Seeing Amber progress has been the highlight of the century. She is growing leaps and bounds. Her boyfriend Victor doesn't believe in God, but when we went to her house the other day, we started talking to him and he said,
"I love that you girls come and talk to Amber. She's always been a good woman, but she is an even better woman now. She's just happier; more patient with our kids."
And Amber has said that many people have commented on that. This week, she had been begging us to teach her the commandments, so we taught her the Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and the 10 Commandments. It's was interesting to teach the 10 commandments because in Oklahoma, everyone is well "versed" in the Bible. (See what I did there?) When we teach them things like the Atonement or the 10 Commandments, they have a hard time understanding any difference between what we believe and what they believe because it's already quite clear to them what it means. But Amber has no religious background whatsoever, so she soaks everything in, recognizes that she feels the spirit, and deems it as truth.
We taught her the commandments using hand signals so that she could remember them, and when we taught her the third one "Thou shalt not use the name of the Lord thy God in vain", she blushed and got all worked up.
"That's a sin?!"
"OMG! I feel so guilty!"
We giggled a little and then just looked at her.
"Oh man... this one's going to be tough for me. But I can do it!"
She is so humble. So ready to learn. When we teach her something, she applies it instantly. She came to church again yesterday and brought her two littlest kids, and they sat reverently. (It might be because we brought 6 bags of Cheerios, crayons, and Gospel Art books to keep them entertained.)
Yesterday, we found out that the Bishop is going out of town for a couple weeks, but Amber wants to get married before her baptism, so the Bishop is going to marry them this week. Sister Garner and I are getting really good at planning Shot-Gun weddings. If anyone needs to elope, contact your local missionaries. We're excited for them! Excited to see Victor inside the church. So many of the members already love Amber, I'm sure they'll love Victor as well. :)
We're been spending a lot of time with Jayme and Amber, trying to get them ready for their baptisms. Jayme wants her husband to baptize her so we're going to delay her baptism for a little bit, but she's still on track and going strong. The work of the Lord is progressing rapidly and everything is going so well.
Something that was made glaringly evident to me this week is the Lord's individual love for each one of his children. It seems like He is always striving to push His way into our lives and we are always fighting against it, but He wants us to rely on Him, He wants us to forgive ourselves so we can love ourselves like He loves us. Not in a prideful way, but in the kind of way where you feel good with who you are because you recognize that you matter, that you have purpose. And that your ultimate purpose is to be of service to others.
This was made obvious to Sister Garner and myself a couple weeks ago. We went to a Jimmy Johns (because it's my favorite place in the universe so sometimes we splurge) and were sitting in the lobby. I looked up and read a poster on the wall that told some long anti-climactic story. I finished reading it and shrugged and looked down at the table, then Sister Garner looked up and read the same thing. She shrugged and looked down as well. So I tried to evaluate why we both had had such apathetic responses to this poster. I realized it was because we're so used to being saturated in the Gospel! Everything we read in the scriptures, everything we talk about with others is uplifting. That poster was so secular, it had no point, we didn't feel the spirit when we read it, so we shrugged and went on to talk about the Gospel because that's the source of all patience, truth, and happiness.
Seek for the good.
I have loved this song this week. The lyrics are so powerful.
1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.
Text: Emma Lou Thayne,
I love you guys. I pray that you had a blessed week and were aware of your blessings.
Today we went to the Tiger Safari in Tuttle, famous for the 2015 "Tigernado". If you're unfamiliar with what that is, and I'm sure you are, Google it. We got to feed tigers! And Llamas! :)