From the Parent of a Missionary
If you have been reading the blog, you know that Elder and Sister Sparks recently moved in to the area. They are the grandparents of one of Justin’s teammate on his lacrosse team. Small world. We have been getting some text messages and photos from them recently. What a wonderful blessing it has been. Most recently, their daughter shared with us a letter that Elder Sparks had sent home. I wanted to share it with you here.
“We then raced on to Ipala where the Elders were waiting for us as we arrived 1/2 hr late due to my teaching. We visited several families among which was one inactive couple who has been sealed but don’t wear garments and haven’t attended for many years. We gathered around and I taught with the help of the Elders and it was a beautiful heartfelt experience. The mom had recently had one of her sons die about 3 months ago and wept as I promised her in the name of The Lord that she could be with her family forever if she chooses. We all bore strong testimony and all shared our love for them and helped answer concerns for them and uplift them with the teachings of the doctrines. Elder See offered the prayer and as I had instructed them he poured out his heart unto The Lord for each of them and their children by name. He wept as he prayed and we were all humbled by this valiant young Messenger of Christ! As we were leaving the Elders could see that the sister was not feeling well and asked her if she wanted a blessing of health which she agreed to. Elder See anointed her and then the three of us began the sealing of the anointing and I was again strongly impressed to stop the prayer and invite the husband to come and join us in the circle! It was so awesome to feel what The Lord was imparting to each of us through his generous and loving blessing of each of us through the mouthpiece of Elder Maldonado.
As we left we were all speechless to describe the miracle we had just participated in. The brother voluntarily came to me and promised me he would be in church on Sunday! We only got three or four homes away and stopped to visit another family of a mom and young pregnant daughter who also has a child about 18 mos. This was interesting as the mom is a member that was offended years back and now goes to a different church. We poured out our hearts to her and invited her back with all the love in our hearts. She declined due to her commitments in the other church. I felt impressed to sing I am a Child of God, so we all did and she sang it with us as she had been the music leader and knew the hymns. I believe it touched her. We shall see what The Lord does with her.
We also stopped at the Elders wash lady who is not active and had a nice visit with her and her mom who is not active either. I invited them both to come back to church and bore strong witness of God’s love for them and desire to bless them but is awaiting their use of their agency to do so. We knelt on the dirt in front of their house under the tree where we were sitting and prayers for them. We shall see with them also!
Then it was to a brother who is committed to baptism this month. That was interesting as his wife who is an active member would not even come in and we know her and she likes us? This was not a good situation and the brother said it was a very hard time for him and he needed our prayers. Elder See poured out his heart for the brother and his family and we left with this family in the hands of The Lord. They are clearly having family problems that only God can fix!
We then dropped the Elders off after a quick visit to another family with the husband is being baptized this month whom we know. He was the violin player a couple of weeks ago at the meeting at his home! Great brother!
We came home and ate a bite of leftovers and mom hung the wet clothes on the line. She loves to do that. It’s a 40s and 50s thing! We are tired! Those are awesome elders and we loved being with them and they with us! They get it like few do!”