Monday, April 11, 2016

What a Glorious Week

Hello!   What a glorious week.

Four things.
1. Irma Peck and I auditioned with "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" for any event, and we were selected to sing AT THE SUNDAY NIGHT DEVOTIONAL. What an incredible honor. I still can't believe it happened. It was the largest audience I have ever performed for so I was feeling a little sick beforehand, so I prayed "Heavenly Father, I just want to invite the Spirit and touch people. I don't care if we don't sound good as long as we can do that. Please help me feel peace!" And WHOOSH! my whole body relaxed and I couldn't stop smiling. Of course it wasn't the best performance, but I have had so many people come up to me and tell them that it touched their hearts, or it made them cry, or it was exactly what they needed to hear. Mission accomplished. :) (Hopefully, we will have a recording of this performance posted here soon.)
The District -- Last Days Together
2. The visa ordeal has been such an emotional roller coaster for poor Sister Ludlam. First, my mission portal changed, saying I was reassigned to Ogden, Utah. Second, I received a travel itinerary, which said I was laying over in Atlanta, and then going to Sao Paulo on April 20th. Third, the portal changed back to Ogden, and I check the Brazilian Consulate website which said my Visa is still in the process. Fourth, I went to the Travel Office and they said I won't know until this Thursday. SO! I'll let you all know next week where I am going! Sister Peck has her visa and is leaving the 18th! Elder Rasmussen and Elder Hernandez are copying me and going to Ogden! I'll be pumped regardless because "I'll Go Where [He] Wants Me to Go!!" I'm guessing they're sending us all to Ogden because our visas are so close and they don't want to fly us out and then right back when we get our visas a few weeks later.

3. Each day, Irmao Read changes my life. Sister Peck and I always joke that we want him to adopt us when we get back so we can stay with him forever. There are so many amazing things he did this week to share, but I will just share two.
     a. Part way through a lesson, he stopped. He did that thing where he gets silent for a few seconds. And then completely dropped the lesson and pulled up the story of when Peter walks to Jesus on the water. "And Peter answered Him and said Lord, if it be Thou, bid me to come unto Thee on the water. And He said Come. And when Peter had come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." And then Irmao Read said something like "Can you imagine being Peter? Standing on the edge of the boat, looking down at the huge waves, and what must have been going through his mind as he took that first step? And you can't just step off a boat, you have to leap. And that is when miracles happen." I knew what was coming. "What can you do to take that first step off the boat to show your faith in the Savior?" He then challenged us to only speak Portuguese for our remaining two weeks, and promised us the miracle that we would be fluent by the time we left the MTC if we were diligent. The Spirit was so strong, I knew that wasn't a promise from Irmao Read, it was a promise from God.
     b. Teachers don't have to do this, but Irmao Read does personal check-ups on us. He began asking questions, but the love I had for him just boiled over, I couldn't contain it all. I began to cry (which I have never done here, can you believe it?? Only with Sister Peck!) and pour out the love our district has for our beloved Irmao Read. Then the questions began to come, and to each he listened lovingly, pondered silently for a moment, and then would open a scripture. The answer to one specific question I feel impressed to share: When I finished asking my question, he said "I had a feeling this scripture was your answer before you asked it." He read in the first book of the prophet Nephi. Nephi's brothers were asking him all these questions, to which he responded by asking a simple question: "Have ye inquired of the Lord?" 1 Nephi 15:8. Irmao Read then said "Your situation is so unique, and I only have the limited experience and knowledge to give your guidance. The Lord has literally felt, in every sense of the word, what you are going through, and He is all knowing. Why not ask Him?" And that was that. So I inquired of the Lord, having faith that He would respond. And I received an answer. Just that simple. As someone once said, "You have the Savior of the world on your side. If you seek His guidance, how can you fail?" I love this gospel.

4. I have felt a peace throughout this week unlike anything I have ever felt before. I have been studying and pondering Elder Holland’s talk, "Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You." Yes, I know this talk touched millions of lives, but boy, I think God had him say those words just for me. The MTC has been the most incredible experience I've ever had, but I would be lying if I said I have been pleased with myself during my time here. Over and over, I fail at commitments, and I feel as if I am wasting the Lord’s time. But that talk gave me so much HOPE! I WANT to be the best missionary I can be for my Savior, and that means something. Ever since hearing and studying that talk, I have felt that He is proud of me. I have always KNOWN He is proud and loves me even though I am a stink, but I felt it this week. What I would not do to always feel that love! And I can! It is not that He suddenly started loving me after I read that talk, He always has and now I am letting it in. Just let Him love you!! And read/listen to the talk here! ;)

Love your favorite missionary,

Irma Pidge

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