Monday, October 29, 2012

Banska Bystrica is seeing miracles!

Dear Family and Friends, I hope it was a wonderful week for all! We have had fantastic missionary weather over the last several days, and we're enjoying it as much as we can before the cold times come. Banska Bystrica is seeing miracles these days. After famines come blessings. I have been through enough famines on my mission and in life to know that that principle is true. I knew it would play out in this area - it's just that waiting time in the pits of the famine when it is difficult to keep pushing, ain't it? For the last several weeks we have been teaching a middle-aged woman named Katarina. Her progression in the gospel has brought me so much joy!! We met her at exactly the right time in her life. She has actually received a Book of Mormon from missionaries several years ago, but didn't really get into learning about the church. Now is her time, and she knows it. We met with her almost every day this last week, and she is making incredible progress! Our Relief Society president (Sestra Dobiasova) and her hit it off really well from the beginning, and so whenever we have a lesson, Sestra Dobiasova is there. They've gone to hang out many times, shopping for shoes, or going to a sweet shop. There's nothing better than having a member who can befriend your investigator, and help them overcome any concerns they may have. Katarina has become a part of our little family here in Banska Bystrica. Her baptism is scheduled to be on November 3rd, and she's doing so very well. We were worried she might have a problem with coffee, since she drinks it three times a day, off of a recommendation from her doctor. It's very common for doctors here and in the Czech Republic to recommend coffee when someone has bad blood pressure. However, we taught the Word of Wisdom this week, and she took it like a champ! She didn't complain once about it, and said that she had already been thinking about what she could replace coffee with, as Sestra Dobiasova had mentioned before that we don't drink coffee. She's a woman of great faith and incredible sensitivity. We are just thrilled to have her join our branch, as she will be a great support to our dear Sestra Dobiasova, who is currently running close to a one-man show. I had a short conversation with Katarina before one of our lessons this week, and I asked her what her feelings were about baptism. The Spirit just sort of settled around us, and she told me that she knew it would be like a new start, a beginning of a new life for her. She said a person has to have that conviction that it is right, and that is why she reads so diligently, and prays so much about the things we teach her. I felt the Spirit whisper to me that Katarina "got it." She understood the covenant she was about to make, and she was doing her work to commune with God, and receive his confirmation. We do so little as missionaries. We're kind of like the people behind the stage, who make sure the curtains are pulled, and the props are set, and all the actors go out at the right time. It is the Spirit that makes that play turn into something truly magical - something that can change a life. Know this, family and friends... the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my life. It continues to shape me for the better each day. This is my testimony: the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can change every life. It brings deep peace, steadying strength, and profound understanding of God and self. From each of those things springs great joy. Every individual that gives time to studying the gospel and applying it's principles, will find themselves smiling more, loving more, and giving more thanks. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the restored Church of Jesus Christ. I know they are true. All my love, Sestra Lucy Brimhall

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