weekend and not only get answers to your questions, but hopefully it will help you decide what you need to DO in order to improve your lives, “whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” (Moroni 9:6)
Hermana Hawkes


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