Sunday, May 26, 2013

Indescribably Happy

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to see one of my dear friends who I taught in my first area get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. That also meant the wonderful opportunity for me to go back to my first area for the first time in almost 2 years (I left in September 2011).

So I had this paragraph here about all the growth and little miracles that were so visible to me being back after such a long absence, but it got deleted. Just know that it was such a wonderful tender mercy and miracle for me to be able to see all these large, but gradual, changes that I bet the members or the missionaries that either just arrived or have been going from week to week don't even notice. But I saw them. And it was such a great blessing to know that I was an instrument in the hand of the Lord that brought about that. And I was just so proud of those members and all the work and change that they have done. It was especially fitting since a member of the Area Presidency was visiting and spoke about how real, true Gospel growth is not about quantity or speed, neither of which apply to a ward that has been considered "dead" in missionary work for about 2 years. But it's about quality, which is what I saw so much of today. Which is what allowed me to love these people so much 2 years ago, and so much today when I felt so proud that they were actually running a functioning ward full of loving people who know and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (As a side note, it was also interesting, since the last time I was in this ward I did not speak Russian anywhere near as well as I do know, and was also a lot shyer because I was still trying to figure out the language and who I was as a missionary, but that's all gone now and I could just talk freely with whomever I wanted and they responded and it was just great)
God is good, my friends. He is so so so good. I am so amazed at how being back in Moscow, He shows me almost every day some little reminder of all the good that I helped do on my mission. Because, honestly, so many people don't get that. But for me it is such a tender mercy because there have been so many days when, even though I know that I did my best and God accepts that sacrifice and that it was more for me than for other people and etc etc etc, that I still feel bummed or sad that I didn't see more visible success. But now I am seeing it. Through Sabina. Through my 3 wards/branches (aka the BEST приходы in the world). Through other missionaries. And it is such a miracle to me.

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