Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

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Divine Preparation

This past week was amazing.  Many great things happened but I wanted to share something that really stuck out to me over the past few days.  To explain, I am going to use three of the most prominent examples:

Flia Ibañez, Rey, Marcelas sister

The first happened several days ago.  We were clapping doors and got to the fourth or fifth one.  Their yard was only about 1.5 meters wide and their house was back down in an alley.  We clapped and quickly a man appeared.  He took one look at us and said, “You’re from the park downtown!”  We looked at him (slightly confused) and my companion replied that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and explained that our chapel was much closer then downtown.  He started talking to us when his wife looked outside.  She, too, came out to greet us and said, “Look, the boys from the park!”  We stood there staring blankly at them as she shook our hands with a big smile.  Her husband explained that we weren’t from the park, but that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ.  Then she turned to us and (finally) offered an explanation.

They had been walking downtown when they had come across the missionaries that were working in that area near the plaza.  The couple spoke briefly with them and explained to them that he had been out of work for a while and were facing a very difficult situation.   The missionaries explained a little about the church and said that there was one close to their home.  Then, they offered to pray so that he would be able to find work soon.  The next day, he went out to find work and immediately found it.  Then, several days later, we came by and clapped their door – something that hadn’t happened in years.

The next example that I have is a man named Rey.  We were knocking doors in another part of town and he came out to talk to us.  He had to go to work right then but invited us back another day.  We passed by several days later and he let us in.  What followed was a very spiritual lesson with him and two of his grown sons.  Rey explained that he had attended several different churches but that he felt “empty”.  His wife was going through some serious health complications and was looking for help.  His son told us about how he had been looking for the true church.  He wanted to explain many things to his girlfriend about why he didn’t believe the church that she attended was true but he didn’t “have the right authority”.  He had been asking Heavenly Father for someone to guide him so that he would know what to do.
The last person I wanted to talk about came through a recent convert named Marcella.  In September her sister, Veronica, had very serious complications while giving birth which put her into a coma.  She was near death on several different occasions and was miraculously saved many times against all odds.  While going through this very traumatic experience, Marcella met up with the missionaries.  She asked them why her sister had to go through this, what happens if she died, and what is the purpose for even being here.  The missionaries answered all of her questions and challenged her to read The Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true.  She did and was baptized shortly afterward.  Since that time, she had been taking her niece and nephews to church and they had learned all about the Restoration and the basic principles of the gospel.  Now, eight months later, Veronica was finally able to return home.  Before this experience, I doubt that she would have received the missionaries . . . but after all she and her family had gone through, along with the preparation her sister and children had received, she listened to us.  We explained the restoration and she understood.  We challenged her to read, pray, and be baptized once God answered her prayers.  She accepted and will attend church with her sister this Sunday.

What do all of these stories have in common?  They each went through a very personalized and divine preparation long before we even knew them.  Was it a coincidence that we clapped the door of the Ibañez family several days after recieving a miracle through a “random” encounter with missionaries after not seeing us for years?  Was it a coincidence that Rey and his family had been looking for the true church and we come along right when they are facing their most intense emotions coupled with the health complications of a loved one?  Is it a coincidence that Marcela was looking for answers right when the missionaries found her and that she was able to prepare Veronica and her children to be baptized?  It would be statistically and logically impossible for one of them to happen let alone all of them in the past five days.

This is God’s work.  He is preparing His children in the best way possible.  Those who make the choice to accept the help when He sends it are blessed with something that changes lives.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that it doesn’t just apply here in the mission.  I know that my wife exists somewhere and that she is being prepared.  I know that those who have gone astray are receiving the best circumstances possible to help them return without infringing on personal agency.  I know that children are sent to their families after an eternity of preparation and are received exactly where they are needed.  I also know that although we cannot always recognize our Heavenly Father’s hand in our lives, it is always there.  He is doing everything possible to help us and we can trust that we are receiving the most optimal experience possible here based on our personal obedience.  He has given us everything and there is nothing more that he can do.  Everything else depends on us . . . our obedience, our works, our prayers, and our faith.  What a sweet principle!  It makes perfect sense!  We have a perfect Father who loves us perfectly and acts perfectly acording to his love!  What more could we possibly ask for?

Thanks again for everything!  Have a fantastic week!  I love you all so much!  Take care!

Elder Carter

posted under Weekly Letters

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