Monday, December 2, 2013

To everything wunway

Dear Family,

This last week, our whole zone thought it was Thanksgiving for the entire Thursday. Then at 10pm we realized... well, it wasn't. So Happy Thanksgiving, again!

This week was entirely up and down. On Monday we took a 3 hour drive round trip to visit Biw's parents with him to explain to them why Biw wanted to be baptized. With the Branch President and his wife, we traveled there and back with a successful: "I feel really good about him being in such a safe environment with these kind of principles." and his dad said if he could, he'd like to go learn for himself.

So the week goes on and I get a call that there is a funeral for a member's mom. I don't recognize the member's name, nor the mom's name, but I feel very impressed that I need to be there. I go, and I see the photo of the mom. I look to Sis Packard in disbelief. I know that lady. I've seen her picture before. I go through my mind and see the photo in our investigators binder. In that photo, she is sitting next to the one Thai I met in the MTC.

Her daughter.

My heart sunk as I thought to a note that this missionary had written me in the MTC: 'Go find my mom!' with an address and number. Now that I could READ it, I realized all the information was there, in Thai. I hadn't made the connection. I had called this sweet mom before but never knew the sister missionary's nickname.

I ended up playing the violin at her funeral. Kind of came full circle since meeting the daughter til then. But I felt at peace that I HAD called this woman several times, but she had been unavailabley sick the whole time. I could not beat myself up over it, because there really was nothing I could have done to change the circumstances. But I do wish I could have seen her before her passing to lend comfort.

So after that somewhat bizarre reunion, the next day we had a baptism. My brain went from deaths to rebirths.

And a miracle happened! A miracle literally happened. Biw told me, "Sister, my dad is not coming. He's just not. He won't."

As I played my musical number, just before the last speaker and the baptisms would occur, I saw the glass door open. A man came in. At a rest in the music, I recognized him: it was Biw's father, having traveled hours away to come, despite work and other business.

He sat on the front row and saw Biw baptized. What a glorious miracle watching his father's face soften.

And the other miracle? Get this. That night two investigators came: one boy we met at the market who we invited to come, and he brought a friend.

The next day, he walks in to the church with two NEW friends. And then 5 minutes later, one gets up and invites in the next friend. And 4 minutes after that? Two of them get up and lead in one last friend.

I sat on the row in the church, with 5 young souls sitting in between me and Sis Packard, with one more on the end: Jellybean.

The Lord prepares his children, and those who are prepared will lead in their friends, and all will sit down together and be edified.

Despite what happens, no matter what wind or waves, no matter how much we would like things to go a different way sometimes: God is constant. He is so good. Everything good can be found in Christ: everything we need to sustain ourselves can be found in a Christ-centered life. The next time we meet, you'll see me walking on that path towards Him. I want Him at my center. For in Him, there is peace. And for Him, there is promise.

That everything 'wunway' (chaotic and potentially heartaching) can be made "still". And we can see clearer than ever before, and walk on a path that we know is correct, even if we don't know just yet exactly what we're doing. I know it's possible. I've seen miracles, and they don't stop just because we don't see the angels.

In this case, for me, I watched a not-yet-understanding boy of 17 just bring 4 of his friends to feel what he felt, not knowing what it yet was, but he wanted to share it.

For in Him, the Savior, there is peace.

Sister Painter

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