Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If God has to wait, so must we.

With my amazing Zone Leaders Sister George, North Carolina, and Sister Ince, Canada,
who will be going home in just 1 week!
This really was such a powerful week, and I know I must say that every week, but that doesn't make it any less true :) Each week as a missionary, each week being a representative of Jesus Christ, brings me so much joy, so much happiness and so many blessings and miracles that I don't even have room or time to comprehend them all.

All of the lights are continuing to be hung here at Temple Square and you can really start to feel the Holiday spirit coming into play.  I'm not getting as many funny looks from people when I just give my huge smile to everyone who passes by and say, "hello!"  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, not just in the decorations, but in the eyes and hearts of the people--even John and Margaret.

The East 2 Zone of  Temple Square mission walking through downtown Salt Lake City
(The Sisters often travel in groups for safety purposes especially at night)

Friday night, all of us Sister missionaries were lucky enough to be invited to the dress rehearsal of "Savior of the World," a production put on every year about the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  (If you have never seen it, PLEASE try to make time to see it.  It is at the little theater on the side of the Conference Center and it is so powerful and so beautifully done.) Sister Taylor and I were leaving the Teaching Center on Temple Square to go home for a quick dinner before heading over to the play.  As we walked out the door, a young boy, about 16 or so from Idaho, stopped us and said, "Sisters! I just found this wonderful couple crossing the street.  I told them I would be more than happy to show them around.  I have taken them to the Conference Center, the Tabernacle and have shared with them our basic beliefs.  I have to run off to drive home, but can you take it from here? They are so wonderful."

This adorable senior couple looked at us with the biggest smiles on their faces.
"Hi, we're John and Margaret, we're from Georgia," they said with their hands extended to shake ours. 

John had on such a funny beanie with strings hanging down the side, and his wife Margaret had the kindest smile and the biggest heart. They told us that they actually had to get going because it was getting late, which worked well because we had to get going home.  We told them that if they would be at Temple Square again, to ask for Sister Taylor and Sister Briggs, we would be happy to take them around!

Right after we had met John and Margaret, waiting for "The Savior of the World" play to start!
The next morning, Sister Taylor and I were sitting at our dining room table doing our Companionship study when our phone rang. It was the Sisters calling us from Temple Square, telling us that a cute senior couple had come into the North Visitor Center, requesting us to take them on a was John and Margaret.
We had such an amazing experience with them.  They are such a powerful couple full of so much love for everyone they meet, and also for God.  When we met them, Margaret gave us each a huge hug and they said they both just felt they needed to be here at Temple Square today.  The whole time we spoke with them I could feel the spirit so strongly.  We walked from the temple model in the North Visitor's Center, to the Assembly Hall, and then finished at the beautiful Christus statue.  They bore such deep and moving testimonies of Jesus Christ and kept repeating how they felt God had led them to us that day. Sister Taylor and I bore our testimonies there at the feet of this statue of Christ, and as I went to invite them to learn more, to read The Book of Mormon, I couldn't...I literally was restrained by the spirit as it sometimes talks about in the scriptures. 

I felt so stumped.  In every interaction I have I always invite people to act...whether it be to pray, to read The Book of Mormon, to attend church, no matter how big or small, I always extend an invitation as guided by the spirit, and here I stood after one of the most powerful tours and lessons of my whole mission and I felt restrained.  I couldn't understand why and I have to admit I even felt a little sad, I felt that I had let my Savior down as His representative just letting them walk away without inviting them to come even closer to their Redeemer whom they already loved so much.

Sister Taylor and I had such a long tour with them that we were running a bit behind to get to our next assignment at the Beehive house, so we stopped somewhere to grab lunch and headed over.  We thought we would be late, but we were still the first sisters to get there.  Because we had food, the sisters generously offered to switch positions with us in the line of rotation for tours.  When it was finally our turn to take the tour, we looked out the window, and there we saw them walking up the path...John and Margaret, our cute, wonderful, loving couple from Georgia, that I had previously failed to invite, and I had never been happier. 
It was such a miracle that we had taken time to grab lunch, and that we had switched places with other sisters, or we would have missed them all together, we would have already been on a tour.  I know God's hand was in that, I also know God's hand was in our entire meeting and experience with them.
We had such a fun and spiritual experience with them walking throughout the Beehive House.  At the end of the tour, I felt prompted to share with them Alma 26:12, one of me and my big brother's favorite scriptures.

"Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in his dstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

When we read that, Margaret and John seemed so touched by the words and by the spirit that accompanied them.

John looked at us and asked, "Now which is your primary book.  The Bible or this Book of Mormon?"

Sister Taylor responded, "Both, they support and compliment each other.  We use both books to bring us closer to Jesus Christ."

We went on to ask if they had ever read The Book of Mormon, and John went on to tell us that his Dad had met with Mormon missionaries about 40 years ago and he remembers seeing him open up and flip through The Book of Mormon but he had never really read it himself.
"I would certainly be interested in reading one now though."
What I want to share with you all, is that God has His timing in everything.  I know that the spirit had restrained me from inviting earlier, because that experience was more about softening their hearts, establishing a relationship with them and drawing them unto Christ.  Imagine what would have happened if we had gone against the spirit and invited them earlier anyway?  I do not know, but I know that God's ways are always better than our ways.
In 3 Nephi 20:30 it says, "And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fullness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;"

If God had to wait to bring forth the most miraculous blessing of all time, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the fullness of His gospel on earth, then so must we. Imagine how patiently God was waiting for the day in which He would restore and re-establish His church among His children-the most amazing, glorious and biggest miracle of all.  I may not always know how long I will be waiting for these miracles, these tender mercies and blessings as God knew how long He would wait to restore His church, but I do know that God asks us to do that which we are capable of doing, and sometimes that means waiting.

John and Margaret left the Beehive House that day with their own copy of The Book of Mormon and a sincere desire to learn more about the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We will be staying in touch with them and sharing more as they read :)
That is my invitation to you all this week.  I want to invite you all to pray for the direction of the spirit and to have the sincere desire to really do as you are instructed to do by it's impressions.  I promise as you do so your faith will grow not only in God, but in His timing, and sometimes, that means waiting.

I love you all!

Sister Briggs

Ice skating night for Zone Activity last week! so much fun!

More ice skating fun!

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad, Bryan & Casey, Robert Donakey and the Donakey family, Sister Britt Lam, Sister Dimatera (is your family okay in the Philippines?) and John Bascom (so good to see you this week, it's been so long!)

Tyler, one of Sister Taylor's really good friends, sent her a package this gift..bubble wrap! So much fun! haha ohhhh goodness

1 comment:

  1. Sister Briggs! This is so sweet! Thank you for sharing your testimony of the Lord's timing and for following the spirit. We are uplifted as we read your messages. I look forward to following up with you on the Georgia couple and seeing if they are in the Great Georgia Atlanta Mission where we and your own Sister Walsh are serving.
    Keep being GREAT!
    Much love and admiration from the Woodlands