There are things that happen in sequence that I marvel at. Earlier in my life I would have called these things coincidences. Now, I call them miracles, revelations, divine patterns, and God working among us.
I have been learning several principles recently that the Lord has been seeing fit to continue adding upon. I began this past week with an understanding that the Lord was in control and that the only way I was going to be able to meet all the responsibilities and opportunities before me was to exercise faith in that and repent the best I could.
E. Daniels and I now cover three wards and so we spent a good deal of time familiarizing ourselves with what was going on in the new ward. We had to travel outside of our area (still in the district!) for a meeting with our ward mission leader and following that meeting we walked outside and saw a young man sitting on the sidewalk. I have been trying to follow every prompting I get to talk to people and even if I don't get a prompting, to talk to everyone anyway. The Lord continues to bless me to be able to get through these sometimes awkward exchanges. Found out this young man knows a family that I knew well in a ward I previously covered and now lived in that ward. Hopefully the missionaries over there get a hold of him!
We had several experiences this past week in opening our mouths and letting the Lord fill them with inspired conversation, questions, and testimony. As a result, we were in the right places at the right times for other things to happen.
I had a great blessing to be able to interview the Halverson family who was preparing for baptism. As I asked them questions that checked their preparedness, I found not only that they were, but that the Lord had other blessings in store for them. I'm young, but I found myself promising certain blessings to the husband and wife that I know could have only come from the Spirit because the Spirit confirmed the truthfulness of those blessings.
I had that experience, the confirming witness of the truth of my words, often this past week. On Sunday, we taught the priest's quorums (16-18 year olds) and in wrapping up the lesson, promised them blessings that we felt were specifically for them. We don't know these youth super well, but God does and so he used us to speak things to them that they needed, all within the plan that we had prayerfully planned.
Another miracle that happened was with Doug. We had planned the night before to see Spencer, who lived in a house that we had been told not to go back to except to see Spencer. So at the appointed time we went over and saw a man sitting out front. I wasn't sure if it was Spencer and he got up and went inside as we walked toward the house. I thought "Great, he saw us and doesnt want to talk." So we knocked on the door, and I was pretty sure we would be told to go away. The man answered and we found out that his name was Doug and Spencer had moved out. As we talked, we found out that Doug was experiencing some very uncertain times and that he had offered a prayer not 20 minutes prior to our arrival. We told him that God had sent us and that though we did not know his name at the time, God did, and used our limited knowledge to accomplish his own purposes in telling Doug that all would work out. We ended up teaching the whole family that evening and sharing the Spirit-filled message of Joseph Smith's First Vision.
I had woken up on Friday, early, and with the intent on preparing a training for zone meeting. I had some prompts and guiding thoughts from my leaders. After some time had passed I felt like I was getting a little bit, but wasn't getting the full vision of what I needed to train on. I prayed and prayed some more. I thought of a video depicting the angel coming to the shepherds the night Christ was born. I watched it and suddenly the whole training came to me. It wasn't without some more questions to God in the process. It was a revealed process and during zone meeting, I came to realize just how revealed it was.
While preparing I had noticed that the angel told the shepherds that a sign would be given of Jesus' birth, that He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. I was likening the qualities and message of the angel to what we need to do as missionaries. I asked myself, "What's the sign that we have to give to those we talk to?" It came to me: the Book of Mormon. I gave the training and it went pretty well. Later on in the meeting, our zone leaders told us what our mission president, President Cannon, feels we all need to focus on at this time. It was the Book of Mormon.
I marvel that God will reveal to any of us what we need to understand and more. I know that He does. He does it because He loves us!