January 18, 2016 — Miracles — Transferred to Vancouver

Week 54 – 55

I had a number of powerfully spiritual lessons in my area with the
people I work with this week. There were a number of fantastic
miracles. I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the miracles
happening in the Gresham Spanish Area right now are because of all the
assistance that the members are giving to us. In the hymn “Praise To
The Man” there is the line that states “sacrifice brings forth the
blessings of heaven,” which is a statement that I have thought to be
quite profound for the past few years since I noticed it and
recognized some of its meaning. The sacrifices that the members are
making in assisting us so much with transportation is really bringing
forth blessings and miracles for the work in this area. There are a
few of these miracle stories that I would like to share. They were
really enjoyable to experience and one of them was even a lesson that
I have prayed and fasted for many times through the 7 months of my
mission that I’ve served in this area.

Miracle – Brian & Marilyn Hernandez
So during my weekly planning session for the previous week, Elder Meza
and I had devised a plan for what we would be doing for Brian
throughout all of our future lessons for the next 16 or so lessons.
When we visited Brian, and Marilyn since she was present as well, we
laid the foundation for what we would be focusing on with them for the
next 16 lessons and explained how we would be building up each of
their individual understandings and Testimonies of Jesus Christ and as
much of what they can understand of what it means to have a Savior.
We had each of them bare simple Testimonies for us about Jesus Christ
and told them to remember how that first Testimony that they each bore
felt and that when we would have been bare their Testimony’s in the
future for us, that they would noticeably be much stronger. It was a
good lesson to start things off. This lesson felt extremely right.
The Spirit was obviously affecting Brian and Marilyn as it just showed
in their countenances that they felt this was possibly what they both
needed to obtain a more sure testimony of everything that they
believe in. The Hermanas were also present in the lesson and backed
us up with what they had to share to help Brian and Marilyn feel even
excited about about where they will both be after these lessons. I am
and was from the start very excited since these lessons that we have
prepared for them are going to be very comprehensive and bring a lot
of depth to their understandings of Jesus Christ.

Miracle – Brian’s Family
Brian and Marilyn weren’t home nor were any other members of the
family. Not even the toddlers. Only Geimy and Carlos, their parents,
were home which provided a Golden opportunity to teach them,
especially since Hermano Pereyra, the member that we had with us, so
easily diffused all sense of awkwardness for any that there could have
been. He is a pretty funny and goofy dude. So we asked them if we
could share a message with them, which Geimy happily excepted and
sarcastically said Carlos wouldn’t mind listening to either. We
decided to take this extremely rare chance we had been given to teach
them to share a message focused on Jesus Christ as that is what we
were currently focusing on with Brian and Marilyn. As we talked about
Jesus Christ and His ultimate purpose in our lives, we lead the lesson
into the Gospel of Jesus Christ and were able to teach a full
discussion. We had Pereyra bare his testimony on how the Gospel has
been an immense blessing in his life as well. It was well received by
them. Carlos ended up asking us some good questions pertaining to how
and why there are many churches and wanted to hear what we had to say
on that. Our response was about how almost all churches are “good” in
that they have a portion of the Gospel, but that what matters most
between all of the many churches is which one has the fullness of the
Gospel. We bore testimony of how the LDS church contains the fullness
and that it is only through the fullness of the Gospel that we will
one day be able to return to Heaven to live with our loving Father in
Heaven, our Savior Jesus Christ, and our families for eternity. He
appreciated the answer. When Carlos asked that question, it was
around the time that the Hermanas and Lili Vásquez (Geimy’s sister who
is a member) arrived, so she left the discussion, but was present for
the central part of the lesson. To end the evening, we invited her
back over for a closing prayer which she pulled her 21 year old
daughter Saidy in for. When we walked out of the house, I was
overcome with so much joy and happiness since I have been wanting and
trying to teach these 2 for the entire time that I have been in this
area, so it finally coming to pass was just a miracle to me.

