It’s been such a fantastic week here in Tasmania! First, some big news: we found out transfer news…I’m staying in Tassie with Sister Chan!!! I was so excited when I found out. I really love this area a lot and I’m glad I have some more time here! I’m also grateful I get to be with Sister Chan another transfer, she is pretty hilarious. Example: Just yesterday after having a huge member feed of tacos, I saw her in the kitchen eating some leftover curry and rice from the last night. When I asked her why she was still eating, she answered, “If I don’t eat rice or noodles every day I feel like I dishonor my ancestors.” Hahaha.
Cool experience of the week: Two Sundays ago, we did not have any investigators at church. Sister Chan and I discussed it later that night and decided we wanted to focus on helping people attend sacrament the next week. We started mentioning it in every prayer. Because we were out of our area at meetings for 3 days, we were not able to meet with many of our investigators, but we kept praying to have people go to church. And in the last few days of the week, 6 people committed to coming to church and four of them actually came! One of those 4 was just someone we met on the street on Friday and invited to church. Two of the others had never gone to church before. It really made me realize once again how aware Heavenly Father is of us and how willing He is to answer our prayers. “Ask and you shall receive.”
I was reading the story of Balaam this last week from the book of Numbers in the Bible. It is one of the stories I remember being told as a bedtime story many times when I was younger. Balak the king of Moab is afraid of the Israelites and bribes Balaam, a prophet, to come and curse the Israelites. Balaam is commanded not to go, but leaves anyway. AS he is traveling to Moab, an angel appears in his path with a sword, unseen by everyone except the donkey Balaam is riding. The donkey saves Balaam three times by swerving out of the way of the angel. Balaam, not understanding why the donkey is behaving so strangely angrily starts to beat the donkey. They (here come the part I loved as a kid) the Lord opens the donkey’s mouth so it can talk to Balaam. The Lord also opens Balaam’s eyes so he sees the angel with the sword, who would of killed him if not for his donkey. That’s as far as I knew the story before (probably because my attention span as a child tuckered out after the talking donkey part). However, as I had the chance to read through the story again, I was able to find out the ending of this story. Balaam continued to Moab to see Balak. However, to the king’s dismay, Balaam blesses the Israelites rather than cursing them. In Numbers 24, Balak angrily commands Balaam to leave. He tells Balaam in verse 11, “I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord kept they back from honour.” Doesn’t that sound familiar? I feel like there are many members of the church who have been told that because they follow the commandments of God they are being held back from prestige, promotions, riches, opportunity, or honour. But I love Balaam’s rely to the king in verse 13: “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak.” Balaam understood the concept that faithful followers of Christ throughout the history have realized; no amount of honour or glory we receive form man can in the least compare to the honour and glory we get from the Lord as we follow His commandments EXACTLY.