Monday, September 28, 2015

"We Were Invisible to Him"

This is a picture of me meeting Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Seventy.
Ray's baptism two weeks ago
We got lost in the middle of someone's farm but it was beautiful!
Hello family!

How is everyone doing?  Everything is great here in Montana.  Just like always when it comes to opening a new area, we are off to a slow start.  We are teaching a woman named T and a boy named C (they are unrelated) but for the most part we are just out knocking on doors.  We can't really go knock on random doors after dark here because of all the oil workers and man camps.  We just try and reach as many people as we can during the day.

I just have to say thank you so much for all your prayers.  I can feel that we are being prayed for and I know that Heavenly Father is protecting us. We had an experience this week that was a reminder of the divine protection we have as missionaries.  On Thursday at about 7:30 we went to go find an inactive woman in Fairview. We went to the house we believed to be hers earlier that day but nobody was home so we decided to go back that night and try again.  This time as we pulled up to the house we saw that cars were there and it looked like someone was home.  So we knocked on the door and by this time the sun had gone all the way down.  I knocked once and no one answered, but the lights were on inside so I knocked again.  We heard someone come out the side door of the house.  At this point we both kind of froze because suddenly we had bad feelings but didn't know what to do so we just stayed there.  We wanted to leave but something told me to just stay put. After a few seconds, the person that had just gone out the side door went back inside. We almost left again because the bad feeling got stronger but then someone came to the door we were standing at.  The door had a large window in it that took up nearly half of the door.  The porch light went on and was shining right on us so leaving now wasn't exactly an option since we were standing right in front of the door in plain sight of the window. The man who came to the door just looked through the window. He wasn't wearing a shirt and was a very large man with a dark countenance and I just had a sick feeling when I saw him staring right toward us. But something wasn't right. He didn't see us! He was looking trying to find who had knocked on his door. He looked around us and right through me but didn't see us. He continued looking for about 30 seconds and we just stood there. I even waved and said out loud to sister house, "Why can't this guy see us?" at first I was confused and it didn't click. Finally when he walked away with a confused look on his face, it hit me. The man literally, physically, did not see us. We were invisible to him.  He had NO REASON to have not seen us. We were as visible as could be for him but Heavenly Father, for some reason, did not allow him to see us. It was one of the greatest blessings that I am aware of, that has ever happened to me. I have no idea what could have happened but the man didn't see us.  I can still picture his dark countenance but also how confused he looked when he thought no one was standing at his door.  It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced in my life!

That experience was perfect for me this week because one thing I have been trying to work on is faith.  Earlier in the week I had a humbling experience when as a zone leadership we were trying to set some baptismal goals for the month.  One of the zone leaders threw out a number and I disagreed with him and thought it was too lofty a goal for our area.  As I do too often, I was using my own wisdom and logic instead of relying on Heavenly Father.  Well the zone leader sort of rebuked me and told me that I needed to have more faith.  So I prayed about it that night and read about faith in the book of Mark- after that I knew he was right and now I feel good about the goal we set as a zone.

In Mark 4, we read of the story of Christ calming the storm tossed seas. I love this story and I need to hear it often. Sometimes life is hard or we have trials that seem never ending. This can cause us to lose faith and feel that Christ is not there for us. 

37: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38: And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40: And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

Sometimes we can feel like Christ is just "sleeping" but He is always aware of us and "calms the winds" when He needs to.  But first he might allow us to experience the storm so that we can learn to have faith in Him.

In addition to having faith in Christ, we also need to have faith in church leaders who have been called of God to guide and direct His church.  President Hess shared something very amazing with us- something I never really thought about.  This is the message he gave:

"I marvel at the strength you great missionaries have against the temptations of the adversary. I see the enemy attacking from all sides. I recognize also as I watch, you are firm, steadfast and immoveable in the faith.

As we prepare for the general sessions of conference this week I would ask you to liken for yourselves, and consider how it was that the people in the time of Alma were able to save themselves from destruction.

In Alma 2: 4 & 12, we learn that it is important to know the intent of the enemy, as we do we will know how to battle him.

Then read Alma 49:1-11, and see how it was that a Prophet of God was able to protect his people by knowing the intent of the enemy. He knew how the enemy would fight, and knew what security would be required to protect them, as he “prepared for them in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi”. The Prophet Moroni had “altered the management of affairs among the Nephites”.

As you watch conference, pay particular attention to how our Prophets have recognized how the attack, and “intent” of the adversary has changed with the times, and how the Prophets have “altered the management of affairs” so that if we will give heed to their words with exactness we will be protected."

I thought this was a really amazing thing for our mission president to share going into conference weekend.  As the adversary switches up his attack to try and catch us off guard, we are blessed with a prophet and apostles who know "how the enemy will fight and what security is required to protect us." 

I believe that more than ever we should all listen closely to what we are being told this weekend in conference.  Satan's attacks are getting stronger but we are blessed with a prophet who knows how to lead us around the attacks through inspiration from Heavenly Father.

Have a great week and enjoy conference this weekend!

Sister Park 

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