Monday, March 30, 2015

Giving Blessings

That is a bummer Noah didn't get his call! For sure next week I went to hear where you are going, little bro. But that is awesome Adam and Chelsea are having a boy! That is super duper awesome! My vote is to give him a cool Book of Mormon name. Moroni Anderson. Sounds pretty good, eh? Sorry to hear you aren't doing well mom. I hope you get well soon. I am pretty happy you got through the OT though. Gee wiz, that book confuses me a lot... maybe someday I'll build up the courage to really dig into it. Abbey, you stated your routine as if it's a bad thing! Seminary is great, school is great, homework can be fun, and sleep is a true joy! What's not to like? 

I think the highlight of this week was how many priesthood blessings we got to give. During this one week we gave not one, not two, not three or four, or even five or six, but TWENTY THREE blessings! Let me tell you, my Priesthood is well exercised. One of our investigators, Nirmala, took us to a lot of her friends and relatives and asked us to give them all blessings. This week we gave blessings for everything from financial problems to shoulder pains, leg pains to diabetes, and even a couple that has been trying for 8 years to get pregnant. Really, it has been a pretty awesome experience seeing so many people's faith. Even though they are not members and don't know what the priesthood really is, they have faith that God can heal them. And many of them told us that they DID recover after the blessing! I know my testimony of the priesthood is still growing, so it has been a great week for me to be able to use the priesthood so much. I always feel the Spirit so strongly after giving a blessing to someone. 

We also went and blessed one of our member's construction site. They are building a new home for themselves. It was really weird though.... so they live like a 100 second walk from their construction site, but they wouldn't come with us to dedicate the site! I guess they didn't want to walk over there? So the only people that were at the construction site were a couple of construction workers, who of course speak zero English, so me and Elder Peter couldn't even explain to them what we were doing. So we just awkwardly stood in a corner of the site and I gave a small prayer... really weird experience. 

This week as we talked to one of our investigators, Paul, I realized how different I have become on my mission. Paul and I are both 21 years old, but as I look at him and his life I realized that he is almost exactly what I would be like if I had just been at home for the last 2 years, but not at all what I am like now. I will be forever grateful for the great changes in myself that I have been able to experience because I came to serve the Lord. 

This week we did a little bit of door knocking. We have to be very careful though, and make sure we are only knocking on Christian doors, because of all the Hindu stuff that is going on in politics nowadays. It was a lot of fun! We were invited in by semi drunk old guy who fed us some delicious rice with tomato curry, and then he showed us his daughter's maturity function photos. I had to introduce Elder Peter as to what a maturity function is. Apparently they don't have those in north India, so he thought they are as weird and hilarious as I do! Haha a giant party to celebrate a girl being able to give birth to children... I guess in reality that IS something we should celebrate, right? It's a great blessing from God! 

This week we have also had a lot of touching experiences with Jude (remember? He is the guy that asked tons and tons of questions when we taught him). This week his mom was admitted to the hospital. And her condition is very, VERY serious. She is having lung and kidney failure, and is in ICU right now. Obviously I can't really fully imagine what it feels like for them, but I tried to put myself in their shoes and could easily see just how painful it must be for their family right now. The first day she went into the hospital they had a good 10-15 family members at the hospital. Since then she has been in the hospital for 3 or 4 days, and they keep family members there round the clock. They will take shifts who stays there, so that she will always have someone with her. Jude told us that he knows many pastors, but he has faith in us, and that is why he asked for us to come and pray and bless his mom. Constantly his family is telling us that they know only by God's grace can their mom/wife be healed. 

To be honest, I feel completely inadequate in these situations. What I am supposed to say as 10 people surround me with tears in their eyes, many of them being 10-20 years older than me, and expecting me to make the problem better? What can I possibly say to bring comfort these people that are suffering so much? We have visited them 3 times this week, gave a blessing once, and prayed the other two times, and I have done my best to testify of God and His power, but oh how I wish I had greater words to give them... I was reminded of a time a few years ago that Bishop Anderson (Dad) was asked to give a prayer at a funeral. I remember he typed up a prayer, and put a lot of thought into what he could say to comfort the people there. At the time, I thought that that was kind of weird (come on, giving a prayer is easy, right?), but not I can totally understand his feelings... I wish I had had a nice typed prayer that I could use! 

I feel the Spirit so strongly as I am with this family during their great trial. Their faith is superb. And whenever I go over to the hospital it really does wonders to put all of my small little problems into proper perspective. 

On the 3rd time we were heading out of the hospital, as soon as we got out onto the sidewalk, we saw a YSA guy tear by on the street on a very powerful motorcycle. After he raced out of sight, it made me think about how unintelligent and careless he was being. After just being with a family that is in near hysterics because their mom is quite possibly going to die, it was a very stark contrast to see someone who apparently did not have much understanding for how valuable his life is. How inconsiderate to risk your own life! Ya, if you die, great. Whooppy-dee-doo. No sweat for you really. But it is your FAMILY that is going to pay the price. They are the ones that are going to have their lives turned upside down because you thought it would be fun to have some thrills on your motor bike. It gave me added resolution that one, I will never break the speed limit (knowing that the speed limit is calculated by professionals who are allowing you to go as fast as you possibly can without increasing your danger of death), and two, that I am going to be more careful with my life in general. It really is sad to see how one person's death can hurt their family so much.

All in all, I would say I learned a lot this week. Even in the last month of my mission, I am always amazed at how much I have to learn!

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