I love being a missionary. There really is nothing like it! For anyone who reads this who might be preparing for a mission or thinking about it, if the Lord says it is right, you will never EVER regret it. Well, this week has definitely been a challenging yet very rewarding week for so many reasons!! It is so interesting to see the power of Satan striving to destroy this work, but as always our faith in God will help us to overcome. I know that because our faith in God is strong; we saw many miracles this week!
When I was serving in the Laie 3rd Ward last July we were working with an LA family that I got SO close with. Well they are now starting to come back to church consistently, and it has been such a blessing to be able to be a part of that growth in their life!! For the past two weeks we have been teaching the family, specifically their son who was getting baptized! He is 8 years old and the cutest thing ever! He was baptized this Saturday, and we're so excited to continue to teach the family towards being sealed in the temple for all eternity!
|Baptism with the family : )|
Somehow I ended up with a 24 hour stomach flu this week, but I am so grateful for all that I learned having it. So I was on shift at the VC and kept telling Sister Bradley how weird I felt. I felt like I was in a daze and my body just felt really heavy. I felt perfectly fine, it was just a weird feeling. As the shift went on my body got weaker and weaker with my stomach beginning to feel uneasy. Sister Bradley told me to go lay down, as well as many other Sisters, but for "whatever" reason I felt strong, in a sense. It was weird, but I just knew that I would be okay to stay on shift. Well, the tram buses came, and there was hardly anyone on them, which never happens on the later tours. When I walked outside to see if anyone from the tram had not come in, I saw a young family of a husband and wife, with their little son and daughter (all non-members except for the husband). I began talking with them and found out they did not come on the tram, but were actually from Honolulu. I told them I would love to take them on a temple grounds tour! Their daughter was so excited and decided we were going to be best friends =) When we walked up to the temple doors, the spirit was so strong. I felt so impressed to take them inside of the temple, after having explained the great peace and happiness we can feel inside. I had never done this before with anyone my whole mission, but that impression could not have been any stronger. The father stayed out with the little son, but I brought in the mother and daughter into the lobby. As we quietly entered in there was just an overwhelming sense of peace and love that brought us all to tears. After a couple of minutes we came back outside as she expressed that she had never felt like that before. I explained with my usual invitation that she could feel that way all the time, through baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. She said she wanted that. It was a bitter sweet moment when she said she didn't know about having missionaries over quite yet, probably overwhelmed from all that she just felt, but decided we would stay in contact. I know that people are being prepared to receive this gospel, and we cannot let anything get in the way of that; not even when we might feel weak.
There are so many times on my mission I just sit back and smile because I can see all the little things in my life that have prepared me for my mission. Well, as many as you know, football in Hawaii is HUGE! They eat, drink, sleep football. Sister Bradley did not really grow up around sports, whereas when I was at BYU I made sure I was at every basketball, football, volleyball, and soccer game! I love sports! Well, this group of 19-year-olds come in to the Visitor Center, finding out that one of them is a non-member. I was really excited. They wanted to watch the movie "Finding Faith in Christ," so I played it for them. After it was over I went into the theatre to post-set and talk about their thoughts and feelings of the film. I started asking questions with no responses, then I bore my testimony. By the looks on their faces with their eyes looking every which way as I tried to explain the importance of faith in Jesus Christ, I could see I was "boring" them.
Finally I just said, "Alright, do you all play sports?" They said yes. "Do you all play football?" They perked up, all eyes on me, and said yes with more enthusiasm. I said, "What is the purpose of football? They said that it was to get touchdowns, to score, to win!! I just smiled as I could see they wanted to know where this was going. I then explained that God has a plan for us. His plan for us is to win, to make it back to His presence one day. In order to make it to our goal, we must have a quarterback, or a linebacker, or a receiver, right? They agreed. Without them it's impossible. Without faith in Jesus Christ or repentance or baptism, it is impossible to make it back to Heavenly Father's presence. BUT, as we use the tools that we have been given, we can win, we can gain eternal life with our Heavenly Father. We were then able to continue on in teaching them, as well as the non-member who said that the missionaries could contact him. I love that the gospel truly is in everything we do! I feel grateful that I was able to help them understand the importance of God's plan for us in a way that they connected with. Just a really neat little miracle.
|Bowling on P-day|
I am so grateful for this week. It has been such a great learning experience, and I feel that I am drawing closer to my Heavenly Father each and every day through doing all that I can. This gospel is true, and the only way we will know that is by living it. We MUST put ALL of our trust in God. He ALWAYS has our best interest at heart. ALWAYS. I cannot emphasize that enough. I know that when we are keeping the commandments and being exactly obedient, we will never feel disconnected from God. He is always there, but we must be living our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. I know that if you can say that you are constantly doing whatever it is you may be doing to please God, then you will always feel His presence. I can testify of that because I have experienced it, and there is no greater feeling. Continue to pray to know how you can please God and He will show you the way. Love you all so much! Have a great week full of missionary opportunities!