Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell…You are closed.  Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance (which we could also call negativity) will create more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side, life will not be helpful.  If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in.  When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up.  If action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with that whole and supported by creative intelligence…(You experience) a state of inner openness.  Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative.  Coincidences happen.  If no action is possible, you rest in the peace and inner stillness that come with surrender.  You rest in God.”  Eckhart Tolle

I found this quote from Echart Tolle on a crumpled piece of paper in my pocket yesterday and remembered how it had played out in the last few months.

 This first picture is like the way I did not accept this opportunity at first.  Life in general was “not helpful”.  I prepared two Lessons that I didn’t get to teach.  People we called weren’t home.  Nothing was working.  When I decided to trust in the Savior and let myself relax in his care and show confidence in Him, things began working in crazy ways.  Coincidences I couldn’t imagine began to happen.  Lexi, my good friend from High School, sent a blanket email to friends and family from Warsaw Poland.  The Smiths in Ghana picked it up and wrote to Lexi asking if the David mentioned was the same one she knew.  Lexi forwarded it to us and we wrote to them.  Then they mentioned our call to the Congo to their friends who had left Ghana and they mentioned it to their neighbors who were going to the Congo, and (following this?) the “neighbors” happen to be the new mission president over our mission as of July!  So crazy!  Another similar one—Kent mentioned to a Dr. friend that we were going to the Congo.  The Dr. had a client who had a son who was going to Africa and said that a certain couple, who had been there, had been a great help to them.  When we received that couple’s name, we were actually able to meet them, talk about Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi, and even see pictures.  They were in Bujumbura when the first branch was formed 3 years ago.  Now there are two, almost three branches.
I can honestly say, Echart Tolle nailed it with this experience.  So unbelievable!
The next picture is Garth and Wendy with us at the Map in the MTC.  As “coincidence” would have it, they entered the same day as we did, but they are going to the Philippines.  It is fun sharing the experience with them.  They flew 30 hours one way and stayed in April 7.  We flew 30 hours the other way and went from April 7 to April 9.

 We were told we would have no language training these two weeks, but we have met a wonderful couple from Quebec who have been helping us with our language adventure.  They are delightful!  In Romania one of my much used terms was, “am uitat”.  In French it is “j’ai oublie”.  So happy to know how to say, “I forgot.”
Our French Tutors at the MTC

We watched it, I bought it, I gave it away, borrowed it from someone else and watched it again.  Yes, a movie, Ephraim’s Rescue.  It was inspiring.  I was impressed with several quotes in it, but one that hit me was when the men were in the freezing snow storm, not sure if there actually WAS a handcart company lost out there, and some were ready to go back.  Erastus Snow said, “I will find that company or die trying.”  Devotion and integrity are sometimes overlooked in this world of materialism and “take care of me” attitudes.
In the Cafeteria one day I saw an elder who looked so very familiar.  I told him that he looked so familiar and asked him where he was from.  He said, (I forgot where), but then smiled and asked if I had seen the movie “Ephraim’s Rescue” then it hit me that he was the boy!  He was the boy who was in the handcart company and his feet were severely frostbitten, but he was healed.   He is here in the MTC also learning French. He is on his way to Paris. 

It is always a secret who is the devotional speaker.  And always a wonderful experience.  Tonight we were thrilled to hear the tabernacle organist bear testimony and perform some pieces on the beautiful organ in the Mission Training Center.  Richard Elliot was an organist when he heard about the church as a young man.  He describes himself as a long haired rock musician, but he had read scripture and had noticed some things missing from churches he had visited.  He was looking for a missionary church who had prophets and apostles like the primitive church in the bible.  He told about a mother with two sons that he met in the Argentina Rosario mission field.  The boys had become members, but the mother seemed an unlikely candidate.  She smoked and kept a very unorganized and not so clean home.  He overlooked the potential she had, but a new native elder came to be his companion and he suggested they go help her.  While helping her clean the house, they came upon her cigarette stash.  The elder took two of the cigarettes and play acted with them as if they were talking to each other. “Oh Michella, you are our slave!” they said.  She cried and Brother Elliot was worried that she would be offended, but instead she admitted that she needed to stop smoking, came to church and eventually was baptized.  When he saw her months later, she was transformed – so happy and physically looked like a different person.

Another wonderful surprise was that Brother Elliot brought with him David Archuleta who has just returned home from a mission to Chili.  He actually gave his homecoming speech today.  He was glowing with the spirit.  He told about a time in Chili when he felt so strongly he should give an invitation to a young woman on the bus to come to a young adult activity.  He fought with the prompting that came to him three times, because she looked so hardened with piercings etc.  But, just before they were to get off, he went and sat beside her, visited briefly and gave her an invitation to the event.   Months later another elder asked him if he knew an Ingrid.  He learned that she went to the event and later met with the missionaries.  Eventually he heard that her family had also joined the church and that she was planning on serving a mission.  He sang two hymns, so beautifully it would make you cry.  “Be Still My Soul” was first, then he told about his Mother’s conversion.  She always told him, she didn’t remember what the missionaries said, but she could never forget how she felt.  He expressed gratitude to her for accepting the gospel and teaching him.  His grandmother also joined the church and she told him how she had heard an angelic choir singing the morning before they were going to be baptized.  Then at the church she wept when they sang the same song she had heard, “Come, Come Ye Saints”.  He sang it with one verse in Spanish.  He followed all of this up with two verses of Hark all Ye Nations and invited us to sing with him on the last verse.  I can say I sang with David Archuletta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Organist!  MTC Devotionals are superb, that’s no secret!


  1. You guys are awesome. Looking forward to following your adventures!

  2. Hey there David and Carol! Just checking on your adventures! Wow you got to sing with Daivd Archileta how fun!!!! I think you should now be in the Congo, hope all is going well. I think you are going to convert the hole country! Well take care and we love you both soooo much! Love David and Chrissie Hunt

  3. Wow! Your MTC experience sounds amazing. Just like the two of you. So glad to hear about the things you learned there. I love you and your endless faith. xo Rachel

  4. Thanks for the inspiration! That is so cool...all of those "coincidences". I love you guys, your happy faces, willing to serve and replace fears with faith and love. Praying for you. Love, Vanese


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