You may ask yourself what missionaries do during Carnivals in Bolivia when they are on lockdown. Well, this is what we did: Tuesday we were not allowed to leave to proselyte, so we studied, wrote in our journals and then we went outside with the family we live with and had a little water fight. The Elders called us to see about borrowing one of our movies, so we planned a surprise attack on them. We had a huge water balloon fight! We got them so good and they didn’t expect a thing. The kids loved it and had the best time! Then we had a late night (9:00) with some other sisters in our zone. We made s’mores and watched a church movie. We spent the rest of the week getting soaked, but it’s actually quite refreshing since it’s been so hot.
This week I was able to apply something my mom shared with me a few weeks ago when she wrote me about her week. As she wrote on a Sunday evening she shared that that day family had come down to support my brother receiving the Priesthood and then came to dinner at our house afterwards. She spent all day Saturday making preparations for a special day and late that night still had to prepare a lesson for Young Women’s. She wrote; "As I was preparing my lesson late that night, I had the thought that it wasn’t right that I was giving so little time to my calling and said a prayer before going to sleep that I would be blessed with the spirit as I taught. It was a really important lesson and I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t going to be better prepared. But, Sunday came and my lesson could not have gone better. This was a great reminder to me that Heavenly Father is aware of our circumstances. He knew that my intentions were good as I was trying to provide a special day for family and keep up with all the demands. I’m grateful that he hears and answers prayers and understands that if we give all we can and still feel like we’re lacking, He will make up the difference. I just thought you would enjoy that story, because I’m sure you see it happen all the time." Her words must have been inspired because it was something that I needed this week and I found myself reflecting a lot on that email. As a Sister Training Leader we have to assist in Leadership Councils every month. It’s a council where all the leaders of the mission - President, Assistants, Secretaries, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders attend in order to receive council that President feels our mission needs. We then take the things we learn and have Zone meetings to teach all the missionaries in the mission. It was scheduled for Thursday. On Wednesday, we had a full day of appointments since we knew we would not be working most of the day Thursday. At about 5:30 on Wednesday evening we received a call from the Assistants. They informed us that the leaders coming from Potosi were not going to be able to make it for the council due to the blockades. The Sister Training Leaders in Potosi had been asked weeks prior to give a 30-minute class on Enduring to the End. But, since they were not able to come they would have no one to teach the class. That’s when they asked if we could prepare something quickly and give the 30-minute class. I looked at my companion and smiled an unsure smile, said yes and hung up. Lets just say we freaked out for just a second and began to think of how we could teach the lesson. We still had quite a few lessons scheduled for the evening and decided we needed to keep them. By the time we finished our visits at about 7:30 we went to the Internet Cafe to print out a few quotes and find a video. By the time we got home we were tired but began to plan, that’s when we received another phone call from our Zone Leaders, the time for the council had changed. We normally have it at 12:00, but since Potosi wasn’t joining us, there was no need to wait for their flight. They changed it to 8:00 in the morning. Our hearts started to pound again because that meant we wouldn’t have time in the morning to buy the last minute things we needed or do some last minute preparations. We planned as well as we could and then as I was preparing for bed those same thoughts that my mom shared with me entered into my mind. I wish I could have had more time to prepare, this was something SO important, but we also knew we had to make our visits that night. They are the reason we are here. I knelt at my bedside and offered a prayer much like my mom's "that we would be blessed with the Spirit as we taught". Then we offered a similar prayer as a companionship. The alarm went off at 5:30 that morning; we arose, got ready, gathered our things, prayed and left to find those last minute things we needed. We got to the church building a little early, prepared for our class and we began. We had butterflies in our stomachs, hoping that our class would touch the hearts of those in the room and that we would reach the time limit. As the meeting began suddenly the lights went out. There was no power, which meant we wouldn’t be able to show the video about how the Sabbath is a delight. We were disappointed because it was going to be such a powerful part of our class. Hna. Hansen taught about Faith, President about Repentance, the Assistants about Baptism, two Zone Leaders about The Gift of the Holy Ghost and now it was our turn to teach about Enduring to the End. Right then the lights came back on. There was power! I said one last prayer in my heart and we began to teach. And as my mom put it "It could not have gone better". The spirit was strong, it flowed, we were able to show the video, and it was exactly 30 minutes. Our prayers were answered. President gave us a very nice compliment after the meeting. It is SO true what my mom said. The Lord blesses us in our circumstances if we are engaged in a good cause. He truly does make up the difference and goes beyond the powers of this world to do so. After we left we prayed a prayer of great gratitude to our Heavenly Father.
This was not the end of learning this lesson. On Sunday we woke, prepared our papers, and attended Ward Council before church started. After Ward Council we were walking to the chapel where the meeting would start in just 5 minutes. One of the bishopric members stopped us and told us the couple assigned to talk had just called bishop and said they weren’t going to make it. Then he asked if we could each give a 10-minute talk in Sacrament meeting. We smiled and said yes. The feeling of butterflies in our stomach returned, but at this point we were all too comfortable with it. I began to flip through my scriptures because they were all I had with me. I knew it was important to pay attention to the sacrament, so I put my scriptures down and during that time I reflected on my Savior, as we should. After the sacrament was complete, it was my turn to speak. I prayed again in my heart that I would be blessed with the Spirit to touch the hearts of the congregation. And once again it could not have gone better and the Spirit was strong. I think it was one of the best sacrament meeting talks I’ve given.
This week I had only 2 of many experiences during my mission where the Lord has carried me above my own abilities when I have felt unprepared. As my mom wrote, “He is aware of our circumstances”, He does bless us when we are engaged in His work. So, my mom was right, I am seeing this happen all the time! And it is truly marvelous!
I hope you all have a great week! Look for the Lord's hand in your life and you will be marveled as well. I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana Lomax