Monday, March 23, 2015

The Lord will bring about His Miracles

March 23, 2015

“In his own time, and in his own way, the Lord will bring about his miracles.”

Another week has passed, WHAT?!?!

Well let’s just say that I am IN LOVE with Buena Fe and everyone in it!!!  I truly feel the love of our Savior for them and I just want to hug everyone once I meet them...well girls only of course!  Here they call it “the Hermana Bartolomé hug.”  When the time comes to leave this area it will be called “the hug that Hermana Bartolomè gave me, and she almost squeezed me to death!" ;) 

He was flirting up a storm with my comp.  Haha parrots!

BLAH-CUT and BartholoME-OW

Last week I introduced you to Andreina and Jairo.  Familia Romero are seriously THE greatest.  We assigned them to read in the Book of Mormon from 3 nefi 11, just until the end of the chapter, but they loved it so much that during the week they kept reading and have read all the way to Ether chapter 3.  They will probably finish reading the entire Book of Mormon before they even get baptized.  This week we made a Baptism Plan with them - a calendar that shows when we are going to teach them, activities in the ward, General Conference, etc.  (It is so weird to think that a year ago I was in the CCM in Mexico City watching General Conference the weekend before coming to Ecuador...sniffle sniffle.)  

We also planned on this Wednesday to go and talk to the notary `peeps to see how much money it is to get married and WHEN.  Pray for Team BLAH-CUT and Bartolomè that we can soften the hearts of lawyers and the people in the government marriage office. 

This past weekend we had stake conference and we had a special meeting with the Stake President and President Riggins with all those who were recently baptized or who are investigators, and they all LOVED it.  Afterwards the stake had stacks of Liahona magazines from the past year available for everyone that wanted them.  All of these recent converts and investigators definitely took one from each month.  They were all like kids on Christmas morning with the pile of Liahonas. 

OH and I forgot to tell you, Andreina and Jairo work at a banana plantation where they send bananas to ALL different parts of the world.  Jairo does all the heavy lifting of picking bananas off the trees and sending them on the cart, and then Andreina puts the little stickers on the bananas that say FROM ECUADOR.  They gave me SO many stickers, each one is different depending on where in the world the banana is being sent.  Next time you are eating a banana look at the little sticker and just know that our investigadores made it possible for that lovely fruit to be in your hands. ;)  . 

I don’t think I told you all about Mabel Bermeo?! No?!  Tranquilos, les explicarè. [Relax, I will explain it to you]  Mabel is the most eager investigator I have ever had, which I love.  She always has a question about what we are teaching, not in the matter of doubting but of wanting to know more.  She has 2 kids; Leonardo is 5 years old and Domenica is 1.  She really wants to get married and her fiancé does as well, but sadly he is hardly ever home because he is always working.

The first time we met Mabel she expressed concern for her daughter Domenica, who now has been sick for a month with a cough, sore throat, and fever.  Not wanting to eat is the daily routine for poor Domenica and the medicines that the doctor has prescribed are too expensive for their budget (she was also diagnosed with anemia).   Long story short, Mabel was never able to attend church because her daughter always woke up on Sunday mornings with a fever. :(  

One day we felt impressed to share the following scripture with her from the Book of Mormon...

For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith….Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.” Ether 12:12,16

We promised Mabel exactly what it says in this verse.  Miracles exist today, IF we have faith.  We told her that IF she would come to church on Sunday, her daughter would get well.  After making her this promise, I could see that something was troubling her and she looked like she was on the verge of tears, so I asked if she felt alone.  She just looked at us and started to cry as she expressed how hard it was to practically be a single mom with her daughter SUPER sick, etc. 

I love being a representative of Jesus Christ.  In that moment I had the privilege of bearing testimony to Mabel that we should never feel alone.  God is always with us.  We then invited her to kneel in prayer with us.  With tears in her eyes, she said a beautiful prayer and pleaded with ALL her heart that her daughter would get better.  She added at the end, “if it be your will.”  An Apostle once said something to the effect that faith is real, and there is nothing more powerful than the prayer of a faithful mother, pleading for her children.  

Our ward mission leader, Brother Loor, who had accompanied us to our lesson, offered to give Domenica a priesthood blessing and also give Mabel a blessing of comfort.  Domenica started screaming and crying when Hermano Loor pulled out the consecrated oil to anoint her head.  She thought it was a needle, and from the sound of her screams she really doesn’t like needles.  But after she realized it was just a little oil on her head, she smiled and sat on her mom’s lap quietly during the blessing.  The spirit was SO strong, and we each received the confirmation that Domenica will be ok. 

Afterwards Mabel thanked us with empanadas and some herbal tea.  At that moment, the beginning of the miracle was manifest when Domenica smiled for the first time in weeks and ate a whole empanada and wanted another.  Mabel was SO grateful and overwhelmed that her daughter had been healed.  She had witnessed a miracle.

On Sunday, Hermana Blacutt and I also witnessed a miracle.  As we were on our way to the church, Mabel called us asking where we were, telling us we were going to be late to church.  She LOVED church, but was super bummed when she couldn’t take the sacrament because it was Stake Conference and not a normal sacrament meeting.  She also stocked up on Liahonas and is very anxious to attend church again next week! 

Family I know with all my heart that...“In HIS own time, and in HIS own way, the Lord will bring about his miracles.”  

Jesus was once approached by a man with a son who had been sick since childhood (with an evil spirit possessing him).  The man said to Jesus, “if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.”  Jesus said to the man, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” With tears, the man cried out in reply, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” 

There are BIG miracles and small miracles, but they all depend on our FAITH and they all come from HIM.  If you ever think your faith is too insignificant to receive a miracle in your life, start by letting the desire work in you, so you can ASK for Him to help you believe.  Miracles will never cease because the heavens are open to all those who believe. 

May we all recognize the miracles in our lives. 

I love you all SO much, have a miraculous week! 

Hermana Bartholomew

P.S. Yes, this week I made the best brownies that Ecuador has ever seen.  The brownie mix was gluten free, but the Elders thought they tasted even better than regular.  The Elders were seriously SO HAPPY to eat something from the States.  Thanks Mom! :)

Yes - the BEST brownies EVER
Brownies and Ice Cream!!

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