Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

I hope all is well. I hope dad and Olivia had a very happy BIRTHDAY! This past week has been quite eventful. The Portuguese, Russian and French missionaries left this Tuesday. We got native Italians, Russians and one Portuguese native now. It's fun but the only common link language is broken English. Sometimes Spanish is better understood.

When I went to the park this week I was with Elder Duersch. His father died about 3 years ago I think. President Packer felt today that at the park everyone would feel the presence of angels (D&C 84 88) on our right and our left bearing us up. And Elder Duersch and I felt the presence of our loved ones. I believe Uncle Randy was in the metro and the park with us that day. I felt the spirit strongly and although it didn't guide me where to go as much as it had the times before we acted in faith and found the people we needed to. Every time Elder Duersch bore his Testimony of how much God loved each person they had tears in their eyes. It was so cool. Every time we stopped we felt such a strong peace come over us.

Towards the end of our park experience Elder Duersch felt strongly about giving thanks to God for the loving, friendly people we got to meet. Before we started that prayer I felt strongly that a sister needed to talk to a lady with groceries at the end of a bench in the metro about 100 yards away. So I asked a sister from my district to do so (it was Hermana Ober and her companion was Hermana Black) and they said she was super prepared to hear the Gosepl. I'm glad for their faith to act on my prompting. And mom, Hermana Blacks mom says hi.

My Walmart watch is destroyed. I tried to be an engineer and fix it but right now it is on like it's 9th life. I need to send a picture. The strap came off so we (I've had some help, it's been a group effort) sewed the strap back on. Then the metal bar came off. I found put of a nail on the ground and ended up cutting that with a Leatherman and sewing it to that piece which worked pretty well. And then I found a pin to go across it and that has worked the best because it actually fit the holes. But now I'm losing hope for it haha. Oh and the back light broke and come back on for a couple times but it's broken again. It's been an adventure. I'm borrowing someone's watch now haha. But this adventure gave me faith I can fix my luggage! If I had the right tools it would be an easy fix but we shall see what I can do. [He wanted to take a cheap watch so he wouldn't get mugged for his nice one, the valuable life lesson's of a mission].

This week my companion also felt strongly that we needed to try the companion study in the back of chapter 6. Our companion studies had been solely planning lessons up to this point or additional personal study. Never had we done one together really. But when we prayed before starting I felt the spirit the most I had in probably three days. It just hit me. And I read the things I needed to hear. Afterwards we had a great discussion. Elder Haines found in D&C 58:26-28 that we have the power within ourselves to do great things. It is within ourselves that we have the power to grow and learn Spanish but we need to call on God so we can exercise that power. And we found in Moroni 9 6 a gem. You need to read it. Talks about having a work to do in this tabernacle of clay... which the CCM [MTC in Spanish] is covered in brick. It changed my view of the work here and I realized I need to keep in mind that we are training to fight against the enemy of all righteousness, that we are using our Spanish skills for good things.

Up until that point I struggled with the pains in my back. I have some exercises I'm doing now and it is feeling quite a bit better. Not perfect but the more I focus on the work the less I feel those pains. The other night I prayed because it was hurting me a lot. I asked if I could be strengthened and if God was still going to keep His promise that my back would not interfere with my service. And I have verse 3 of How Firm A Foundation come into my mind : " 3.Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand "

Those were the exact words I needed. And then God told me that I needed to stopped worrying, that if I forget about myself in the work, He will bless me with the miracles that I need. I know He is watching over me and my family and friends also. The peace and comfort from the Spirit is so amazing. I know God cares about all of His children and loves each of us so personally and so much.

I thought about Olivia on her birthday and Dad on his. On Olivia's birthday I was reminded of how much she helped shape my Testimony.

Also, I had a really uncomfortable feeling yesterday  (Sept 14). And others had the feeling too. Was there something really bad that happened in the world that we missed? It was weird to feel so off. Not sure what the cause was. [Not sure if there was something missed in the news, but there was a Real Madrid soccer game not far from them]

I hope Thaniel has a great b-day! 
Love you all so much!
Elder Openshaw

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