I don't even think that I can even explain the absolutely amazing week we had. I would have to say that this week rivals any other week I have had on my mission. It was just so incredible. If I learned anything this week it is that my Heavenly Father is so aware of me and He wants me to be successful and happy!
Sunday and Monday night there was an incident that happened here in the VC that shook Sister Clarke and I up a bit and I won't go into details but basically this man came in to try and challenge our testimonies and cause some trouble for us. After it was all said and done Sister Clarke and I realized that we needed to talk about somethings and resolve somethings in our companionship so that we can work more in unity. We had a deep "companionship inventory" when we got home from the VC Monday night. I think this is why a mission prepares you for marriage because it teaches you not only how to live with another person 24/7 but also how to communicate with them. It was a big growing experience for the both of us and I am grateful for it. Tuesday we both woke up convinced that we were going to have an amazing day and we could feel that something amazing was going to happen. After our morning appointment fell through we deided to contact a referral that we gotten the week before that we had tried to contact every day but hadn't been able to catch them. We were about to give up because no one was ever home but we decided to try it one more time. We knocked on the door and this girl in her twenties opened it and seemed really happy to see us. She instantly invited us in and made us some Hot Chocolate. We started talking and she told us all about herself. Basically she has been going to church for the past few months and she has already prayed and received and answer that this church is true. She is planning on marrying her boyfriend in the temple after he comes back to church (He's a less-active member). I wanted to cry throughout the whole lesson because this was Heavenly Father's way of letting us know that all of our hard work and sacrifice was accepted by Him. Missionary work is hard. Sometimes you give everything you can to an investigator and they still drop you because they aren't prepared and this has happened to me over and over again to where I was starting to doubt myself as a missionary and doubt whether or not I had been effective. This was Heavenly Father's way of showing me that He is in control and that when we are ready and prepared, He can step in and send us a miracle. The only obstacle in the way right now is her grandparents. They are very very strong in another faith and they are opposed to her joining our church. If you could please pray that they will soften their hearts and allow their granddaughter to be baptized I would really appreciate it. Her name is Sam and like I said before she is in her twenties and so she doesn't need consent to be baptized but she doesn't want this to cause contention in her family so I am hoping and praying that things work out.
The next miracle has to do with my health. I have been praying like crazy for a long time now for some help because me being sick was causing some strain on my realationship with Sister Clarke. Last Sunday I was talking to Sister Hawkins about all of my health problems and I went through the list of my symptoms. I explained to her that I can live with the nausea and vomiting because I am almost used to it by now but I told her that my biggest struggle was how tired I get all the time. I explained that I have to sleep for around two hours everyday or I just can't function mentally or physically. She then asked me if I was anemic and I said no and I didn't think anything more of it. Monday night I prayed to Heavenly Father harder and longer than I think I have my whole life and I begged Him for a solution to my problem. When I was finished praying I was laying in bed just thinking about everything and I started to think about that conversation I had with Sister Hawkins the night before. I was going over the conversation with her in my head when it got to the part about me having low iron and being anemic and then it hit me. My mind flashed back to when I was first seeing doctors about all of this and I had all of these blood tests done. The doctor in going through the results mentioned that I had really low iron but she said that could be related to me not getting the nutrition I need because I was throwing everything up. That was all that was said about it. At the end of the visit she prescribed me all of this medicine to help with the nausea and pain and she also prescribed iron pills. Now in the craziness that was my life during that time I didn't ever take the iron pills and I forgot about them and I completely forgot that she has said I had low iron. All of this came flooding back to my memory as I laid in bed and I knew this was my answer. The next morning I got up, dug through my suitcases, found the iron pills, and started taking them and they have turned everything around. I feel fully like myself again. This week was so wonderful because I could work without getting tired and I felt like I was mentally there the whole time! I can't believe that the answer was there the whole time but I know that I needed to learn to rely on the Lord and when I did He was able to help me. So that was the second miracle of the week.
Now for the greatest miracle of the week! Saturday was a really great day and I was enjoying all the lessons we were teaching in the VC. I had just finished teaching a less-active member that had come in and I walked out of the teaching room into the main part of the VC when Sister Clarke said "Sister Simkins! You'll never guess what just happened! Lance came in and he said that he is getting baptized tonight at 5 and he wanted to thank us for 'changing his life' and helping him on his journey." If you remember back a month or two ago and I talked about teaching this man who had been brought in with a friend and I had a prompting to play this video to end the lesson but I couldn't quite remember what the video was about but I played it anyway and it ended up being exactly what he needed. I also mentioned a few weeks ago how he had come in again and told us he was being taught but the local missionaries and was loving it. Well he came back Saturday just to let Sister Clarke and I know that he was getting baptized. I was so happy I couldn't even express it in words. I then thought that we should go to the baptism but I realized that it was out of zone so we probably wouldn't be able to go. Everyone was saying that we needed to go so we mustered up the courage we needed and called the assistants for permission and they said the answer was probably no but they said that we could try calling President. We then called President but he didn't answer so we left a message and waited for him to call us back. He never called so we took that as our answer. After our shift at the VC we ran home to get our phone that we had forgotten that day and we got it just as the assistants were calling to tell us that they had talked to President and he had said we could go because the chapel where it was being held was between our house and the VC so really we weren't going too far out of our area. This is another tender mercy of the Lord because seeing that baptism again reaffirmed to me that I am doing a worthwhile work here and that my efforts are not wasted. At the baptism a set of missionaries from the other zone asked how we were there and we explained that President had given us permission and they were shocked because they had called the assistants to go to a baptism of someone else in another zone and the assistants refused even though it was a family friend of one of the elders. So it was a miracle baptism and a miracle that we were able to attend.
Well that is all I have for this week. As you can probably imagine I am beyond happy with how things are going and I am still loving life as a missionary. Heavenly Father is real and He loves us and He wants us to be happy. Miracles still exists and they testify to us of God's love.
I love and miss all of you!