Monday, November 24, 2014

Still Refining - November 24, 2014

I have been loving this experience so far on the U of A campus!  It has
been so much fun to talk to people of all sorts.  We met a guy from China.
He came with us to the institute right after meeting us and it happened to
be FHE night.  He was able to meet a lot of people and we had a lesson.  We
have met with him 2 times since then and he has come to quite a few
activities and firesides that we have had since this last week.  Oh my
goodness it is the greatest experience with him!  He comes from his
communist background and we have been teaching him about the light of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He always says things like, "I will bring these
glad tidings to my friends and family when I return home."  And after the
FHE night, when we met with him the following morning, he told us, "I
called my family last night and I told them not to worry about me because I
have found a family here." Ah! Almost every time we meet with him he has me
in tears.  He tells us about all of the sad things that happen in his home
town.  My heart breaks and I just want to cry out to them all and tell them
that they are SO loved and watched over.  I wish I could just pick them up
and carry them to safely into the arms of the Gospel and the security of
our Savior.  We actually meet quite a few Chinese people here...I have a
feeling that this spreading the good word to them here may ignite the
starting of spreading the Gospel there where it has not yet been.  The only
sad thing about that is that these people are too scared to get baptized
here because of what will happen there...We will continue to follow the
Spirit and invite them to act and to join (:

I have just been seeing miracle after miracle.  If you aren't sure that God
hears you, well...He does! Even the simplest pleadings of our hearts.  I
have been focusing on praying specifically and have been answered in that
same specific manner.  And these are the littlest things, too! Not even
giant wishes...just small requests.  For example, when we met that guy on
Monday, we wanted to give him a folleto about the Restoration...we went to
get one from our car and I wasn't seeing any!  So I just said in my heart,
"well, I'm just going to stick my hand in this box and grab one.  Let it be
the Restoration." And it was.

Oh!! I rode a bike for the first time in this mission experience!  Since I
am an STL and we have to go on exchanges every week, I get to experience
every facet of this great work! I loved riding a bike!! I was just smiling
from ear to ear and waving hello to every single person I saw. I was going
as fast as I could because I was just having so much fun! haha (and being
safe, of course) (:  They probably thought I was crazy! Some happy girl in
a skirt on a bike in the middle of Tucson traffic.  haha oh the joys! (:

As for the rest of the week...I got permission to go down to Nogales and
attend the funeral of my dear friend.  When I got there they told me they
knew I would come and so they had me lead the music and participate in 2
musical numbers haha.  I didn't even cry that much! That was a miracle.
We have been having more interesting times with some of the sisters in our
zone and so I got to be on a split or exchange with a different sisters hmm
like 4 times this last week? haha and last night Sister Ah Sue and I slept
on the floor of a sisters' apartment because...well we just needed to be
there! In Sister Passey's words: welcome to leadership, Hermana Hurst.

I just want to end by saying that I am loving the process of continuing my
personal refining.
I looked up the word 'refine' and found it to mean: To free from impurities
or waste matter; to improve, perfect; to free or become free of what is
coarse or uncouth...
How appropriate to strive to refine oneself and to become free of the
worldly impurities that pollute our daily lives.  A refinery, I also found,
is a building and equipment for refining...
Thus our refinery, or the building or equipment used to refine us, is those
well-known answers of church, scriptures, temples, and we
strive to keep the commandments and have that abiding trust in our Lord and
Savior, or in other words, hope, we will become free from the worldly
impurities that often dim our light and weaken our faith.
Always know that we can change.
"Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when
we speak of it.  It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace.  Rather
than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for
true celebration." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson)

Shine on. (:

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