Another great week in Melbourne :) We were able to really get some great teaching experience this week for Sister C (we just got our transfer news last Saturday and Sister C and I will be companions for another transfer!! Woohoo!). We have such an amazing investigator right now. She has already read more than 200 pages of the Book of Mormon (in a week!) and says that, although she does not completely understand everything she reads, she can feel the Spirit. We hit our first problem last week though...she has a parent guardian visa and she said that the visa limits her from working or studying when she is in Australia until her son is 18. She had talked to her visa agent in China about joining church and he said that it would be better to wait until August when her son turned 18 before when got involved in any religious activity. When she told Sister C and I, we had no idea how to help her. We went home that night and prayed that the Lord would help us know what to do. I had a feeling I should call our Branch President for advise. I talked with him briefly over the phone about our investigators predicament and he told us that there would be no problem and asked us to invite our investigator to meet with him before church the next day. Our investigator accepted and we went to his office together the next morning. Our branch president had prepared a TV screen that showed the parent guardian visa requirements and was able to explain to her very clearly that the visa could not restrict religious activity. Our investigator left the office happy and looking forward to her baptismal date later this month :) I'm so grateful for an amazing branch president who was so willing to take the time to help!
I was reading the story of the 10 lepers this week again. Briefly, the story goes like this: One day the Savior entered a village where there were 10 lepers. These 10 lepers came to the Savior and said, “Master, have mercy upon us; havemercy upon us who have that terrible ailment of leprosy.” And He said to the 10 lepers, “Go show yourself unto the priest”—which they did. As they went to the priest, they were cleansed, all 10 of them. A short time later, one of themreturned to the Savior and fell on his face and his hands and his knees, thanking the Savior for blessing him and making him well from that terrible disease. And the Savior said to that one man: “Weren’t there 10? What has happened tothe other nine? Where are they?” The Savior then told the man, "Arise, go thy way. Thy faith has made you whole."
I have heard this story many, many times throughout my life. But, as I read it this last week, I had 2 new ideas that came to my mind that changed my perspective on the story.
1. Lukesays "As they went (to the priest), they were cleansed." It was not in the presence of the priest that the lepers were cleansed, but in the journey. I think that perhaps one of the reasons that 9 of the lepers did not return to thank Christ is that they perhaps did not ascribe the miracle to him. They might have been so focused on act of visiting the priest to be cleansed as a confirmation of Christ's power that, when they were cleansed along the way, they did not recognize the Savior's hand in their healing. Perhaps the grateful leper was the only one who was able to connect the miracle with the Savior's advise to visit the priest. It makes me reconsider: when answer to our prayers come in ways I do not expect or possibly want, how quick am I to recognize the source?
2. I love that last line. "Thy faith has made you whole." All of the lepers were cleansed physically, but only one was made whole, mind, body, and spirit. And it is in that state that we can find happiness that outlast any bodily frailties.
LOVE YOU ALL! Congrats to Rachel on her play success!