Thursday, June 30, 2016

Refiner's Fire

It feels like everything is just going by waaaay to fast! 10 months already!!
Ahhhh! Just slow down time, ok?

A sister can dream.

Anyways this week was pretty good! We saw sooo many miracles.

Tuesday we were on exchanges with the sister training leaders in Bangor. I went with Sister Hallam, who was companions with Sister Bee right after she got done training me! So we had so much fun! We went walking around all day tracting and potential hunting in the snow.

Yes, the snow. SNOW, I am really not a fan.

And my foolish dreaming innocent self thought that since it was just about May that it would be warm. I was wrong, so horribly wrong.

Well this week we taught a lot of people and members. We did a lot of yard work service and flower planting. And we helped a lot of people who have a lot of hard problems that we can't do anything about except teach them of how the Savior can do to help them.

It seemed like every lesson we had the infamous question always came up. "Why does bad things happen to good people?"

For example there is a member here that we teach, and with her permission, I would like to share some of the hard things she has been going through.

She has tried her whole life to be good. She reads her scriptures, went to church, prayed, raised her children the best she could. But then health issues came up. She has been through cancer already twice before I met her 6 months ago. And offer the course of that 6 months I watched with her as she went though more cancer, resulting in her finger being amputated. The battle that she thought was finally over suddenly popped up again when the doctors discovered a malignant tumor in her cheek that has spread to her temples, jaw, and neck. She is now going through test after test, in the process of moving an hour away to be closer to the hospital, and she can barely open her mouth all the way.

Along with her problems there was a member with 3 deaths in the family. Another member going in to surgery today, another member going through radiation, and other member was just released from the hospital after a sudden attack which could have killed him. Another members dad just got admitted to the hospital after almost dying and now she has to take the role of taking care of him.

These are all good people, why are all theses bad things happening to them? They have been faithful, and have always relied on Christ. What's the deal?

In the Book of Mormon class we were teaching, this subject came up. A sister shared of how her sister died of cancer and while she was dying she asked, what did I do to deserve this?

We all have problems, some worse than others. But as it has been pointed out to me, life just happens. God doesn't sit up in a cloud thinking of different ways that he can afflict us. He doesn't ask Himself, "hmm... What can I do to cause the most pain and heartache possible?"

Now back to this sweet sister with cancer in her cheek. We had a lesson with her and we asked her to txt us or call us a miracle she saw from the Lord everyday. Well, last night she texts us and says, Sisters, I NEED you to call me asap.

So we call her and she tells us this story. About a month ago she was at the hospital for a check up. While she was waiting for her son she was looking at some shirts at the gift shop and saw one she really liked. With all of her medical bills she couldn't afford it. A lady she had never met before came over to buy one of the shirts and struck up a conversation. After hearing a little bit of what this sweet sister was going through this kind lady grabbed the shirt she liked and bought it for her. This sister was so overwhelmed with such a small act of kindness.

Well the month goes on and this sister is in the laundry room of her apartment complex  doing laundry when a familiar face walked in. It was the kind lady! She had just moved into that same apartment complex and was there to stay! Well these two women start talking and this sister expresses more of her cancer and how it has spread in her mouth and neck when the kind lady started tearing up. She had been through the exact same kind of cancer and offered so much comfort and counsel.

Along with the comfort of the Holy Ghost and her faith, this sister has another companion to help her through this difficult time. She new that God had heard her prayers and knew her fears. But He never has and never will leave us alone.

So I guess this whole letter is just one big spiritual thought,
But bad things happen to everybody. No matter what kind of life you live or how strong your faith is.
Things happen because that is life, that is what it is like to be mortal. Our Heavenly Father knew how hard it would be. So that is why He gave His son, Jesus Christ. Who suffered EVERYTHING we have and will ever go through. Everything. Every tear, every heartache, every pain imaginable He has felt it.

James E. Faust said, "Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong... In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.
Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful... This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process.
In our extremities, it is possible to become born again, born anew, renewed in heart and spirit. We no longer ride with the flow of the crowd, but instead we enjoy the promise of Isaiah to be renewed in our strength and “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isa. 40:31)."
This letter may seem a little sad, with all of the heartache and pain that I mentioned. But, I am just filled with so much joy and gratefulness towards the Savior. Through hard times we are never ever ever alone.
Ah! So many miracles that I am so grateful that I get the privilege of witnessing.
The church is true my friends,
Christ is the Savior and God is our loving Heavenly Father. We can be happy during the hard times as well as the good. There is always a miracle that God provides for us every single day.
Have a happy day loves!!
Sister Dickson

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