This week I did something that I had never done, nor will I ever do again in the future! Here in the Philippines, anything but rice is a side dish so no matter where you are, it's pretty safe to say there is a rice field somewhere nearby. We have a family of investigators who live right smackdab in the middle of a HUGE rice field. Yesterday we decided to go to their house before church started so that we could all go together. Now I myself like to dress up a little for church, and this particular day was no different. Before leaving the house I thought, 'gee, maybe I should change.' I decided not too. So there I was, hiking into a rice field in my high-waisted pencil skirt and heels!! Call me crazy, because I sure felt like a loon! Now when you're walking in a rice field, there's no nice paved path. Its a tiny-maybe 8 inches wide-path that falls down 3 feet into muddy waters and rice stocks on either side. Needless to say I took my time, step by step! When we finally got to the home of our investigators, no one answered the door! We eventually spotted the mom around back washing clothes. The dad had gone off to work, the kids were asleep, and the mom had to finish the laundry. They had no intention of coming to church.
So there I was, in the middle of a rice field, dressed to impress, about to go to church empty handed... let down to say the least! We decided to stop by a less-active family's home to see if they were coming to church that morning. They said they would meet us there. That usually means no. With our heads hung low we made our way to church, already knowing that our chances of having any investigators at church were slim to none. When we got to the building 30 minutes before the meeting started, there were maybe 10 people there -- no investigators, no less-actives. We went through that whole ordeal for nothing, I thought, but that's when something amazing happened!
I've always been told that it's only after you have done all that you can do that the Lord steps in and does the rest. If walking into a rice field, on an unsteady path, during a hot Philippine morning wearing heels wasn't all I could have done, I don't know what is! On Sunday, we had 11 less-actives at church and 3 investigators. To say that it was an unexpected tender mercy would be an understatement! As our less-actives and investigators walked in, I felt nothing but happiness and gratitude to my Father in Heaven.
David A Bednar said, "The tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them." I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who is constantly watching over us and is ready and willing to do His part as we put our faith in him and do ours.
“But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” ().
I love you all,
|On New Year's Eve, we hung out, ate LOTS of food, and videokied with these fun folks!|
|Happy New Year!|
|Going after the one lost sheep!|
|The kids of a recently reactivated family -- so fun!!!|