Wow. Time is going WAY too fast. It's not allowed to be September, yet. Sister Roundy and I decided. So everyone has permission to just go back to August. Today is officially August 39th, so enjoy it :)
For my email this week, I just wanted to share one experience that just sums up why missionary work is so amazing. I know that if you persevere through the test, blessings will come. I know that Sister Roundy and I have been up against some opposition in this area, but we have continued to press forward, and the blessings are coming!
This week was actually really slow in the beginning. No one really "had time" for us. We couldn't find many people to teach, but we kept going. Saturday was a miracle day. We contacted this part-member family that we had met before but never had been able to teach. The mother, Kim, is a less-active member, but she still has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She just doesn't want to choose church over her family. Her husband isn't a member, and neither of the children have been baptized because the mom hasn't really encouraged them at all. Anyway, when we went to the house, the only ones there were Kim and Preston, the 16 year-old son. We basically just started right in asking questions about the church. They explained that the dad of the family won't join just because he doesn't believe it, but they have confidence that he will eventually get the answer he is seeking. Preston casually mentioned that he has already read the Book of Mormon. The rest of the lesson went something like this, with Sister Roundy and I switching off basically every question and significant pauses in between.
"What did you think of the Book of Mormon when you read it?"
"Well, I basically looked at it as a history book."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, I just knew it was true. There wasn't even a question in my mind."
"That's amazing. We know that testimony will truly help you in your life as you face trials and opposition. The Book of Mormon contains so much truth and strengthens our relationships with our Heavenly Father." We read the last two paragraphs in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and talked more about how having that testimony can also lead us to develop faith in Jesus Christ and His established church on the earth. After a long pause we said, "I know you might not feel ready now, but will you prepare yourself to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"
"I think I can say yes to that."
By this time, the Spirit was so strong in the room, I couldn't believe it. "What do you think you need to do in order to achieve that preparation?"
"Probably go to church..... and also, I want to talk to my family about it and get their support."
"Yes. Those are things that you need to do." There was another long pause. "Preston, how do you feel right now?"
"Calm." He smiled. "Right when I said 'yes' this wave of calm just came over me."
"We want to testify to you that this feeling of peace is the Spirit of the Lord. He is telling you that this is the path you need to be on. We want you to remember this feeling and look for it often as you go down this path because that is how you will know that you are doing the right thing."
He agreed with us.
Sister Roundy and I left that lesson star-struck. Nothing we said or brought up were even things we talked about before we went in. It was given to us by the Spirit because we really just tried to listen to what he was saying. I can probably count on one hand the number of lessons that I have had on my mission when the Spirit was so strong, and the person was so prepared. These experiences are what make up for the hard times. They are the experiences that confirm your testimony and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I just love my mission so much! Everything about it--the growth, the people, the trials, the testimony, the Spirit. All of it!!