Miracle – The Bishop’s Home
So something interesting happened this past week that began with my
Bishop’s daughter, who is 12, all of a sudden beginning to be
terrified of me. . . I have known her for my entire time in Gresham,
especially with how often I have met at my Bishop’s home for meetings
and other things. The daughter is a loud and sociable person who
enjoyed getting to know people. She especially loves getting to know
missionaries. So the problem, as I took note of it, began when I
realized that the daughter was avoiding me. She was avoiding me in
every way possible as well. Rarely making eye contact, never being in
the same room as me for more than a moment before darting back around
a corner or wall, going silent when I would be near or making
conversation, etc. It was just strange to me since she was normally
so chatty when I was around. I brought it up to her parents out of
concern since I was wondering if I had done something wrong or
offensive and they at first told me that there was nothing wrong.
Then after the Sunday of last week, I overheard the daughter telling
some of the young women in both the Spanish ward and the English ward.
. . that she was terrified of me and that I was crazy. The Hermanas
while at church had also pulled me aside to let me know of some things
concerning this matter since the daughter had told this to them as
well. Now confused, I decided that at the next opportunity, I would
speak with the Bishop or his wife about this. Another day passes and
it’s Tuesday evening now and the Bishop’s wife calls me after a Book
of Mormon class that we had. She asks if it is a good time, before
explaining to me from her end this whole problem that has been coming
about with her daughter and her terror towards me. She explains that
everything was just a misunderstanding and that I was at fault for
nothing and that these feelings of terror that her daughter was having
towards me we from a traumatic experience that something pertaining to
me had triggered after all of this time being around me. She went
into a lot of detail on all of this with me which made it much easier
to understand the daughter and where she was coming from and to also
be more understanding about the whole situation. What she explained
to me was that her daughter had an experience that now causes her to
fear any male that she gets close to in any way, aside from direct
family members, like her dad and brother. This “closeness” pertains
to becoming good friends with any male or also developing a lot of
respect for them. And when either of those reach a certain pinnacle,
her understanding of her relationship or friendship with the male
flips and her mind makes her think that the person can’t be trusted
and that they will possibly do something horrible to her or her loved
ones around her. Now for someone like me, that seems a little
ridiculous that that can even come about in someone’s mind, but again,
I often remind myself that everyone is different and that everyone has
their own problems. Some more unique than others. So the mother told
me that she would like me to come over and have her daughter apologize
to me face to face with her and the bishop present to make sure that
everything would be alright. So the following day, we went over to
the Bishop’s home and the whole visit was treated almost like a court
style situation. I sat across from her at their dinner table and the
Bishop kind of acted like the mediator with the wife listening from
another room and my companion sitting across from the Bishop since it
was necessary for him to be present. We started things with a prayer,
and I had said a prayer just outside their door as well before
entering since I had no idea how this would all go. The Bishop had
his daughter basically begin to express how she was feeling and had
felt about all of this to me and then apologize. He then had me
express my feelings on the whole situation and what had happened. I
did so, but I did it in a way that was abnormal and unfamiliar to me.
It felt similar to the sensation felt when giving a Priesthood
blessing, as though the Spirit was moving upon me almost governing the
words that were leaving my mouth. I almost felt like I was listening
to what I was saying more than focusing on what I was saying, and the
reason I share this is because I was literally witnessing myself speak
words of comfort to another human being, on their level, and with the
sincerity necessary behind my tone of voice. I. Don’t. Do. That, nor
did I know that I knew how to do that. The things I said were exactly
what she needed to hear and it was amazing to watch her forgive
herself and even overcome her irrational yet still apparent fears of
me. The spirit was extremely strong and I could see it in the
expression of the Bishop that he almost didn’t want me to stop
speaking as he could see as well that the words that the spirit was
conveying through my mouth were comforting his daughter more than
anything or anyone else present could. When the conversation ended,
amongst everyone present, we closed with a prayer before leaving and
as I walked out of the home, it almost felt like a layer of the mantle
of the Spirit had been lifted off since it was necessary for it to
have been so there during that meeting that we had. This was just a
cool spiritual experience for me and made me feel happy that the
daughter was feeling so much better in every way after the meeting was
over.

I’m really just getting to have such fulfilling experiences out here
on my mission. I’m still so glad that I came out to serve and am
really looking forward to continuing to serve for my remaining 10
months.

I have transfers this week and will be getting transferred on
Wednesday from Gresham to Vancouver. Although I am a little nervous
and sad to be leaving the area that I have spent the majority of my
mission in, I am a little excited to serve in the last area that I’ve
never been in.

Sorry for not sending an email last week. Sometimes I get overwhelmed
with certain things that happen out here and I fall through with
sending home these emails. I’ll try to be more on top of them as time
goes on.

Have a great week everyone.

Sincerely,
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville

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