Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tornado Survivor

Yes. You read it in the blog heading...I survived a tornado, sort of.  On Tuesday evening, Sister Capson and I were driving back from MLC in Bismarck.  The sky looked pretty so I took this picture.

We got closer though and it turned into a big wall of gray that we drove into. I have videos but they are too big to attach.  It was hailing like crazy and then got to the point where we couldn't see 10 feet in front of us.  The hail was huge. I really thought it was going to break the windshield. Luckily, there was an exit to get off of the freeway that we saw just in the nick of time so we got off and parked under an overpass. I thought it was tornado weather but didn't think I was lucky enough to actually be in a tornado. Aside from staying parked right there we didn't know what to do because neither of us had ever been in this bad of weather. So we called President Anderson and he told us to just say a prayer and have faith and he would also say a prayer for us.  So we said a prayer and then a guy walked up to our car and we rolled down our window.  He told us just to stay in our car because there were two tornados a few miles away headed right for us and they would be passing over in a few minutes.  After twenty minutes, the storm passed over us and we were able to get back on the road.  We never did see the actual tornados which was a little disappointing but also a blessing that they didn't come close enough to us. Finally, we made it home safely.

The whole week was insanely busy! Saturday we were literally running from appointment to appointment. It was the best feeling in the whole entire world!
Friday was Zone training meeting and it was excellent. I was asked to sing a musical number so I decided to sing "Heavenly Father Loves Me (Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird)".  I loved it so much when Jersy sang it for me during our Mother's Day Skype so that is how I decided to go with that song. 
Our less active member struggling with addiction is doing so well! He came to church on Sunday.  Right now we call or text him every night at 9:30 just to remind him to read his scriptures but he is progressing so well that I know he will do this on his own eventually.  He is my favorite person and I will be friends with him forever. He is definitely still struggling but I know he will get to where he needs to be. 

Blessings Will Come
Sometimes the biggest blessings come after the hardest trials.  As missionaries we become very familiar with this.  It's easy to get depressed and wonder why we are working so hard when things don't seem to always fall into place.

Alma 26 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon.  I know I always talk about Ammon and his brethren but it's my favorite Book of Mormon story. They had some pretty amazing experiences, but they also suffered a lot of trials.  Ammon is looking back at all that he and his brethren had accomplished in teaching the Lamanites and is feeling pretty proud.  After being rebuked a little by Aaron for boasting, Ammon states that he knows that everything they did was because of God.  In verse 12, he says,

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

Then Ammon reminds his brethren in verse 27 about all the trials they went through in order to teach the Lamanites.  Alma 26: 27 is my theme scripture for my mission, and probably will be for my whole life:
"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said; Go amongst thy brethren, the lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."
The Lord keeps his promises.  He doesn't make life easy on us.  Just like a coach doesn't let his team have easy practices.  He couldn't turn them into a great team without having them work hard and suffer a little first.  Heavenly Father works the same way.  He can't make us what He knows we can become without allowing us to suffer even when we are trying to do good things. 

Ammon and his brethren wanted to turn back after it seemed hopeless; but if they did they wouldn't have met Lamoni and his father and converted all the anti nephi lehis.
I also think of when Alma goes to preach the gospel. He is basically tracting and street contacting like we do as missionaries and nobody wants him in that town so he gets depressed and leaves. But an angel appears and tells him to go back, so he does.  But this time he approaches the city in a different way and finds Amulek, his future mission companion, and they become the greatest missionary companionship of all time!
Sometimes we don't know why we are where we are or why we are doing what we are doing; this doesn't just go for missionary work but for all situations in life.  But God placed you where you are for a purpose.  He placed you in your family, your job, your calling... all for a purpose.  If it's not what you hoped it would be, don't get depressed but "bear with patience thine afflictions and He will give unto you success."  You might see the blessings immediately or down the road but you will see them.  Jeffrey R. Holland summed it up perfectly when he said, "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

I know this is true.  This earth life is all we know so it's hard to see that the blessings will come if they don't come now.  But they will come!
Honestly, I have so many awesome stories from this past week but I don't have time to share them.  I love you all! Have a great week!

Nevin, thank you so much for the letter!  Are you going to church yet?  Write to me and tell me all about it!


Sister Park

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