Family! How is the Lake? I am guessing you are all just having the time of your life! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! And let me interrupt by sharing with you some thoughts!
God is preparing people right and left all around us to receive the gospel!
Jim is an outstanding individual! We met him just before we went to dinner one evening. He is about 80 yrs. old and was a civil engineer for a ton of the buildings and bridges here in Austin. He said it is so fascinating to look around at the city and see sky-scrapers you helped construct years ago that are still standing today. He has attended family night a couple weeks in a row, but won’t allow us to meet with him at his home. This past Saturday we left him a message reminding him about church. Just as we pulled in a parking spot we look out our side window and there is Jim getting out of his car, dressed in a nice black suit, white shirt and tie. The ward is incredible here. They introduced themselves to him and offered to have him sit with them, even though we didn't ask them.
Leticha is a mother of two boys who is working as a medical assistant here in Austin. She was homeless about a year ago, and says it was the hardest thing she has been through in her life. She is currently working three jobs to provide for her family and a lot of her motivation comes from her fear of being homeless again. She has an incredible desire to come closer to God, to have her questions answered, and to raise her boys to be great fathers. Last night we learned about the Sabbath Day. She mentioned she misses Sundays, but whenever she has an opportunity to work, she automatically accepts it so she can have the money to provide for her kids. It was a great reminder of how automatic the natural man is to instantly choose the world, when in reality God has all power, all wisdom and all knowledge.
Sister Smith was able to come and help out in the Austin ward this past Friday and Saturday! She is an outstanding missionary from Utah and reminds me a lot of myself sometimes. She has such a desire to learn, grow, progress and grasp a hold of the gospel. We helped the Gianes family clear out a room for their new baby coming into their family!
We had dinner with a family in the ward who are absolutely outstanding! Just a couple of years ago they were a "DNC". However, now they are currently serving in the Relief Society and in the Elder's Quorum. They have five kids and because they were less-active for quite some time none of them were baptized until just last year. One of their daughters is currently the Laurel president. The youngest daughter is 9 and knows all that is going on in the ward, helps her mother with relief society activities and is sharing the gospel with her family and friends like crazy. (even to the point where the parents are a bit overwhelmed because the friends now all want to come to church with her.)
"I say unto you, have miracles ceased, NAY!" Just about every member of the Austin ward are converts to the church! Individuals who did not even know about the church just a few years ago are now leading and directing it and bringing more to the knowledge of the truth.
It is outstanding to see that the Lord's house of Israel is really out there in the world, but we must have the faith to really believe that they are there and that we can find them. We are blinded at times and can't quite see this. I mentioned last week how I drive down the streets and get overwhelmed because of the thousands of people that live within the ground we are to cover. Often times I think I must cover all the ground and knock on every door and talk to every member in order to search and find those who are prepared. However you can clearly see where my faith was placed...in myself. I am gradually learning that it is not my strength and strides that make the difference. If my faith is in God, then HE will guide, HE will lead us to those who are prepared. This is HIS work. We are not preparing HIS children. HE is preparing HIS children.
|Downtown Austin graffiti!|
|Who wears a scarf in the Texas heat? that would be me!|
|The Gianes Family!|