Monday, January 12, 2015

Samara - Week 19 - "His Grace really is Sufficient"

December 8, 2014
All is well :)

It may be cold there ... but this beautiful
sister missionary radiates warmth and goodness!
Wow a LOT happened this week. Like I said... last Monday started off a little rough. Well I want to share what happened Monday night. We were walking home with our ward mission leader and I shared with him that I'm hitting a bit of a rough patch in the mission right now. I don't really know what I was thinking or why I decided to tell Zhenya what I was feeling, but he understood that I was struggling a little. That night at about 10:00 Zhenya called and said, "Sister Wilson I want to say something to you and I don't want you to ask any questions." Well that scared me a tad to be honest! But I said okay. He went on to say that he understands that this is a harder time in my mission right now... that I've been out a few months and I'm understanding what people mean when they said that missions are hard. But he told me, "I know that you are in Balakovo for a reason. You have changed someone's life. Yes, my life has been changed by you and that is wonderful, but I am talking about someone else. I testify to you that I have seen someone specific, with my own eyes, who has been changed by your testimony." My heart was so full and so grateful for my branch mission leader in that moment, I don't think I could have heard any more encouraging of words. He said to me, "I will not tell you who it is, because that's just how a mission is. If you knew all the blessings that come from missionary work then it wouldn't be an act of faith. If you knew all the blessings it would bring you in the future, or to your family, or to others, it would be so easy! But that's not how God works." And isn't that just so true? What kind of trial of faith would that be? Zhenya said, I love you like one of my own sisters, and then asked to speak to sister Martinez. He said something to her on the phone and she nodded her head and said, "yes of course." then she came to my side and gave me a big hug. Zhenya is such a good friend. I went to bed with a big smile on my face :)

And THENNN the next morning I got a phone call from one of the senior couples :) Sister Weight read to me something that started with, "Brookie Wookie......" And ended with, "don't you worry!" And who was it from? My dear aunt Marg. I am so happy they are friends hahahaha. Once again I was brought some comfort. I cannot believe how much love and comfort I have around me. I have literally never felt more weak in my life, but I've also never felt more loved and supported. 

Now for some miracles and a little bit of a happier note.... 

The other night while we were planning Sister Martinez and I were figuring out what numbers we wanted to fill in for "key indicators" we got to the referrals part and usual we just skip over that or right in a number a little less than thoughtfully... but this time I said, "Sister Martinez I refuse to write a number in this column unless we actually think we're going to get it, do you REALLY think we'll get it?" And bless my companion's heart she used her faith and said confidentally, "Yes!!" Well... the next day while we were contacting, we stopped a woman and showed her the Book of Mormon... well she asked if she could have 2 of them to give to someone else at work, and she also asked for a few brochures. That was amazing by itself, but then we asked the question, "Do you know anyone else who would be interested in this?" And she gave us the apartment of someone along with their names and told us their problems and how the gospel could help them. Heavenly Father helped us reach the goal :) 
Then other night we were out knocking. It was a 9 story building with over 70 apartments. There were maybe 3 people who stopped to talk to us, but Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle... no one yelled at us :) He softened many hearts that night. We were with Zhenya, our ward mission leader. He was talking about how it's hard for people to believe that we don't get paid for this. He said honestly I am surprised sometimes myself that you aren't paid too, you are in cold Russia, speaking Russian, trying to teach Russians about a Loving Heavenly Father. At that moment I realized that wow... he's right. That seems crazy. But it's worth it, it really is worth it. I have learned some of the greatest life lessons out here so far. I have never learned more about sacrifice in my life. You think a mission is hard? You think having no breaks is hard? Hmmm... do you get breaks from being a wife or a mother? Nope, it's a full time job :) And this is thee best preparation I can have for any part of my future. It's a sacrifice that is so so worth it. 

Sometimes the reality of where I am and what I am doing really hits me. I am taking blows left and right from the devil himself. I, Sister Wilson, am standing on the front lines, taking the heaviest strikes and blows. And at the same time that we are falling back, we are striving to push forward. Of course it's exhausting, of course it's hard! But it's worth it. Because nothing else can save mankind. The more I preach it, the more I beileve it. The more I am just blown away at the beauty of it. Why does missionary work even exist? Because God loves ALL his children. There are no exceptions, ZERO. There is not a single person left out of God's plan. 

Heavenly Father inspired me to review a talk yesterday that once answered my prayers "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox.  And really it just brought me so much comfort remembering that God is long-suffering. What does long-suffering mean? He understands! I was reminded that repentance isn't about overnight change, but it is about change. I am so grateful that God understands me and that the atonement is always there as long as I need it, I am never outside of the reach of his atonement. The only time we have ever really failed at anything is when we stop trying. If any of you haven't read that talk... please do :) it answered my prayers this week, reminded me that God is merciful and understanding, and I know it will help you understand one of the more broad subjects of the gospel: Grace. And his grace really is sufficient, in every single way, all the time.

I am endlessly grateful to be here :) I know that I have a Savior and Redeemer, those words really mean something different when you feel that you need to be saved. :)

With love,

Sister Brooklyn Wilson 

* Sister Wilson referred to the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Bro Brad Wilcox. To read or listen to the talk, just click the link in that paragraph above. 
Brad Wilcox was serving as a member of the Sunday School General Board of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as a BYU associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education in the David O. McKay School of Education when this devotional address was given on 12 July 2011.

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