February 2011-August 2012

13 March 2012

March 13, 2012 Sweet Hour of Prayer

There comes a time in every area when you have to drop everyone and start from scratch. Go back to the drawing board, the area book, and the members, and start finding again. That's where Sylmar's at. It can be a really fun and exciting time in an area, because the possibilities are all unknown, and therefore limitless! But this last week has been anything but really fun and exciting as far as the work goes... lots of cancelled appointments, unkept commitments, and unavailable members; more than 200 phone calls--and zero success; a blitz in our area where our whole district went knocking for us... nada. We didn't even have dinner appointments to help us get in ANYWHERE... haha. Even the Getty Museum was CLOSED when we tried to go there last week! hahaha But that's ok. I actually REALLY am grateful for the weeks like that, because they are what make the good weeks really GREAT!

But don't let that paragraph get you down, because even though the work here last week was REALLY slooooooowwww, we had some really fantastic experiences!
  • We met some new less actives who were so receptive to us... turns out they stopped coming because of health reasons and not testimony or social issues like most people. And health issues? I'm pretty sure we can convince them to come anyway... especially if we take Hna. Murillo with us to visit them. She has to be on oxygen all the time and had a stroke 3 weeks ago and STILL has not missed a Sunday at church. I'm grateful for the examples of the many people in my life who, just like Hna. Murillo, sacrifice comfort and pleasure to keep their sacred covenants with the Lord.
  • We watched the Restoration with Alicia and the girls, and the WHOLE family ended up joining us for the movie! Husband and all! We hadn't even met him yet, so that was super exciting! Even if he did run out of the room immediately after so we couldn't talk to him... at least he felt the Spirit for 20 min and now has an experience that can press on his mind for awhile. ;)
  • We had a beautiful stake fireside on Sunday night for the recent converts. I really wish more people had gone, considering we had so many people promise us they would attend. But I know that it was a great blessing in the lives of all those who DID attend, and I'm really proud of them for coming!
  • I finished the books of Exodus and Leviticus this week... What a cool experience it is to read and study SO much in such a short amount of time. I've received A LOT of personal revelation this week. The Spirit I've felt has been wonderful. The answers I've found and the questions I've thought of have helped me progress spiritually as my understanding of my Heavenly Father and His plan for me increases. I'm so very grateful for a living prophet, and for the personal witness from the Holy Ghost that Pres. Monson IS truly God's prophet on the earth today. How very much I love that man and the righteous life, FULL of service, that he has lived!
  • Yesterday we were privileged to have a special meeting with Elder L. Tom Perry of the Twelve Apostles, as well as President Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy. Their wives also joined us which is always a special treat! :) They greeted each of us personally. In the 5-10 second personal interaction I had with each of them, I felt of their love, their testimony, and the power and authority of their sacred callings. They taught us by and with the Spirit. I learned a lot, and certainly was edified and rejoiced upon the things I learned. They spoke about FINDING, the Spirit, and the pattern in which the Lord has restored his church in every dispensation. I'm so grateful for that experience and I will cherish it forever!
Well, those are just some of the special experiences we've had over the last week that are coming to mind. But in reality I think that the sweetest experiences of the whole week have been while on bended knee, pouring my heart out to God. I TREASURE my time talking with my Heavenly Father. He loves me SO MUCH. He knows me PERFECTLY. He is so wise, so loving, and so patient with me. He knows when to listen. He's REALLY good at it. And He knows when to chime in and give me some support, comfort, excitement, answers, etc. The better I pray... meaning the more sincerely I speak with my FATHER... the better I feel about everything. Prayer IS the key that unlocks the door to invite the Lord into our lives. I have always had a testimony of prayer, but too often I forgot how much I NEEEEEEEED prayer. Satan is really good at trying to make us forget that. Because that's how POWERFUL prayer is. So, what can YOU do to make your prayers more meaningful, more heartfelt, more sincere? Do you feel like you get answers on a regular basis? Because if not, you should probably do a prayer check. It's not that God isn't there or not listening. It's probably that YOU aren't really "there" when you pray and that YOU aren't really listening. Pray with your whole heart and mind and strength. Really BE THERE when you talk to our Heavenly Father. And then LISTEN. I promise you it will change your life for the better! Because mine has! I am so grateful for the miracle and blessing of prayer in my life, and I hope that this week each of you can come to feel the same!

I love you all, and I'm grateful for your continued love and support! Keep smiling and have a great week!

Hermana Blackburn

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