Wednesday, 26 February 2014

"Do all you can and then exhibit patience."

God is hastening his work! That is all I have to say. The first Sunday in the Delray Beach ward was awesome. One of the first callings they extended was the ward mission leader! Ya! A missionaries dream I think yes! It is Bro. Lieber! Sister Stegelmeier will be happy to here that. The ward has only been established for 2 weeks and we have already had two baptisms!  Bro Yates said, "Only 2 weeks and already 2 baptisms. Think 52 weeks in the year 52 baptisms. Lets do it together." Time for the members and missionaries to work together? I think yes! I am so excited. The ward is going to grow so fast. I am so grateful to be apart of it. It is nothing that we do. It is all God.

What an amazing miracle filled week. My heart is so full of gratitude for all of the blessings God has given us this past week. Patience is something that I asked God to help me develop at the beginning of the transfer, and let me just say that undoubtedly when we ask we receive! I have had so many opportunities to learn patience this transfer and I am so grateful. Sister Price and I have been working ever so diligent and some days it was hard to see the fruit of our labors. We have struggled to get investigators at church and see them progress. We never once doubted our faith. We kept going and trusted in God and his timing. As I went to bed each night, I truly felt like I had done my best and felt the spirit confirm that to my heart. I knew that I just needed to keep patient with God and his timing. Yesterday all of the patience paid off as God blessed us with miracles. We received a media referral on Monday with no phone number and a bad address thus having no way to contact her. Yesterday she came to church all by herself! She is amazing. Truly prepared and elect. The other huge miracle came when Phillip was baptized.

 I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be apart of Phillips life. He has taught me so much. He is literally a miracle. A seed was planted by sisters back in 2008 and we were fortunate enough to be able to harvest that seed. We watched him change right before our eyes. He was baptized exactly 2 weeks after meeting him. Living in a half way house, there is always someone smoking whether inside or outside as well as drinking coffee every morning and other temptations. However, despite these circumstances, Phillip was able to stop smoking, drinking coffee, and using bad language in just 2 short weeks. His faith grew immensely everyday and from lesson to lesson as he feasted upon the words of Christ through reading the Book of Mormon and reading pamphlets multiple times. In his own words he said, "My faith is strong and faith can move mountains." The Atonement is real. Christ can change us all as we allow him to. Not only that but we can change right now! We don't have to wait. All it takes is faith and humility. The stronger our faith and deeper our humility the faster the rate of progression. Phillip has taught me that.  I am so grateful to God for all of the miracles we have seen with Phillip. This past week I have been studying the war chapters in Alma. I love these chapters for they are among my favorite. They apply directly to our day. There fight against the adversary is the same fight we are contending with today. I love all of the common themes of "fortifying the line", "cleansing the inner vessel", constantly building and strengthening barricades and other protection measures and armor... the list could go on. I know that we have to do the same things today in order to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary. I am grateful for Phillip for he was clear evidence of that this past week. As he consistently strengthened himself through scripture study and other things he was able to withstand the temptations that came his way, for there were many setbacks but through his faith mountains were truly moved. 
Phillip's baptism. Bro. Da Rosa his amazing member friend and now HOMETEACHER (Delray ward rocks already got hometeaching lined up) and Keith other member friend. Keith is awesome he was baptized a back in September I think. He is so converted already. He has grown so much in the time I have been here. He always says that he is "The funniest looking mormon ever!" He is awesome. 

One more thing about Phillip... We went there the other day and he told us how he had bought green apples and carrots and some other healthy things. Of course I was thrilled when he said while holding up the word of wisdom pamphlet "I didn't know eating healthy would bring me closer to God!" I wish everyone understood that and lived it. The Word of Wisdom is not only a list of don'ts. We often forget the other half of it as well. It made me so happy. Man Happy that is the key word. Life is so wonderful! I am so happy. Being a missionary is the best thing ever! We experience a roller coaster ride of emotions no doubt. I undoubtedly go to bed each night. "Delightfully exhausted" It is the best thing ever. 

If you are thinking about a mission just do it and don't look back. It will change your life. 

Thanks for everything! 


Sister Hartley 
We went sun rising this morning. It was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

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