Highlight of the week: It is 15 degrees right now and rumor has it that it is going to get up to 40 by the end of the week! Miracles!! Sister Cox and I figured out that we have not been above freezing in almost 4-1/2 months, so we are pretty stoked. We had interviews this last week and our president told us that since the Barrow area has been closed for two transfers now, we are the missionaries serving in the coldest area. So, that is pretty cool (literally).
We also had Zone Conference this past weekend, and it is always so good to see our president and his wife. They actually were able to attend our ward on Sunday. We had a family that we had never met walk into the church out of the blue, and they weren't even members. It was really cool to have them there and have the opportunity to teach them with our mission president and his wife in attendance. Once again, miracles!
This week has been so crazy. We spent a lot of time at the doctor's office for Sister Cox, and they were able to figure out what is going on. This meant that we were able to be in Fairbanks a lot. We were able to do a lot of service at the food bank, which is always my favorite. The people that volunteer there are also my favorite! None of them are members, and we always end up having such good discussions about the Church. They all have a lot of respect for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We also had an awesome lesson with the Garza family--literally one of my favorite families I have ever met. While we were preparing for the lesson, I had this silly thought that came into my head that prompted me to get the 10-year-old boy a pinewood derby car for the Pinewood Derby the next day. We made a bunch of calls and had some awesome members that helped us out a ton! I seriously love this ward!! That night at our lesson, which was seriously the funnest lesson ever, we surprised him with the car. That kid was seriously so happy; I love that kid so much! Anyway, they were able to come to the Pinewood Derby the next night and had such a good time. I am looking so forward to their next lesson. We taught them about the Restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon. The kids were just so excited to start reading, and we answered so many questions.
I had a lot of experiences this week where I felt the Spirit so strongly and truly taught by the Spirit, which were some of the coolest experiences. Quickly, one that was really cool was last Monday. Sister Cox and I went to one of our favorite less-active homes and had this lesson all planned. We waked in, and the lady had had a really rough day and opened up to us. As I was sitting there and listening, I had this strong impression to turn to Ether 12:27 and shared it with her.
Ether 12:27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
As the sister read it, she got emotional and said to me, "That was for me, from Heavenly Father, wasn't it?" And, yes, it was. The experience was sooo cool. Heavenly Father knew what she needed to hear and used me, a missionary, to share it with her. I felt so blessed to know that Heavenly Father is aware of each and every person, and that I was able to be used as an instrument in His work. He really truly is aware of us all, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to see how much love He has for each person we meet with.
Along with this experience, I have reflected a lot on my mission and the experiences I have had, the people I have met, the trials I have been faced with, and the moments that my testimony was strengthened! Many times throughout the week I was so emotional and grateful for all of these experiences. As I looked back, I realized how aware Heavenly Father is about each of us. He knows exactly whose lives we need to touch, and who needs to touch our lives. He knows the trials that we are faced with and blesses us with these trials so that we can get close to Him. He gives us these experiences that will strengthen our testimony more and more each day. I am so thankful for the experiences I have had, the people I have met that have left a lasting impression on my life, the trials that I have faced, and the help I have received from my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, to over come them, and the moments I have had that I will never forget where my testimony was strengthened more than I could have ever imagined. Missions are incredible; if you get the chance to go, GO!
I love the Gospel; I know that it is true. I know that we have a living, loving Heavenly Father that knows what we need and when we need it. He has a plan for us. In the moment the plan might not make sense, but as time goes by, we will realize He loves us and knows what we need. Sorry for the long rant. I have so much more I want to share but am out of time. I love you all and hope you have such a good week!
Love, Sister Lake