First let me say Thank you to all of you who have remembered her in your prayers, fasts, and actions! Thank you for contributing to her life and mission in so many ways! This is a letter she wrote we received Monday afternoon. She asked me to share it with you all. It explains in more detail her week from her email dated Nov. 25.
I hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Ok, so from my e-mail I wanted to give more of the story about the blessing I received and Brother Polanco’s baptism.
I’ve had the prompting to ask for a blessing since…well my 1st transfer. Each time I talked myself out of it thinking I didn’t really need it, I was fine, or I didn’t want to bother the Elders with it. Finally, like I said, something snapped in my head and I knew I needed to get a blessing and I needed to get it now. Sister Matley felt the same way so we texted Elder Richens and Elder Johnson asking for one. They agreed (of course) and we set a time for 7pm at the church. Before receiving my blessing I had a weird feeling. Sister Matley and I sat in the car outside the church feeling nervous and anxious. I knew why I had the feeling…but it was still weird. I felt like a 2 year old child afraid to go to her Father for fear of being reprimanded. As silly as that sounds, that’s how I felt! I was afraid of what He would say. I knew I had disappointed Him and I felt bad for it and I was "afraid" of the punishment.
I knew I needed the blessing so I prayed and pleaded for peace. Sister Matley and I took a deep breath, said another prayer together, and went inside the church building. Elder Richens and Elder Johnson were inside reading their scriptures preparing for us. They had set aside another room to give the blessings in. They had the comfiest chairs for us to sit on, the heat turned on so we would be comfortable, and instead of their usual fun-loving, goofy, "boyish" behavior, they were reverent MEN of God who knew what power they had and the responsibility that came with that.
I could hardly talk when we walked in the room because–you guessed it–I was about to cry. I sat in the chair and as soon as they placed their hands on my head, I immediately felt peace. I couldn’t fight the tears anymore and I knew Heavenly Father had forgiven me, that He was proud of me, and that He knew everything I had been worried about.
I love the priesthood. I am grateful for worthy men who are called of God and who know their purpose. I know Heavenly Father loves me individually and perfectly. He has forgiven me–He always wants to forgive me !! I just have to trust in the Atonement and turn to Him, forgive myself, and work each day to be a little better.
If you have the prompting to receive a blessing, don’t delay it!! It doesn’t matter if you’re 8, 18, or 80. You can be a child, parent, etc. It doesn’t matter. Get a blessing! Heavenly Father is always willing to talk with us and give us an "extra boost." Learn from my "mistake" and please, if you even have the thought- or if you don’t remember the last time you got a blessing–get one, and have faith that your "unseen wounds will be healed."
Ok, wow, that was a lot…haha. Moving on…
Hermano Polanco was baptized on November 23rd. The service was in Spanish and the Spirit was abundantly present. He came out of the baptismal font crying and he bore the sweetest, purest, most humble testimony. Here’s why I call him my little Spanish miracle…
Our first full week here in Muscatine, Sister Matley and I decided to spend the day visiting with members/less actives in a small town (it has one blinking light) 30 minutes away. We stopped by the Polanco’s home, but she was at work, so we left. After hours of meeting with people, we were on our way home when Sister Matley said, "let’s try the Polanco’s one more time." (She was definitely inspired on that one). We went and she was home! We talked with them for 40 minutes. Turns out Brother Polanco almost got baptized in the summer, but had some Word of Wisdom issues. He had not met with missionaries since, but for some reason he talked with us.
Well…ok, I talked with him because he knows a little English. I know the Spirit helped me understand a little of what he was saying and by the good grace of God, I was albe to communicate. All I remember saying is "no mas cafe’ (no more coffee), mas agua (more water)!" I also remember saying God loved him and that’s why we were there. Oh and I told him that God wants him to be baptized. Today I couldn’t tell you how to say those things in Spanish, but that evening to Brother Polanco, I did. We left, called the Spanish Elders (Richens & Johnson) and turns out they had been thinking of him as well. A few weeks passed, the Elders met with him and he was baptized last Saturday!
Incredible right? The story continues!! Sunday after Brother Polanco was confirmed a member of the Church, I talked with Sister Polanco. She told me more of the story…
For years, Brother Polanco has met with missionaries. For years Sister Polanco has tried to get him to live the Word of Wisdom. Before his scheduled baptism in the summer, he had some problems with the Word of Wisdom and for the past 4 months has refused to have the missionaries come. He was frustrated, hurt, and embarrassed. That night we showed up at his door. I said, "no mas cafe’" and she said that that night he quit drinking coffee. He also gave up tea. She continued by saying that for years she pleaded and asked Heavenly Father for him to live the Word of Wisdom but she always got the answer of "be patient."
I don’t know what I did to deserve the honor of meeting Hermano Polanco. Every time since that day, whenever he sees me he says, "Hermana, no mas cafe’" with a smile. At his baptism, he told me how grateful he was that I came to his home. He said his baptism was because of me.
I can’t imagine how differently the story would have turned out if Sister Matley hadn’t suggested we "Just stop by"…I can’t imagine not having met my little Spanish miracle.
Like I said, I don’t know what I did to deserve the blessing of knowing Hermano Polanco but I know he and I were friends before this Earth. I can’t wait to be there at the temple when he and Sister Polanco are sealed for time and eternity and I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to talk to my little Spanish miracle and understand everything…I know it won’t be in this life, but it will happen.
I love being a missionary. My life has forever been changed by the people I’ve met here in Iowa. People keep saying this, and I know it’s true…my time in Iowa is coming to an end. I can feel it and I’m OK with that. I feel like I’ve become the person Heavenly Father wanted me to become and now I’ll get the opportunity to learn and grow again in Brasil.
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored on the Earth. I know that this like is a time to prepare and make promises with our Father, so we’ll be and feel worthy in His presence. I know we are children of Heavenly Father and I know He is aware of us–on the most intimate levels, He cares. He knows our thoughts, feelings, struggles, joys, and darkest corners. He loves us completely. He sees us now as the people we will become. All we have to do is trust in His plan.
I love you all.
May angels be with you this week as we give thanks to Him!
Sister Brooke Wolfgramm