Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ask and you shall Receive

Standing in front of the Missouri River
Hi family and friends, 

This week was a tough one!  Sister Miles and I literally worked ourselves into exhaustion.  This area is so difficult and all of our efforts do not show through tangible success and sometimes that makes us feel like we are not working at all. So we work harder and harder until we are just drained.  This past week we were sick, tired, and emotionally and mentally exhausted.  When we don't see fruit from our labors we tend to work even harder and that is pretty much what happened.  I believe that Heavenly Father saw how hard we were working and finally last week we were blessed with three investigators that were placed in our path.
Gifts from Heavenly Father
On Tuesday, we went to get an oil change and decided to tract in the area we were in while we waited for our car. While we were walking, a car pulled up and two men asked if we were preaching about the Bible. I said, "Yes, kind of. We're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints." They were familiar with LDS missionaries and invited us to come eat ice cream. It was a really hot day and we couldn't resist. And literally 20 minutes before they pulled up I prayed for ice cream knowing it would help on this very hot day.  So I said, "Only if you let us share our beliefs with you." They said yes so we walked over to their house. T (a man in his late 40's) and I (a 21 year old man) are in Sidney temporarily to receive training from a preacher here. They are training to become ministers so they were very opinionated and did not agree with some of the doctrines in our church. They wanted to bible bash, but sister Miles and I didn't so instead we would boldly testify. Nothing silences a Christian minister like a simple testimony of Christ and His restored gospel. These two will be very difficult but they want to meet again to learn more.  Heavenly Father blessed us twice in that situation- once with the ice cream we prayed for and then again with two new investigators.

The other miracle was with a part member family. We went to see L who is the girlfriend of a less active member.  When we got there she was sitting on her porch and invited us to sit with her. The first time we met her, her boyfriend was there and we couldn't get her to say more than two sentences but this time, she was a chatter box! She wanted us to teach her and we did. She is pretty interested but has had a hard life. The most powerful part of the lesson was when Sister Miles bore a strong and powerful testimony of the atonement. It was exactly what L needed to hear and because of that she wants us to go back and teach her more. 

I know Heavenly Father is always preparing people to be taught, even when sometimes it seems impossible. President Anderson once said, "There is no such thing as a dead area, or Heavenly Father wouldn't put missionaries there."  Sidney felt like a dead area when we got here and sometimes it still does.  But we don't give up easily and will keep working our hardest.

Tender Mercy
Last week we went tracting in Fairview which is a tiny town 15 miles outside of Sidney.  It is actually where we live. Now a quick side note about the oil boom-- it is in the middle of three cities which are Williston, Watford city, and Sidney.  So Sidney and Fairview are major oil cities.

While we were out tracting, we walked up to a house and were about to knock but we both had a sick feeling, so we didn't and just kept going. Now this had already happened four times that day and it started to get annoying because I am a knock on every single door kind of Sister; but with some doors, you just can't and that happens a lot in the oil boom towns where there are "man camps" everywhere. So we walk up to the next door and again, I had an off feeling.  Maybe I was just exhausted or being stubborn and trying to ignore it because this time it didn't feel like as terrible of a feeling as the last house. Sister Miles didn't say anything about it so we just knocked. A man opened the door and he is an oil worker plain as day.  He looked at us kind of funny.  Right when he answered the door the off feeling turned into a very bad feeling and I silently prayed.  Within seconds I felt us being surrounded and protected.  At this point the door was already opened and it didn't make sense to just run away so I told the man who we were and why were there.  Then all of sudden he looked at us and behind us and to the sides of us with a frightened look on his face and he backed up a few steps.  I knew that he must have seen the protection we felt.  Then he said very very quietly, almost whispering, "I can tell you right now, this is not a place you want to be." He had so much darkness in his countenance but I think it was a tender mercy that he was the one who answered.  I thought that maybe he was the nicest of the all the men he lived with.  He kept looking over his shoulder and then at us and then to the sides of us.  I could tell he didn't want the other men in the house to know we were there.  Then he got real nervous and told us to leave and never come back there and he shut the door quickly.  Then we both just had the worst feeling ever but also the feeling that we were being protected... so I decided that maybe you should send me some pepper spray just in case, Mom.  I don't want to ever use it on anyone but it might be a  good thing to have!  Now I can understand why they haven't let Sisters serve in this area for so long.

Ask and you shall Receive

In 3 Nephi 27: 7 and 9, it says:

7 "Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake."

9 "Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;"

Sister Miles and I decided to put these verses to the test because we heard about a mission where the entire mission applied this together and saw over 3,000 recorded miracles.  So we thought, well we can do it too!  So we did and the miracles I told you about happened immediately after. 

We have also made Enos 1:15 a huge part of our studies. It says ".. Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it."  This is such a passed over promise and it can be hard to exercise that much faith but it is true and when we ask in faith we SHALL receive!  We have seen it first hand this last week.  Mind blown, seriously.

Even though Sidney is a hard place to be I am already sad knowing that I will probably only be here for two transfers.  That's just how it is when you are training a brand new missionary. But hopefully I can help her to get this area set up and after I am gone she and her new companion will begin to see lots of miracles.  Sister Miles is an amazing missionary and I have no doubt about her abilities.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sister Park

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