Long time, no talk.
The Mustard Seed:
Firstly, sorry I have not emailed in a few weeks. Hopefully this will explain a little bit. For about 3 months now, I have been having horrendous stomach/gastrointestinal issues. After being in and out of various doctors and having various tests, it was decided that I needed to have an endoscopy in Warsaw last Monday. So, off we went. After arriving in Warsaw, I was taken straight to the American medical clinic. I started having this procedure done without being put asleep or being numbed. If you really know me, you know that medical stuff is like my worst nightmare. So, I totally freaked out during the procedure (especially because I have the worst gag reflex...ever). The doctor decided to stop the endoscopy and do it again Tuesday so I could be asleep. Anyways, no sugar coating, Monday was quite simply a terrible day. I was feeling defeated and hopeless. I was scared. I was beyond tired. My body hurt everywhere. I just wanted my mom. I think I cried for 4 hours straight. I had been fasting all day. I had been poked and prodded what seemed like a million times. All I could think was: How Much Longer Do I Have To Endure This??? Why Me?? Why On My Mission??? Are You Even There, God???? Is This Ever Going To End?????
It sounds dramatic, I know....but I was just so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!
The phone call that changed it all: I got to call home to fill in my family on all my medical stuff ...which is where the (much needed) pep talk of a lifetime happened. My mom did a lot of talking and I did a lot of listening. After venting about my horrible day, she kinda low-key roasted my lack of faith (which now I can totally see I had). I kept saying things like, "Mom, I cannot take another minute!--I cannot do this alone", etc. And then she said, (pretty bluntly), "Tal, you've got to have that mustard seed of faith". After that phone call, I did a lot of thinking, studying, and praying. How much faith really is a mustard seed of faith? Do I even have the faith that I can get better? I read in Matthew 17, "...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard...nothing shall be impossible unto you".
This week, I stopped saying "why me?!"....and instead, "what can I learn from this?--how can I be better through this??--how can I be strengthened through this??"
I love my mom. Moms really do know how to help you, even if they are thousands of miles away.
A dear friend just sent me this in an email: " 'the quorum of the twelve apostles never say they ‘fear’ something, they say they have ‘concerns’ because fear implies a lack of faith.'"
So, now....am I still in a lot of physical pain? Yes. Have things improved? Not yet. BUT...I have the faith that things will work out how the Lord wants and in His timing.
Operation Dream Catcher:
I had a dream about a month ago (right after the Anderson conference) of this really cool finding activity. And in this dream, 400 people got baptized because of this display. This display, was a 3D model of the Plan of Salvation...kind of resembling a giant elemetary school solar system project and was done on the beach in Sopot, Poland. I woke up and told the district that we have to build this model and that we have to take it to the beach!! So, we bought some PVC pipe, styrofoam balls, paint, etc...and went to work! This thing has taken 2 weeks to construct, but it is just about ready! It looks really good. It is 5 ft. tall and 9 ft. long! I'll attatch pictures next week.
9th Floor, First Door:
Yesterday, we planned to take Operation Dream Catcher to the beach. We were all really excited. But, on our way, it started POURING. Pouring. So, we had to take the materials back and go tracting. I kept thinking, "Why did it have to rain RIGHT here....RIGHT now...?" God knows we want to do this activity! But, we moved on and went tracting. A famous quote in this mission is "every door you knock on is 10 baptisms in south america"...meaning we don't see a ton of results from our tracting efforts :) But...we had the faith (something I am working on) that something would happen! We had been knocking on a few floors by this point...and reached the 9th floor of this apartment building. The first door we knocked on, this really cute girl invited us in and was so happy to talk with us! She was even in the middle of painting her nails. I gave her my number and she said, "I am very interested. I hope we see each other again!". Me too. MIRACLE.
great faith precedes miracles.
go after that mustard seed.
siostra talia beem
ul. Wiertnieza 135, 1 Pietro
02-952 Warszawa Poland