What a week of ups and downs. I think I could probably sum it up best by sharing what happened with just one investigator family throughout the course of the week:
– Had a feeling that we should drop by Camille and her 2 kids to make sure that everything was going well. Turns out that she was at a breaking point emotionally and loved our visit even though it was just on her doorstep.
-Brought along Elder Gunter (exchanges) and Bro. Carpenter and had the best lesson of my mission with Camille. She couldn’t thank us enough for dropping by the day before. she told us that after we left, she sat down and read the entire Book of Mormon again (this is her second time) and she said “I can honestly say that there is not a word in there that is not true”. So, I then asked her “well, now that you know for sure that it is true, what do you think that it is that God wants you to do right now?” She sort of went off track on her answer trying to skirt around the question, so Elder Gunter says “no, Camille, you need to answer the question.” So she looks at me and is stumbling over the words saying “I need to….I need….” and she just couldn’t bring herself to say it, so I looked right into her eyes and said, “Camille, you need to say it.” So she finally said, “I need to be baptized!” She then started crying for like 5 minutes because after over a year of being taught, she had finally reached the conclusion. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The spirit was SO strong. Best, most intense lesson of my life. We moved her baptismal date up to January 17th and committed her 9 yr old daughter, Charlotte, to baptism on that day as well.
-Dropped by Camille again and she is doing great! (We are keeping daily contact even if it is just a doorstep conversation for a couple minutes) She has been doing really well and hasn’t smoked in 3 days.
-Had a lesson with Camille and Charlotte. Bro. Lindsay came. We taught Charlotte the Resoration and she knew her stuff already! she had been studying the pamphlet with her mother.
-Dropped by Camille, she had had a couple seizures that day and was in bed not feeling well (she gets them periodically).
– The Messicks came with us to help us teach Charlotte the Plan of Salvation. Charlotte was great and even though she’s only 9 years old, she offered up a beautiful prayer that was full of gratitude regarding the Atonement. Camille was a little off and it was really worrying us. She began the discussion by asking what her baptismal date was again and if Charlotte was getting baptized that day too. We think that it was just because of the seizures, but regardless, it worried us.
-We text Camille to make sure they’re coming to church and we get no answer. So, after PEC, we run down there to see if they’re coming and Camille answers us at the door holding a cigarette and saying, “Guys, I don’t think I can do this anymore.” To say that I was heartbroken would be a gross understatement. I almost collapsed. But we talked her into coming to church and left hoping that they’d come. Sacrament meeting came and went with no sign of them. We were both so bummed, but then right as we begin walking to 2nd hour, who do we see but Charlotte and her little brother, Ethan, running down the hallway smiling and yelling that they had made it. Camille not only stayed, but she fell in love with the Ward (esp. Relief Society). What a relief! The ward was so great at fellow-shipping that she was still talking to members a half hour after church was over! She then thanked us over and over for “not giving up on her.” Whew!
So, that was my week. In fact, I think that just about sums up 2014. A lot of great moments, a lot of heartbreaks, and a lot of work…but it all worked out…somehow.
I never pass up an opportunity to bear my testimony, so here it is: This Gospel is true. Every last bit of it. Christ is my Savior and He lives! I love Him! I want to be just like Him and I hope to be an example of Him in all times and all places. I have now been on my mission for 18 months. If I was a sister missionary, I’d be done. How grateful I am that I am not and that I still get another 6 months to preach, teach, and heal in the good Lord’s name! Each morning and night, as I bow my head in prayer, I thank the Lord above for allowing me to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I continue to put everything that I have on the altar of sacrifice, I can literally feel my will being swallowed up in the Lord’s. It’s not perfect, but as I continue onward, I am confident that I can become what my Heavenly Father would have me become.
I love you all!
Faith and Honor,
p.s. Blizzard rolls into town tonight. We’re expecting 5-7 inches of snow and wind chill well below zero. Please pray for my zone. Most of our missionaries are struggling for work and are spending most of their day knocking doors.