Sunday, March 20, 2016

What a week! (2/8/2016)

Hey everyone!  i will never forget this week.  It has been very unique.  So Monday went well and normal.  Then on tuesday I was on a division and we didn't get basically anything... no new investigators, no lessons with investigators, basically nothing.  It was just walking around contacting knocking doors and no one was home to talk with us.  I got home and on top of it all I felt sick during the day but I didn't want to go home without being able to teach someone so I decided to stay out.  Well I payed for that,  on Wednesday I was basically in bed all day because of how sick I was.  My companion was able to work with another missionary in our area but he too had no luck in getting results.  Then comes Thursday and I still feel like garbage so the morning we stayed inside from working while I rested.  But then at night I felt bad for staying in and not working so even though I wasn't feeling good at all I decided I will sacrifice and then the Lord will bless us.....  That night we also were not able to teach anyone despite working at night.  I was like man this is hard....  I am sick and still working but we STILL are not having success.  Then Friday also in the morning I was not able to go out until a little after luch.  I felt a little better but still not well.  But I kept thinking...  If I make the sacrifice today the Lord will bless us with a family or some sort of success.  Friday nightcomes and again despite our efforts were had no success the entire day.  By this time I was really feeling frustrated and many of those doubts come into your head along with your discouragemente and frustration.  It also didn't help that the other Elders that live with us were also sick and they made the sacrifice went out and the first door they knocked they found a new family to teach.  By this time I was like what is going on....  on the verge of just throwing my hands in the air and saying I am done!  But then I calmed down and thought ok the Lord just wants me to perservere tomorrow we are bound to find and teach people and find some people to take to church.  So I wake up Saturday still feeling pretty sick but we did our weekly planning saturday morning and we started working right after lunch and the greatest thing happened.......  it started to rain, after an hour or two of walking in the streets doing what we can to spread our gospel message the rain started to get stronger and we still hadn't had any success the whole week!  I was like NO we NEED to find someone, we are the zone leaders and need to set the example but this week our results are no where near where I would like we are going to stay out here.  After about another hour the rain got really bad, we (even with umbrelllas) got soaking wet and my umbrella kept breaking......  There I was.... sick, wet, frustrated, discouraged, a little revolted and still with no success.  It got too bad we had to go back to the house.
When we got in, I threw my bag down changed my clothes and sat in my chair just sitting there staring at the ground and thinking.... why....  I feel horrible physically but I still left to work, after days of no success at all I still left to show determination.  I feel as if I sacrificed so much, why couldn't we see some of the blessings like the other Elders saw...  

I knelt down and I remember saying someting like... God I am frustrated and full of doubts and questions.  If this work is divine where is the help after so much sacrifice.  As I open the scriptures right now help me to find something, comfort, encouragement something....  and I finished my prayer....  As I said amen I felt more peace and I randomly opened my quad.  it fell first in Daniel 12 when I read this verse "35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."  I felt a bit better but then through foot notes I was led to this scripture that changed everything in Zecariah 13:9
 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

as I read the verse a powerful spirit entered into my heart as if to say, "Brandon don't you doubt.... I am right here."  I couldn't help but begin to cry.  I was once again blessed with an answer to my prayer right in that moment.  I know that He was there not only in that moment but also outside in the rain.  My heart was completley softened and humbled.  God answers prayers, I know that is true.  He is aware of our struggles and above all He loves us.  there is an end to this story but I don't have time to tell it now nor does it matter very much.  I learned a very valuable lesson this week and I grew closer to my Heavenly Father because of this experience.

My message to all of you going through the "fire"  keep on enduring, in prayer, in scripture study.  He is there even when you feel He is not but we all need to pass through the fire to be purified, refined, and even perfected.  

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!:)

Elder Eldredge

(sorry for the long e mail)

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