Sunday, September 25, 2016

Iokwe in OK! Miracles and lessons in gardening


This week was full of miracles!

1)  It rained pretty hard a couple days this week.  But it was always at night or when we were inside, so we got to enjoy the huge storms without being inhibited by them.

2) I didn't get sick!  Everyone else is getting sick.  I woke up at 3:00 am Sunday with a clogged nose, but managed to sleep most of it off and I felt fine by the afternoon.  Take that, germs.

3) Elder Larsen ran into a family almost 6 months ago that we recently taught.  Marilyn, the mom, was very excited to meet with us, but Martin was less-than-enthused.  He has slowly been warming up to us and let us in his home for the first time in 6 months this week.  We read Alma 32 from the Book of Mormon which talks about helping faith to grow. It's a very symbolic chapter but Martin interpreted all of it correctly and also went the extra mile by applying it to his family.  He pretty much taught the lesson for us.  *BIG SMILE*

4) We tried to stop by a planned service activity, but the person we inteded to help didn't open their door.  As we started back towards our apartment, we rode past a woman doing some yardwork.  She was very friendly and after talking for a bit, we learned that her daughter is a member and goes to church with a different congregation.  Kirsten (the woman we were talking to), works at a Methodist church, so we weren't sure how open she would be to us, but we left 30 minutes later having shared a verse from the Book of Mormon with her, left her with a copy of her own (which she wanted to pay us for--I haven't seen that one yet, that was surprising), and set up a specific return appointment.

5)  Later that same day, we rode past a street and saw a woman walking down that road.  We kept riding, but then felt like we needed to turn around and talk with her.  We learned that she lives in OKC and has a young daughter who recently told her that she wants to go to church. So she has recently been on the hunt for a church to attend. We explained a little about our purpose as missionaries, what we believe, and what church was like.  We got her information to the OKC missionaries.  I told her that I know God knows her personally and is aware that she has been searching.  I told her it was no accident that we turned around and that we fully intended to keep going to keep up with our schedule.  I know it was a miracle.  When we left, she told us she was happy that she met us.  It feels so good to be a part of God's work.  

We had Zone Conference this week.  President Mansell, our mission president talked about change.  He used the analogy of a tree nursery.  When a tree is growing, it needs to be repotted before it gets too big or the roots will curl up on themselves.  If the tree reaches that stage, the knot of roots must be hacked at to be opened up.  If left untended, the tree will smother itself and die.  Our lives are similar.  As we seek to grow, we must be repotted.  His message was simple:  we can either repot ourselves and enjoy the benefits of easy growth, or we can resist change, tangle ourselves up, endure painful hacking and de-knotting, and then get repotted anyway, or we can entirely refuse to change and smother ourselves completely.  He talked about how life is a lot easier when we choose to actively repot ourselves and allow for good changes, rather than try to hold on to our current comfort zone.  It's a little uncomfortable in a bigger pot, but it beats being hacked at.  
This past week I have been considering what things I need to do to repot myself.  I invite you to do the same.  So far it has been very rewarding.  They have been small, but I have been able to see myself make small changes that make me a better person and benefit those around me as well.  I know we will all be happier as we collectively strive to change for the better.

Sorry this was so long this week!  So much happened and it was all good.


Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese/English speaking

Fudoshin:  immovable spirit

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