Saturday, July 13, 2013

Notwithstanding My Weakness

Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:13 PM
Subject: "Notwithstanding My Weakness"

1st of all, once again, I am not in Argentina haha. This week is transfers so we had P-day on Tuesday. I found out last night that I am being transferred, so don't send anything to Warren anymore, you can just send letters to the mission office for now, and they will forward them to me.
This week was one of the best weeks of my mission so far. We found out Wednesday that Elder Payne is training again, so we knew one of us was leaving, so we wanted to make this the best week. At first we were both a little anxious to find out what is going on, but after a few minutes I realized it's not really a big deal. I already know what I am going to do, I am going to go wherever the Lord wants me to, and work my heart out. So that's what we did, we just went to work and stopped worrying.
On Tuesday, we met with Mirah. Mirah is doing so well. It makes me so happy seeing her progress and seeing her light as she continues to act and become more converted. We had a lesson on faith with her that was awesome, she talked about her faith and experiences she has had when she has had to take a step into the dark, not knowing what was going to happen, but trusting in God. We invited her to do that, to exercise her faith and trust in God by coming to church and feeling His spirit. Mirah was supposed to come the last 2 weeks, but things came up and she couldn't go the 2 weeks previous. When we said that to her she cut us off and said, "Oh, I am going! I told everyone, all my kids, my husband, 'leave me alone on Sunday. I'm not babysitting. I'm using the car. And I can't do anything for you because I am going to church!' " When she said that Elder Payne and I just lit up. We were so happy. She was totally determined to come, and she did. When she walked into the doors Sunday, words cannot describe the joy that came and the spirit that we felt as we saw her come in. Ahhh. It was awesome. As missionaries, we can only teach and invite. But when people decide to ACT for themselves, that is when conversion happens, and it brought us so much happiness to see that with Mirah.
Then on Wednesday, we had a lesson with the Pagan family. Last week, Lucy was adament that she would not join another church or go. So once again, I had no idea what even to talk about with her. As we started talking she told us about a dream that she had. A dream where she was in a hospital bed dying. She said she thought it was God telling her that she needs to make changes in her life and "die" and become a new person. When she woke up she said she could only think about us. She knew that we were sent from God to help her and that she needed to come to Church. That was definitely a miracle. Heavenly Father really is touching the hearts of His children preparing them to receive the gospel. It is just up to them to act on it and accept it. Sadly Lucy didn't this week, she ended up not coming to church, but I know Heavenly Father will continue to guide her and invite her.
So on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I had been praying asking Heavenly Father to "please guide us to someone, even just one person who needs us. Who really needs help and uplifting." All day Wednesday, I talked with everyone trying to help them, but didn't seem to find anyone who really needed help. We headed home at about 8:50 and had like 10 minutes before we needed to be home, so we went to stop by someone's house, they weren't home, but then I felt like we should go a different way home. We then ran into Janniss who was sweeping out her garage. We offered to help, then strated talking with her. We  found out that she had just gotten back from the hospital. Her mom is in bad health close to death and she is really struggling with it. I shared Alma 40:9-11 with her and my testimony. We talked with her about God's love, said a prayer with her, and left her with a Book of Mormon. We told her how much peace it has brought to our lives. She said she would read it. I know Christ is SO involved in this work and he really will guide us if we ask for it and work for it.
I don't have much time, but lastly, on Sunday at church, Anna came again. We have started meeting with her seperately because she is progressing more than the P family and she lives somewhere different. It has been awesome to talk with her one on one and find out how much she really loves the Book of Mormon. At Church I translated for her. I know I say this every week too, but the gift of tongues is REAL! I sat there thinking about it, and this makes no sense. It is incredible that I am able to do this. It really is amazing, I wish I could explain it more, but it just is beyond description. It is not me at all.
I am really sad to leave Warren. Especially because the Ps and Anna especially will have no one to teach them. It scares me, and I am kind of worried for that. But I really know that Heavenly Father knows so much more than me, and He will do His work in His own time, so I just need to trust. I know I really was in Warren for a reason, even though Anna hasn't been baptized yet, I was able to share with her the true gospel of Jesus Christ, I was able to share with her "El Libro de Mormon", which has already began to change her life. And God sent me, a brand new 18 year old missionary who speaks broken Spanish, to Warren Ohio to give that to her and to others. The Lord watches out for each one of us individually.
I wish I had time to tell you about all the miracles that we saw this week. I have never been more tired at the end of each day and I love it. I am so excited about this work. It means everything to me. I was studying in 2 Nephi 33 this week, this is at the very end of Nephi's life. He says the phrase "Notwithstanding my weakness" and it really hit me. I compared how he was feeling earlier in his life in 2 Nephi 4 to then. Earlier he was feeling down, he had great faith but was so overcome by his weaknesses. He just wanted to be really good, but felt like he wasn't good enough. At the end of that chapter (4), he says that he knows where to turn, to the Lord. Then at the end of his life, he says that he was still able to do these things "Notwithstanding his weakness" . He didn't let his own weaknesses get in the way of doing what the Lord wanted him to do. He came to learn that it is okay that he has weaknesses because he can do great things through the Lord . That was something I have been learning more, I know I really do have a lot of weaknesses, but "notwithstanding my weakness" I can do the Lord's work because He breaks through my weaknesses and makes up the difference. That goes for everyone. The Lord trusts YOU. He knows you have weaknesses, but He has called YOU to serve him, and notwithstanding your weakness, YOU can do great things for the Lord because it is not you doing this work. We just have to stop focussing on our weaknesses and focus on the Savior.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week. This work is true!


Elder Heath Tenney

"I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord"

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