Monday, May 2, 2016
Week 37 - May 2, 2016
Wonderful week here in good ole Cecil County! I am excited I get to talk to my family on Sunday! It's been about 4 1/2 months, but it felt like a few days for sure. I really do not have all that much to report on this week, so I'll just talk about Rosa and her baptism.
So about 7 weeks ago, my last companion and I were having a hard time helping our investigators progress further. We were at a dinner appointment and I was telling the member that we have all these people who are not progressing. He told us to drop them, which I basically said ..."Umm, not going to do that." He then came back around and said, "Do you have faith that the Lord will provide people for you to teach if you take a chance?" I was very hesitant and then he basically rebuked me In a loving way. He was just like, "Maybe it's not the area that is hard. Maybe it's the faith of our missionaries in this area." So we went home that night and in my head I was like, "How dare he? I work my tail off and he says that?!" But then, of course, when I really thought about it, he was right. That night we told ourselves we would spend ONE day, completely tracting and finding, the whole day, but we wanted to know where to go. We wanted just one prepared person to be there.
We both felt inspired to choose this small dinky neighborhood, which we were sure had been tracted before. Anywho we went, after two hours of rejections from all these Catholics, we came to a split in the road, about to give up we said, "Let's knock these last three houses on the right and then head out." The first house we knocked, Rosa came to the door and she didn't understand my English, so then she started to close the door and I remember just raising my voice, "NO NO NO VAS NO VAS." (Don't go, don't go), so she came back and in my broken Spanish, I tried talking to her. She agreed to have us back the next day.
We came back and she told us her life story. She claims (but I know she wasn't) she was baptized into the church eight years ago in Mexico, but she moved from Mexico to Italy and left the church (she says because it wasn't as strong there) and went to all these different churches trying to find the truth. (That's how I know she didn't join the church because she would have already found truth). So then after a while of going to different churches, she moved here to MD so that her autistic son can get better education. She married this man who is extremely abusive, physically and verbally, and is still married to him. Anyways, we met with her, she came to church, and ever since then she has just been incredible. She reads and reads and reads and goes to church, she prays. She's amazing. During all this, her husband took her scriptures and ripped them all to shreds. She went and pieced them all back together and taped them. She threw all of her coffee away on the spot during our lesson. She always tells us (and it's funny to listen to her nice little English), "This church true because Joseph Smith prophet, Book of Mormon true, priesthood and revelation" to which we say, "YES!"
Anyways, her baptism was beautiful. I was able to baptize her. She was crying and crying and so happy. Sunday she was confirmed, she went up and bore her testimony to everyone. It was wonderful. The ward LOVES her. We are hoping to take her to the temple next week... Her reaction to that was, "Is good for Mother's Day gift!"
I just love this story because it was a smack in my face basically saying that the Lord has prepared people everywhere in the world to receive missionaries and members. Where they are is the question, but it is definitely our part to find them and help them.
Anywho I read a talk this week I really liked. It is called, "A Pattern For Peace." I'm going to share a few parts I liked.
In our journey through mortality, as glorious as our intended destination may be and as exhilarating as the journey may prove, we will all be subject to trials and sorrow along the way. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “The dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.” “The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.” However, our ability to travel this road in peace is, in large part, dependent on whether or not we too have a hard time thinking about Jesus.
Peace of mind, peace of conscience, and peace of heart are not determined by our ability to avoid trials, sorrow, or heartache. Despite our sincere pleas, not every storm will change course, not every infirmity will be healed, and we may not fully understand every doctrine, principle, or practice taught by prophets, seers, and revelators. Nevertheless, we have been promised peace--with a condition attached.
In the Gospel of John, the Savior taught that despite the tribulations of life, we can be of good cheer, we can be of good hope, and we need not fear, because He declared, “In me ye might have peace.” Faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice is, and forever will be, the first principle of the gospel and the foundation upon which our hope for “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” is built.
In our search for peace amidst the daily challenges of life, we’ve been given a simple pattern to keep our thoughts focused on the Savior, who said: “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. I am Jesus Christ.”
Learn, listen, and walk--three steps with a promise.
No wonder in my mission we say, "Learn it, live it, share it." It is definitely a promise, and it is definitely one I have seen come true.