I've been so bad at keeping my blog updated the second half of our mission. But I would be an ungrateful servant if I failed to record a tender, sweet mercy and miracle the Lord has given specifically to me. It's been such a gift.
One of the biggest responsibilities that we have on our mission is teaching Institute Class every Tuesday night here at our flat. We take it very seriously. Our attendance started at 8 and has grown to 40-50 kids stuffed into our little flat. It's a feast every Tuesday night as we witness to truth and share our testimonies with one another. The spirit fills the room and my heart every week!
The class is 90 minutes (at least) so it required hours of preparation. We have taught the last two semesters "Teachings of the Living Prophets". I LOVE this class. We study Conference talks and also talks given at BYU Devotionals, the inspired words and counsel from the General Authorities leading this church. It's so wonderful because we have the flexibility to choose the talks we feel are best suited for the needs of the kids that are attending. That also poses a problem. There is no set lessons. The structure and development of the lesson falls on me. This requires hours of work, pulling in other quotes and examples to supplement the talks and coming up with meaningful and probing questions. It's a true labor of love. It usually takes all day Monday and then most of Tuesday preparing. (This also includes preparing a dessert, setting up the room, getting the talks downloaded and set up for viewing on our large screen TV, attendance roll and handouts typed up and copied to hand out.) We are talking hours!!!
With anything that requires this kind of sacrifice I have come to cherish these lessons. I've looked at them as a marvelous resource, something I would be able access and use for years to come. They have also been part of the evolution of our mission, with many of our experiences from our mission recorded within them. They are precious to me.
After teaching the first semester of Institute here I had some problems with my computer last summer. Knowing how irreplaceable those lessons were (along with the lessons we'd taught in our BYU Institute class before our mission) and experiencing a nagging feeling that I needed to guard against ever losing all the stored information on my computer, Jim went and bought an external hard drive. Since both of us are hopeless with anything electronic we took my computer and hard drive to our Mission Office and had Elder Davis download my hard drive onto the external drive. It was such a relief to have all the information from my computer backed up and safe.
Another year passed. Two semesters plus an extra month into the summer of lessons on dating and relationships. Over 30 lesson. Hundreds of hours. Never took the time to back it up.
In July my computer CRASHED!
In a panic we took the computer to Richard Smith, our YSA Tech Support and IT expert here in Britannia. He worked on it and came back with the devastating news that my hard drive had crashed but there was still hope. He knew of a company that could retrieve data for a small fee of 500.00 pounds (just kidding about a small fee!) I didn't care. I was willing to pay anything to get back all those lessons from the past year. Jim took my computer in and we waited.
A week later the company called to inform me there was no need to pay the fee. It was GONE! IRRETRIEVABLE! All my data from last year was lost!!!
I cried for two days.
Darling sweet Richard got a new hard drive and installed it into my computer and I begin again. Because we don't teach Institute during the summer months I just used my computer for day to day emailing, reactivation and occasional skyping with the family.
Last week was our first Institute Class. In preparation I went to look at what I still had in my Documents and Downloads. At first I was baffled. There listed were lessons I assumed were lost. The more I looked the more I realized that except for the last set of lessons we gave in the summer, all the rest of the lessons from last year WERE THERE!!!!
How could that be possible? I called Richard. I called Tanner. Both should know how that could be possible. Neither of them had an answer. They were both baffled. They simply had no explanation!
That's when I started to cry. It might not be significant to anyone but me. There might even be some kind of an explanation. But for me I had just received my very own miracle!!!! I would have never thought to ask for such a miracle as this. I think that's what made it so sweet. It was a gift signed and delivered from a Heavenly Father who loves his daughter, a daughter He knows who is trying her best to serve, to do His work here on earth.
I love Him. And I know He loves me, as imperfect as I am, I will praise His name forever! Thank you Father. Thank you for this amazing gift just for me. I stand all amazed!