Monday, June 18, 2012

The worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord

This is the craziest thing that has happened to me on my mission so far. Remember Jane, the African lady we met on the street? We saw her last Friday (over a week ago) and she was doing good, reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. She started in 3 Nephi and finished that and now she's reading Ether and she has read parts of Moroni. She had to hurry to the bus and we had to go to an appt so we didn't talk for long, but she seemed happy. Then this happened on Tuesday:
Our morning started out typically slow, and the afternoon started out like that as well. We were dragging our feet, taking our time getting from one appointment to the next, or from one drop-by to the next. We decided to go see a part-member family and see if the daughter wanted to go to mutual. Sis. Eichenmiller is still learning the area and I wasn't really paying attention and she ended up taking a wrong turn. It wasn't that big of a deal, we just went the long way to the family's house. She asked me if I had called Jane yet. I hadn't, and it had been a couple days since we heard from her. I decided to wait until after we saw the family just in case the phone call took a long time. Suddenly we looked and who was walking down the side of the road to the bus stop? That's right, Jane. We pulled into the gas station that was right there and jumped out of the car with our scriptures in hand and went to talk to her. As soon as we approached her, something seemed off. She was staggering a little and she seemed happy to see us, but also a little confused and out of it.  We asked her if she was ok. She told us no. She found out on Monday that she has cancer, a brain tumor. She started to cry and we walked with her, helping her down the road and trying to calm her down. We got her across the intersection, her bus wasn't there yet, and Eichenmiller looked at me and said, "We should get on the bus with her." My immediate response was, "We don't have any money."
As the words were coming out of my mouth, I remembered that when I was at the store a week earlier I had randomly decided to use my card and get cash, which I hadn't had any for a while. There was a $5 bill sitting in my wallet in the car. I handed Eichenmiller my scriptures and she gave me the keys. She stayed with Jane while I turned back to the busy intersection. I knew I only had a few minutes, maybe to get over there and back. I couldn't wait for the light, so as soon as the cars cleared, I sprinted across the intersection, opened the car, grabbed my wallet, and sprinted back to the light, probably flashing everyone and their dog on my way, cause running in a skirt is hard, but salvation is worth it, my friends. Again, the intersection was busy, but this time the bus was there. It turned the corner and started letting passengers on. I was still across the street. Eichenmiller told me after that she saw the bus come and was panicking, making Jane promise to call us and wondering how we would ever find her and help her if we didn't get on the bus with her. We didn't feel like she should make that trip home alone. By the grace of God the intersection cleared and I booked it across the street as Eichenmiller was putting Jane on the bus, standing helpless on the curb. Suddenly I was at her side, pushing her on. I paid for the two of us and the driver asked if we needed any transfer tickets. I said no, but she looked at us and gave me two anyways. There wasn't enough room for all of us to sit by each other, so Eichenmiller sat with Jane and had her arm around her while Jane cried, and I watched from a few rows back. I was able to make it up to them, but then we had to get off and switch buses at the transit center.
The whole time this was happening, I never felt panicked or in any kind of danger. I could pinpoint which areas we were in and I was texting the Elders of those areas to be on standby in case we needed them. Sitting at the transit center, waiting for the next bus, I pulled out my scriptures. I was about to open them when the next bus came. It was a little early but the driver let us on and we sat with just a few other people on the bus, in relative quiet. I opened my scriptures and turned to somewhere in the Book of Mormon. Jane asked me to read something from Nephi ( she says it "nefee"). I read 3 Nephi 11:14-15. Then she asked for the book of Ether. I read Ether 12:4. She asked for the book of Moroni, so I read Moroni 7:41. Then she asked for Nephi again. I read 3 Nephi 17:8-9. Every scripture that I turned to jumped off the page or instantly came to my mind as she asked for it, and as I read I was amazed at how they were flowing together and making perfect sense.
She said that her concern was not to die. She was just afraid of what would happen to her in the next life. She did not want to go to hell forever. She said she had been thinking about eternity for a while, long before she found out about her cancer. She had made a lot of mistakes in her life and she wanted to be able to go to heaven with God. We told her she could. Then I taught her the Plan of Salvation. We had to get off at her stop, so we just kept teaching it to her, telling her that she could live with God and her family forever, and that the first thing she would have to do in order to make that happen, to open the door to heaven for her, was to be baptized. She told us that she wanted baptism more than anything. We told her we would get her baptized as soon as possible. She was so happy and relieved, she was singing and laughing. Then one more concern came up: how could Christ find her, the one? Just one simple African woman? And why would he want anything to do with her when she has made so many mistakes in her life. We told her baptism would help clean away her sins, that it would make her clean and ready to go and see God.
We kept talking and she brought up a friend that she gave her Book of Mormon to. I pulled out my planner. It was made for me by Sis. Balmforth. She gave it to me before she went home. Each day in it, there is a scripture or a thought written on the to do list. I opened my planner to write down the name of her friend and saw the scripture written, over a month ago on a random day by a missioanry who was going home soon, and saw D+C 18:10-16. "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." I read the whole section to Jane, she was drinking it all in and couldn't get enough. We told her God knows her, and loves her, because He sent us to find her and teach her. We walked her to her aparment and left. The Elders came and got us and we dropped off another copy of the Book of Mormon for her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet inside.
That was the big part of the miracle. We were in total shock the rest of the day at what we had done and the way that it was brought about. If you ever doubt that God works miracles, DON'T. He does. And He loves His children and wants them to have happiness and eternal life. He will bring about the means to do it, through any means and at any time.
The rest of the story is that Jane fell that night, hit her head, went to the hospital, got some stitches and an MRI, we tried to go see her and get her a blessing, went on a wild goose chase at the hospital only to discover that she was already home and resting. She called us a little while later, needing some help, so we took the elders again and met her at the bus stop and gave her a blessing. It was a pretty incredible blessing. She is going to be baptized asap, probably in about 2 weeks. We wanted sooner, but dang stake policy is blocking us from doing that......So that's where we're at with Jane. It's going to take lots of prayers to make this happen, but I have no doubt that it will. Jane is too important, and God knows she needs this.
Sorry this was so long, skim it if it's boring. It was an incredible miracle, one that I never thought anything like would happen to me. I am so grateful for it because it taught me so much about faith, hope, miracles, and God's infinite love for His children.
Another great miracle is that Pohai, the deaf girl we have been working with for a long time, is finally back on date to be baptized!! This time she understands everything that has been taught to her, she is so excited about it, and her parents are on board! They finally see that she is learning and is prepared. July 7th is the day :)
That's all I have for this week. I'm learning a lot about myself and how the Atonement is playing such a big role in my life. Baylon told me once to not count the cost of a mission. I realized that you shouldn't count the cost because you can't. The cost is everything. We give everything we have and are so that God will give us all He has and is. It's worth it. Love you all!! Have a great week!
Sister Chronister

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