Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So last time I wanted to tell you about a recent convert couple Marlene and Tom but then I so rudely ran out of time! (we are all very blessed it went through last week because the computer started to shut down the moment I pressed send - but I suppose there's a lesson in procrastination or time management in that). Marlene and Tom joined the church maybe 18 months ago and they are working to get sealed in the temple. They've been married for more than 50 years and they are from Liverpool, England and I admire them both so much. When I was last in the area we visited Marlene a lot because Tom was in hospital and when we could we'd ask permission from our leaders to leave our area and visit Tom! But now Tom is back at home and recuperating well. I think around 3 years ago, after a morning jog, Tom had a stroke. And their lives changed forever. But then the sisters knocked on their door! I remember Sister Christensen telling me about the first time she taught them about prayer and how they could pray to God directly and didn't have to pray through any saints for help. They've come so far. And Tom has a talent for writing! I find his story really inspirational and I think that the message of hope that it shares really is the gospel message. I know that the Lord works in mysterious ways that we often cannot comprehend from our mortal perspective. So here is an exerpt:
"I've met some beautiful and wonderful, caring people since the stroke. I'd like to dedicate this story to those people, to my wife and full time carer Marlene and to those who are also struggling to recover. Don't give up. Don't give in to hopelessness. I know I want to get back to the way I was. Love is my motivation. This is a deep seated love for my wife. We've been married for fifty four years now...
My first attempt at walking holding onto a bar was actually a magical feeling. I'll tell you how that came about. One of the nurses came into my room one day and said, "Tom, how would you like to go for a walk?" I thought she was joking. I told her I couldn't walk. But she said, "You haven't tried it with me yet have you? I'm going to take you for a walk down the passageway, holding onto the wall bar. Don't worry about it, I'll be with you, you'll be safe." So she wheeled me out to the passageway in the wheelchair and positioned me next to the bar. She told me to stand and then took the chair away, came back and told me to start walking slowly, taking steps. I just felt so relieved when I took that first step. Then I took my second step, still holding the bar, strangling the life out of it. I was holding the bar so tightly. I took about ten steps and thought I was in some magical moment. I was moving but nobody was pushing me, and I wasn't in the wheelchair. It was then that I noticed the members of my family at the other end of the bar. They were watching with a look of surprise and wonderment. My daughter was crying with happiness. They thought they would never see me standing or walking ever again. I am eternally grateful for that nurse. I wish I could remember her name. She showed me how to walk. I think that maybe God sent her to me."
Something else that happened this week was weekly Book of Mormon class! A member came with our investigator, he's playing like a fatherly and mentor role for him right now as his family is in the States but he said something that stood out to me. He said he had many friends from many different religions and he asked them all, "how do you know your church is true?" And he said all his friends said the same thing! And I tried to guess what they all said but I couldn't think of it. And he said, they all say "I know my church is true because we follow the Bible."
And I thought - what a paradox! All of these different churches reading the bible and only the bible and purely the bible yknow and yet following so many different traditions.
And we were studying 2 Nephi 29 at the time (awesome chapter) and talking about how we know our church is true. The member went on to explain that we are the only church that does not base their authority on the Bible, but we use the Bible and go to the author of all truth Himself, we ask God the Father, the author of all truth, what is truth. And we get our answer. And we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
I feel like this is something I understood as a child but something I had forgotten as I grew up somehow. The world beckons - you know? But if we heed the still, small voice, we will not be led astray.
So another wonderful week has passed in the ZAAM - full of ups and downs.
Until next time!
Have a miraculous week. :)

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