This week was insane - so much happened. I'll get to all that eventually, but right now I want to talk about Elder Ward. I'm copying and pasting what was said in our weekly bulletin because it says it better than I would...''In our mission this week, we have truly seen the hand of God, protecting one of our missionaries.
You have all heard about the horrible train wreck in Galicia on Wednesday, and that one of our new missionaries, who arrived in our mission on Tuesday, was involved. Elder Ward was on the train to A Coruña, final destination El Ferrol, when, just as it approached Santiago de Compostela, the entire train derailed. He was unconscious for a short period of time, then was helped from the train.
One third of the passengers on the train were killed, and the rest were injured, most of them very seriously. Elder Ward was taken to A Coruña by ambulance. After a long 24 hours in the hospital, he was released late Thursday night. We brought him back to Madrid, where he will receive more medical attention, and recuperate.
We feel so blessed that he has been protected and will be able to recover fully. His injuries were less severe than almost everyone else on the train.
Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones in the accident. Many do not have a knowledge of the plan of salvation. Imagine not knowing that you would see your loved one again! They are thirsting for the light and knowledge that we can bring them.
Thank you all for your faith and prayers on behalf of Elder Ward. He expresses his gratitude to each of you and to many, many others who were praying for him to be all right. He even received a call from President Uchtdorf to wish him well and thank him for his service. Elder Ward was faced with an onslaught of reporters from all over the globe over the 48 hours that followed the accident. He has been a true ambassador for the Church and represented you and all missionaries as a witness for Jesus Christ.''
I'm so grateful Elder Ward is alive and recovering. Wednesday night we heard about the wreck and that Elder Ward was on the train. We had no idea whether he was dead or alive until Thursday morning when we got a text from the AP's saying his situation was very serious and that he was unstable. They asked us to pray for Elder Ward, his family, and President and Hermana Jackson as they were in charge of making important medical decisions for him. We knelt down right then and offered a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father that Elder Ward was alive and we asked that if it be His will, he could make a full recovery.
The following morning we got another text saying that our prayers had been heard and had helped immensley. Elder Ward was discharged and the doctors said he would make a full recovery. At that moment I was reminded of the power of prayer. We're almost 200 missionaries here in Madrid and it was incredible to know that we were all praying so hard for the same thing. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. It's an incredible thing Elder Ward has gone through, but he has been so positive the whole time. Everyone in Spain has heard about it and I'm grateful for his example.
On Monday night I felt like I needed to call Oscar and even though I was nervous, I followed the prompting from the Spirit. I was glad I did because he answered and we had an awesome lesson with him! Long story short, he's working now to get his life on track so that he can continue to work towards baptism. I can't say enough about how incredible Oscar is. I'm really proud of him for making the necessary arrangements to follow the commandments of God.
Tuesday I met my baby! Her name is Hermana Heims and she is incredible. I feel like she's training me! Haha she's from Reno, she's 21, and she's wonderful. We've worked really hard this week and had some pretty neat spiritual experiences contacting...
|Hermanas: Stepp, Smith, Shill, Hansen, Me, Heims, and Gabriella in front|
We testified to José Antonio about the plan of salvation, to Teresa about the power of faith and prayer, and to Angela about living prophets that lead and guide us. Sometimes I forget about how much I love contacting and all the neat people I meet doing it!
Saturday morning we were waiting for a lesson and then all of a sudden I saw Kassi Reid! She's in the MTC right now headed to the Barcelona Mission! Super nuts.
|KASSI REID IS HERE! She's going to Barcelona. How craaaazy.|
Kassi was in our Ward when we lived in Overland Park, Kansas in 2002 – 2006.
Basically I still love being a missionary. I love it more every single day. I never want this experience to end and I'm sad it goes by faster and faster. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church and that this work is the most important thing we will ever do. Pray for missionary opportunities. Please pray for them! I know that if you do so, and you act on promptings you receive, Heavenly Father will put people in your path that are ready and receptive. It happens for me every single day and it's the thing that makes me happiest in this world.
I love my Savior and I love all of you.