Monday, March 17, 2014

Finding their way back

It's been a while since I've updated my blog.

Transfers are coming up the day after my birthday on Monday, the 31st, and it has been revealed to us by President that Hermana Perez and I will not be staying together. She has been my longest companion, and like my previous companions, I know that the end of the transfer does not mean the end of our friendship. How blessed am I to have accumulated so many great eternal friends on the mission!!!

Anywaaaaay, before I think about it too much and tears are shed, I wanted to explain a miracle this week! :)

About a month ago, Hermana Perez and I were in the post office and I had to send a package off. A hispanic middle-aged man, with the biggest grin I have ever seen from a stranger, came up to us an started asking us about our church. He was so amazed that people so young were spreading the gospel and teaching about the word of God (we were trying to play it cool of course, he had NO idea how excited WE were because this NEVER happens and we were almost becoming as giddy as little school girls). We were so excited that we gave him our name, our church address, and invited him to church. We left the post office sooo happy. 

Then we realized something. We never got his name or his number or his address. We were too excited and too caught-off guard! The only way we would ever ever see that man again if he doesn't lose that tiny little card and if he gathers up the courage to call up two young girls who are complete strangers. Let's not forget that Salem is a big place.

After several face-palms and many deep sighs later, we prayed to our Heavenly Father that someday, by us or other missionaries, that that man would have another opportunity to hear the gospel. We prayed that our little mistake wouldn't be at the cost of his progression/salvation.

It has been a month since that time.There was a baptism in the ward last week and H. Perez and I volunteered to make cupcakes for the refreshments. We unfortunately (but fortunately, you see) miscalculated the amount of icing with cupcakes, and we had to make a dash to Walmart for more icing. 

Just as we parked in Walmart and got out of the car, we saw a man, ever so familiar, walk toward his car, which happen to be in the same parking-aisle we were in. We were about to pass by until he grinned and started waving!! We recognized him immediately and with dumb grins on our faces we said, "!Nunca nos llamo'!! "You never called us!!" And he said he was so sorry and that he had lost our card and was hoping to run into us at the post office again!! 

We got his name, Jorge Flores, and wrote down his number. We met up with him this week and had an hour and a half lesson. The Spirit was so strong as we answered all his questions and taught him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is eager to meet with us again.

I cannot express enough thanks to Heavenly Father for giving us and this man a second chance. He has been looking for a church for about four years now, and I know with all my heart that he has finally found the true church of Jesus Christ.

I'm grateful for second chances. My favorite phrase that I've learned in Spanish is ":nunca es muy tarde" : "it is never too late." No matter what mistake we have made in life, no matter what trying circumstance we have, no matter how much we've failed or how far we've fell, Heavenly Father supplies over and over again with opportunities to start again. Whether it is to receive the gospel (like Jorge) or whether it is to be able to preach it (like Hermana Perez and I), or whether it was to bounce back from anything that has pushed us back, the Lord does not leave us with one chance and one alone.

I've seen this in missionary work and in my own personal life. I know I am not a perfect missionary or a perfect person. But I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows this and gives me trials not only as opportunities to prove my faith but also as opportunities to increase my faith. I know He loves each and every one of us and will do anything He can to push us toward the right direction. That could mean giving us two chances or seven or "seventy times seven." 

Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

He does not places us where we are meant to fail. He is with us in the beginning and in the end, whether we see it or not, whether we feel it or not. Let us fear not, press forward with faith, and believe in second chances!

That is what I learned this week.

Hoorah for Israel!

I love you all very much.

Hermana Blanchard

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