This week was great! I feel like if a week was ever boring, I wasn't doing my job haha. I love adventures!
Tuesday we didn't have our car and had to walk all day. MAN, was I sore!! Wearing snow boots and walking through the snow is akin to walking through sand with ankle weights! But do you know what? I loved it! I loved walking through the beautiful snow and talking with my companion about spiritual things as we walked. We planned to stop by a potential investigator but she wasn't home so we went to a street nearby to knock. We had some great talks with people there, one of them really standing out to me. During studies that morning, I was thinking about how I should approach people that day and something in PMG stood out to me. "Even when people do not accept theopportunity to learn the gospel, your service and words are evidence of God’s love for them" and I thought, how often do I tell people on their doorstep that we're knocking on their door because God loves them? Worth a shot. So as we knocked that street, we got to a door and I felt very strongly impressed to tell the man that we were there because God loved him and I asked him how he'd seen God's love in his life. He said that he didn't because God didn't answer his prayers when his daughter was dying of cancer. Sister Morrison and I were able to share with him the Plan of Salvation and testify of God's love for him. It was neat to see how the Lord had prepared me that morning to answer the need of one of His children. I know that Heavenly Father can do the same with you and you can bless lives as well if you ask for it and act on the promptings you receive. :)
Wednesday was crazy. Nothing went according to plan (does it ever do that?) but we still had a good day of crying repentance. We went door knocking and started talking to this lady. After a minute or so of talking to her, her father came up and started talking to us. The Spirit left REALLY fast because he was not interested in hearing what we had to say and he only wanted to prove us wrong. Thankfully that morning in district meeting we talked about using the Book of Mormon when people get contentious, so Sister Morrison and I bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and left it at that. By the end of the encounter, the lady we initially talked to even told her dad to stop arguing with us. As much as I dislike bashing, I learn a lot every time. I gain a stronger testimony of this work and of this Gospel.
We had our tradeoff this week. Tradeoffs are always an adventure! The sister I was with this time is extremely bold and it was a little shocking sometimes to listen to her say things to the people we were talking to. I've been pondering the Alma 38:12 and 2 Nephi 26:29-30 since that tradeoff. In everything we do, love needs to be our motivation. Paul told us in Corinthians: "Though I speak with the tongues ofmen and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." As missionaries and members of the Church, we can't condone sin or apostasy, but we can love them and with the aid of the Spirit help people find the right path again. This sister has been out 5 months so it let me ponder how far I've come since the beginning of my mission and I know that she will change as well.
Saturday was AMAZING!!! We went with Elizabeth to a baptism in Grand Rapids on Saturday. We have been talking about baptism with Elizabeth since I got here and she has had a lot of concerns about it. She wanted to watch a video of a baptism but we had something better: a live baptism!! Two of them in fact haha. We got to the church about 30 minutes early and I remembered (definitely the Spirit bringing things to my remembrance) that the Grand Rapids stake center had pictures through the hallways. So I suggested we have a picture tour of the building and talk about the pictures before the baptism. We walked around and talked and we stopped at a painting by Simon Dewey. Elizabeth stopped and looked at it for a long moment. I felt really impressed to ask Elizabeth how she felt. Tears welled up and flowed as she told us her feelings as she looked at the picture. It was a powerful moment and the Spirit was strong. I am so grateful that we had that time to look at the pictures because it set the tone for the whole service. She cried through most of it. She felt the Spirit so strongly and she felt the peace of the Spirit. It was incredible to see the Spirit change her heart and it was a powerful testimony to me that the Spirit is real and it is the converting power of the Gospel. Elizabeth needed a spiritual experience and our prayers were answered as she got that experience on Saturday. I am really hopeful that we can set a solid date with her soon. We went over the baptism interview questions with her last night and she is so close to being ready! PLEASE pray for Elizabeth!!
I also got to go to Kalamazoo to see Bin be baptized!! Oooooooh, HAPPY DAY!! I thought I was going to die of happiness on Saturday night!! I got to see my two past areas and wards, watch the heart of our investigator soften, and see a person I had taught and prayed about for so long be baptized!! THIS my family, is happiness. The Gospel is happiness. Even thinking about it right now is making my heart almost burst with happiness!!! Where else can you find this happiness?? Nowhere else!! This is why the Gospel is so important!! This is why we do missionary work!! This Gospel is the only way for us to be happy in this life and happy in the life to come!! What can I say more? The Gospel is true. The end.
Man, life is good. I love this work. I love being a missionary. It is SO HARD all the time, but it is SO WORTH IT.
I hope you don't mind me going on for so long. I am grateful that I could share with you some of the special experiences I've had on my mission. They mean so much to me and I hope they mean a lot to you. :)
I love you all and I hope your testimonies are burning bright! The Lord loves you. He died for you. He will help you though whatever comes your way.