Friday, July 26, 2013

Hello all you wonderful people,
If anyone out there was doubting that there truly is opposition in every single thing, well let me tell you that there is. I have a personal witness of this principle. So I am going to share a couple of key experiences this week that I believe explain opposition with the upmost clarity. (hah.. )
Don't get me wrong this week has been an awesome week, but that is because the ups and downs have been so completely opposite that I really really appreciate the Up moments.
So lets start out with Tuesday. We are riding around on of bikes and it is actually probably only 94 degrees or so. I was feeling pretty good and we had a wonderful lesson with a lady named Maddie. We are riding away and out of NOWHERE a huge cloud comes billowing across the sun. At first I was like "WOO! That feels great".. but then it started to rain. Many of you are probably thinking "Wow I bet that rain felt pretty good since it was so hot" and it did feel good, but EVERYthing is bigger in Texas. Yes that includes the rain storms. hah So picture a couple of girls on bikes in rain so hard and thick that you can hardly see each other. The rain was coming in sheets not just drops. We laughed for a couple minutes straight at the pathetic situation we were in. We had rain ponchos so we put them on, but we were already soaked completely through by the time we got them out and on anyway. I have never witnessed rain like that before and I honestly had no idea what to do about it. After a couple mins the rain let up a little so we could at least see.. so we got back on our bikes and rode slowly through the flooding water to our next house.... Yes we still had work to do. We ended up just asking when we could come back instead of getting everything inside wet. Tuesday was the worst rain storm.. but every single day this week it has rained for a little while.. but I guess I would rather be wet from rain than from sweat so its alright. (The worst thing is when it rains after you have been sweating  for a little while so all the sweat is burning your eyes..) Can't you just picture our pathetic frames trudging through water in ridiculous rain ponchos?! hah Man, I wish I had a picture honestly! I am sure we at least gave some of the drivers a good laugh as they went by us. I know I would have laughed. :P
The other key moment this week happened on Friday. In the morning for studies we went to the computers to do some work with family history studies. We returned to our apartment around 12 and immediately realized that the air conditioning was not working... also the fridge was off.. the microwave was not working... and all the lights were out too. The power was off! Assuming that it was just something to do with the incessant rain and the breakers we called Apartment Matenience and they said they would have someone up there soon. By the time we were done eating lunch the guy still wasn't there, but we need to get out and start working so we left and went about our activities of the day. Around 7 that night we recieved a text message from the elders saying that someone had informed them that the power to our apartment had somehow been turned off... No knowing what to do and having another appointment we disreguarded the text for a minute and when to our lesson. (which by the way wasn't the greatest decision) After that we decided to go home a little early a figure out what was going on. We discovered our power to still be off with a note on our door saying that we needed to call the power company...
At this point we decided to call the housing coordinator who called the power company for us. He called us back asking why we didn't ask earlier, but we informed him that we had no idea what was even going on until 7. Anyway after a bunch of phone calls we found out that someone had ordered a shut off order for our power. At first I was worried it was some bill that we forgot to turn in to the office.. but we only get the ones for rent in our mail so it couldn't be that. Anyway long story short.. our power was off and there was no way to contact the power company until MONDAY MORNING. (THis is Friday night remember?)
We were then evacuated from our apartment with our clothing and missionary stuff. We emptied the fridge and freezer of all perishable items and brought them with us. We will given refuge with the Spanish sisters who live in the apartments on the very edge of our area. We were so grateful that we were at least not suuuper far away, but it did add a lot to our biking during the day. Plus, of course the sky still was having leakage problems...
We are currently still at the other apartment.. but our power should be back on soon.
The weirdest thing about all this was that the power company had no idea who ordered the shut off call. We are convinced it was Satan or something.. but guess what? We are still working!!! We are still pushing! and we have seen miracles this week!
We met a lady who accepted a visit from us and then accepted a baptisimal date for August 11th. We had a member call us up and say that they had a lady coming over to their house who wanted to have the missionary discussions. We were given so much love and support from our ward that we had meals every single night without fail. We met a ton of people on the street who we normally do not run into since we usually live in a different part of town. We had so much pity shown to us this week because we were almost always soaking wet. People were listening to us because we were so determined.
That is just a short list!
I also showed myself how strong I am. Nothing is going to come in between me and what God wants me to do. So many times this week I could have stopped. I could have quit, but that is what Satan wants from us! If he can push us to the point where we feel like we can't do one more thing then we will do his best to get us there. Sometimes all I could do was sing a hymn to myself while the rain came down. I prayed hard that my legs would just go numb already so I wouldn't feel them burning. I smiled. I forced myself to smile when we met new people even though the only thing I really wanted to do was get dry and take a nap. I tried to stay positive and never for a second forget how much I love my Savior.
Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes we have to endure instead of enjoy. The good news is your Savior is always there. In the garden He felt exactly what you are going through. He knows how helpless and weak I felt in the rain on my bike. He knows exactly how I feel because He felt that! He did the same for you!! This life is going to be hard, because that is the only way we will learn. One of my favorite quotes from Elder Holland is something like "Why should it be so easy for you, when it was so hard for Him?" He suffered more than any mortal frame could ever endure. He felt more pain then anyone before or since. The fact that we get to feel a little piece of that pain and sadness is a blessing! We can now appreciate all that He did for us! Without that taste we would never understand the enormous blessing that the Atonement is!
Without the hard times we would never know the good times. Without the pain we could never have happiness. God gives us trials to make us better and help us learn.
I'll admit that parts of this week were really hard, but parts of this week were my very favorite memories so far in my mission. If you can turn to God when the trials come then everything will work out in the end. My legs still hurt, my aparment is still without power, but that ok. Life goes on and God is still there. He is my Father and He is looking out for His little missionary. :) He has his angels all around me. My companion, my mission president, the Spanish Sisters, plus all the unseen angels holding me up at the end of the day when I don't feel like I can stay awake any longer.
I testify that the only way we can make it through the things that come up in our lives is if we turn to God and Jesus Christ. If all you can do is offer up a desperate prayer asking for some sort of peace I promise you will recieve it. Your Father in Heaven loves you more than you can possibly imagine. He understands your trials and knows how to get out of them. Turn to your Savior and let that Atonement take affect in our life.
I testify that God lives and that His Son Jesus Christ is the only hope that we have of returning to heaven one day. Let him help you in the big things and the small things.
This gospel is true and it changes lives.
Have a great week!
Sister Earl

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