Sunday, May 22, 2016

E-mail May 16, 2016: "Wow, prayer does work!"

I've been taught my entire life that if we need something we can pray for it, and I've had my prayers answered many times before, especially during my childhood. These last few weeks though prayer has taken on a newer meaning for me. I've spent a lot of time on my knees recently as I've tried to overcome obstacles and my own weaknesses. As I've started to rely on the Lord and His grace a little more my prayers have started to become much more meaningful. I'll admit that at times especially after a long day when I just want to flop on my bed without another thought prayer has felt a little burdensome. Recently though as I've prayed for strength and specific blessings, my eyes have been opened to be able to see the answers when they come. As I've recognized answers it's made me want to pray more, and the more I pray the more answers and help I get. My faith has been strengthened these last few weeks as I've rediscovered the power of prayer, and I'd like to include one small experience where a specific prayer was answered.

On Saturday we met a mother and daughter living next to one of our members who want to learn more about Jesus Christ. They're christian and happily invited us into their home but unfortunately we learned that the mother doesn't speak any English. Generally when we find someone who doesn't speak English they won't ever come to church because they can't understand it, so imagine our surprise when yesterday morning we got a phone call from this sister telling us that she was waiting for us at the church. We explained about what would happen before during the meetings and then sat next to them during sacrament meeting. I was hoping that someone would give a talk in Telugu so that our investigator would understand but no one did. We could tell that she wasn't paying very close attention (understandably) so we assured her that the next class we'd have translation. The gospel principles class was taken by a substitute teacher who preferred to teach in English though and despite our attempts to translate she again didn't understand most of the lesson. I thought we would lose our investigator so I said a silent prayer praying that someone would at least reach out and fellowship them. During the last class we separated for priesthood and unfortunately after the meetings we lost track of them because of how busy everyone was. When we called them later I expected the worst but when my companion got off the phone he had a huge smile and he said that she loved the meetings because of how many people talked to her and made her feel welcome. She told us to come back soon so she could learn more about our church.

This experience taught me two things: Again, the power of prayer. It might not seem like much but for any fellow missionaries who are reading this you can understand how much of a miracle it is when the members take over and help the investigators at church. I'm so grateful that God inspired these good members to reach out and help a new face yesterday. And that's actually the other point, the power of fellowship. Fellowshipping is nothing less than missionary work by the members and although you may not teach any lessons your role is vital in helping others come to Christ by showing them His love. My invitation for everyone this week is to pray harder and do a little more to reach out to those in need. Doing so will bring an unrestricted flow of blessings into your life, of that I testify. :)

Stay strong and rock on everyone. :)
-Elder Cloward

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