I must say that I stand all amazed at all of the tender mercies that the Lord has given me this last week. We finally received the documents for the weddings that we are planning--yay! So now we can mark them. One is marked for March 23rd (let's pray that tomorrow we can mark the other one for little bit sooner :) And we already had a trip planned to São Paulo, so it all worked out. Another neat experience, we stopped by a member's house that we had never visited that I had always wanted to and the irmã offered to give her wedding dress to J, so we planned to bring her over the next day. The irmão shared stories of their own baptism and wedding and sealing and I could feel the spirit really strong, even though he is inactive. The next day we brought J over to try on the dress and make the necessary adjustments (she's all super happy) and decided to leave a message with them. We felt inspired to share President Monson's latest conference talk on "Think of the Blessings". The Spirit was super strong as we read President Monson's advice to do an inventory of our life's blessings instead of focusing on the negative. The family is going through a difficult time, and I felt the Spirit testify that this message was meant for them. After we finished, the irmão told his wife he had received an answer to what he had so long been praying for. He then bore a super powerful testimony of the Gospel and power of the restored priesthood and how he need to come back because of the doctrine and not worry about what the leaders are doing wrong. It was really a special moment that I'll never forget--to see the Spirit teach and touch.
I have such a strong testimony that all of our prayers are heard and answered and that Heavenly Father really does love and know each and every one of us. Usually here on the mission I get to be those answers to those prayers, but will the passing away of my dear grandmother, Heavenly Father answered one of mine. I'd been praying my whole mission that I would be able to see Grandma B again before she died. In a strange sense, my prayers were answered and I was able to see her one last time. What tender mercies: I was able to talk with and see her through skype, I was at the church when President called, and someone had a laptop and wi-fi, our students for english class had gotten lost on the way, that I had time to be able to talk, for all this modern day technology--all wonderful blessings! And to top it off, I was able to go the very next day to the temple to witness my first baptism be sealed. They were my mission "grandparents" and it was such a touching experience! I know that families are eternal! I'm so grateful for the restored gospel and temples and priesthood. Grandma B was the greatest woman that I've ever known. I wouldn't be who I am today, and I especially wouldn't be the missionary that I am today if it wasn't for her. There hardly ever was a life better lived--of love and service an dedication to the Lord--and there is nothing more beautiful than one who has really endured to the end well. I love her so much, I'm so grateful for her example and life. I hope to follow in her footsteps and walk in the light back to Heavenly Father's presence. I want to dedicate my life to the Lord. I hope to be half the woman that she was--what a wonderful life to celebrate!