This is Bethani's post from September 9, 2014:
Aloha family and friends!
This week was not the most fun week of my life. I felt a bit of the refiner's fire that we all must pass through in order to become all that the Lord wants us to become. But at the end of such experiences there are always many blessings that make up for the trials.
I'm sure many of you have heard, but last week my grandmother, Jan Danylchuck, passed away. Thankfully my amazing mother was able to prepare me for her passing via email, so when the call from my mission president came I was not caught entirely unawares. It was still a very sad moment, but life must go on. I missed the opportunity to gather with family to mourn her passing, but throughout the experience I received the confirmation that this is where I'm needed the most. The Lord wants me in Oklahoma, so I will stay until my time here has come to an end.
Transfers happened this week, so we got a few new sisters to work with. We got 2 greenies, and another sister that I actually served with in Choctaw. On Wednesday (which was actually transfer day) we went to a youth activity in the Edmond 1st ward. The elders there had all of the missionaries in the zone go there so we could do splits with all the youth. We all taught a lesson about a principle of the gospel to a member family and then we had some time for personal contacting. Our lesson put us in the same neighborhood of an inactive family that nobody had been able to contact for quite some time and we were actually able to get in! I had no idea what was going on because I'm not serving in Edmond, but Elder Marsh said it was an amazing miracle!
We've also been doing language study with Hermana Gubler, who's serving in Quail Creek North and has an English-speaking trainer. She's fresh out of the MTC which means her Spanish is still pretty basic. So I've been teaching her because I'm the closest Hermana. It gives us a good opportunity to minister to them on a regular basis as well.
Another miracle! We were driving by this less-active family's house on Saturday and we felt prompted to go visit them even though we hadn't planned for it. The mom, daughter, and grandma were all at home, and when we walked in the grandma started crying. At first I though it was because she was scared of us or something, but I soon figured out that she still had a great love for the church but had been able to go since her health had taken a turn for the worse. I think she had a stroke, because she couldn't walk and she was having trouble talking. Her family hadn't taken her because she was in such bad shape and I don't think they understood how badly she wanted to go. But when we invited them to come, she started crying again. Her daughter asked "do you feel the Spirit mom?" She nodded. "does that mean you want to go to church?" VERY emphatic nodding. So they came! I hope the way I just described it paints a good picture, because it was a very sweet moment.
One final miracle. There's a member of one of the Edmond wards who's dating a nonmember. Nonmember wants to learn about the gospel. She lives in our area :). We start teaching her. She wants to have a lesson 3 days in a row and soaks up the gospel like a thirsty sponge. She even wants to come to a Relief Society activity WITHOUT KNOWING ANYBODY. She's seriously the most golden investigator of my mission! It's amazing to see how her heart was prepared and that everything lined up perfectly for her to accept the gospel and that she can recognize truth when she sees it. God is SO GOOD!
So my title was inspired by a song that the one and only Trevor Holloway wrote. It talks about how we all have trials in life, but how following the light of the Savior is the better way to live. I'm grateful for that knowledge. I'm grateful that I know that all of my trials all have purpose and that Jesus Christ knows what I'm going through and loves me enough to mold me and shape me and refine me. It's sometimes a very painful process, but if we choose to let it bring us closer to the Savior then it was all worth it.
I love you all! the church is true, the Book is blue, and Jesus loves you!
Con mucho amor,