Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Master Painter

Remember when I asked you all to send me your daily miracle? Today when I logged on, I was stunned with the amount of miracles you have seen in the last weeks. Thank you! I haven't read them all yet, but I've taken pictures of all of the emails so I can read them later. I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to know how many miracles you are seeing. This sister missionary could not be one ounce more happy right now. So thank you for that.

San Marino di Nuovo
Speaking of miracles, I have a story for you. Approximately twenty years ago, our branch mission leader joined the church. Emilio is the greatest, true story. His mom also joined the church, and now she's the branch Relief Society President. For twenty years, they have both tried to get his father interested in the church. He's Catholic and never really had any interest. Well, last week, he and his wife invited us over for lunch. We had a beautiful time with them and then we shared a short message about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read. When I told Emilio I had invited him to read, he just laughed at me.

Well, last night I was talking to Emilio, and he gave me the most wonderful news. His father has started to read the Book of Mormon. Let me tell you, I started crying, screaming, and jumping, all at the same time. I may or may not have accidentally thrown our phone (the new smart phone we're supposed to have a cover for...but don't) across the room. Later, I was talking about transfers. Emilio told me I'm not allowed to leave. He said that we're the first missionaries who have ever been able to get his father to read and we can't leave now. I realized something in that moment. Yes, his father chose to read after a lesson with us, but it wasn't our lesson. First, if you're doing your job, you don't actually teach that much. The spirit teaches, you just allow yourselves to be an instrument. 

But it's more than that. Twenty years worth of missionaries have met with this wonderful man. I'm sure that each one of them has left an impression upon him. Every time they bore their testimonies, they gave him a part of themselves, something precious. He may not remember all of their names, but I know that every one of them has played a significant role. We are just the last in a long line of missionaries. The most important missionaries have been his family. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if he'll decide to join the church, or how long it will take if he does. 

What I do know - missionaries have moments when they feel they aren't doing any good, aren't making a difference. But that's just not true. It's hard to remember there is a bigger picture we can't see. Only a small part of the canvas is visible to us. God is the master painter; he holds the brushes in his hands. He knows exactly what he's doing, and He knows the best way to accomplish it. Someday, I'll see finished work. But for now I'm content to see just my little part of the canvas. It may not seem grand or significant. But that's okay because it was created for me specifically, by One who knows everything. I know your part of the canvas was created just for you as well. It's beautiful, and it's important. Just like you.

I love you all. 

Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin

The sorelle in our district.

The sorelle in our district.
San Marino di Nuovo

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