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Monday, March 5, 2012

Mission Miracles

Spiritual Experiences/Small Miracles

My mission here in Argentina has blessed me with many spiritual
experiences, strengthening my faith and helping me grow closer to the
Lord. As you read about these special moments, hopefully something I
say will bring these same feelings of peace and comfort into your
lives as you strengthen your faith and testimony of the restored
gospel and of missionary work. Many of these moments here in the
Argentina Rosario mission, both big and small, have truly blessed my
life. For this reason, I have chosen to share many of them with you
all. I hope you like them :).

1) The blessing of the missionary gospel library. Aside from the
scriptures, church manuals, PMG, etc, we have the opportunity to read
"Jesus the Christ," "Our Search for Happiness," "Our Legacy," and
"True to the Faith." Of course, none of this is obligatory, and we
still set our main focus on the scriptures and Preach my Gospel. I
still have set a personal goal, however, to read the gospel library in
Spanish throughout my mission, a process that I started a couple months
ago. With four books to choose from, I didn't know exactly where to
start and decided to think it over for a bit. After a few days, I
started reading "Our Legacy" without really any specific intentions.
It just seemed to have a little more basic Spanish and learning more
about church history didn't sound too bad, either :). So that's how it
went. Almost every day, I would set aside a bit of study time to read
the book. A few weeks past, and we followed our normal routine until
one night when our ward mission leader called a special meeting with
us. That night he asked me to give a special talk about the pioneers
the following day at the ward activity. During that entire week I had
read about the pioneers and early beginnings of the church. In other
words, I had learned much of the vocabulary and felt prepared to give
the talk, which would have been much harder for me had I not read the
first half of "Our Legacy." This is one example of our small miracles
in the mission. I started reading that book for a purpose unknown the
weeks before. :)

2) Tower Contacts. In most areas of the mission, huge towers of
apartment complexes stick up into the skies and make me think of
downtown. Haha. We usually don't spend much time working with them,
especially when we have better options. We struggle with the towers a
bit since you can't get inside until someone sends an electric signal
down to the outside fence to open the door/entrance. So we must use
this huge box that functions as a weird, telephone-like gadget. It's
kinda similar to the machines you use to get into gated communities in
the states, just to give you a better idea. Between the telephone
machine, the odd environment, and the surrounding security fence, it
is extremely difficult to introduce ourselves and share our message.
Every once in a while we will still work with the towers (~1 a week)
to find people to teach. We know that people everywhere need to listen
to the gospel, even those who live in the skyscrapers :). So that's the
basic lowdown, and one day we decided to hit up the towers and test
our luck. We contacted the entire top floor and continued the process
of contacting each complex within the building. We where on the eighth
floor and had received many rejections when I punched one of the
numbers of a first-floor complex. Kinda weird, but then a humble and
meek voice sounded from the voice box, inviting us in to talk and
drink some juice. Excited and curious, we passed through the gate as
soon as she sent the electric signal. After entering to her humble
apartment and talking for a few minutes, she told us that she had been
waiting for a messenger from a church, and that she had recently prayed
for help in her life. A few minutes after the prayer, her buzzer rang
and she talked with us, the missionaries. Of course during the
conversation we mentioned that we had a special message that could
change her life, just what she was looking for in this moment of her
life. Simply put, she believes that we were the answer to her prayer.
Once again, a mini miracle in my eyes :).

3) The Book of Mormon. I recently finished reading it for the second
time in Spanish. Right now, I have decided to focus on the New
Testament during my scripture study too, to try and have a rounded
scriptural knowledge and testimony. Both books have slowly changed
both my life and perspective as I serve down here in Argentina. Not
only have these books helped me with my teaching and missionary work
in general, but they have blessed my personal testimony with strength
and assurance, which grows a little everyday. The scriptures
themselves are a mini miracle and a tool we can use throughout the
bumpy roads of life :). Even more importantly for me, I have read them
in a completely different language twice now, another small miracle in
my life and from my mission. When I look back from when I started my
mission to this very moment, I can see the divine help sent to me
during my mission service.

And these are just three of my spiritual experiences described above,
and I know each of us has small miracles each day of our lives--some
too personal to describe. We just need to pay attention, and with time
we will see the Lord's hand touch our lives :).

Elder Rory Jones

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