Thursday, August 8, 2013
21??? Ah snap
This day has been the best. :)
My comp made me breakfast (no, not the usual breakfast in bed... I want to be an obedient missionary even on my bday!).
Then, I opened my packages and fell in LOVE with them. I love how perfectly my family knows me and knows what to send. Unfortunately, I left my camera cord at the flat so I can't send you pics this week, but I hope you can feel the gratitude. And the love. (Feel the power Kronk. Oh yeah, I can feel it. ….Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
And then I came in to some awesome emails! YES! So, it has been a good birthday so far. And then we'll be having a birthday party with my district and then exploring a cathedral in town. Sounds good, eh?
But. For the news of the week. This has been the most formative week on my mission. I feel like I have come to appreciate the magnitude of the Atonement a little better. And that I walked through fire a bit. I'm having a hard time putting it into words, so forgive me as I try.
Okay. So, Tony's family FLIPPED when he told them about his baptism. And that's the worst thing that could ever have happened for him.
But, he still wants to be baptised. He was really confused on how to tell us, so he didn't!!!!!! Boys.
We were sitting in the foyer during his baptismal interview, and we both knew that something was wrong. When we went in, Tony looked so sad! He told us that he believes that this is Christ's church, and that he feels so happy when he comes to church and when he reads in the Book of Mormon, but he doesn't feel like his testimony is strong enough yet to go against his family. He asked for one more month.
It was agonizing, and not because I wouldn't see him be baptised. I have seen Tony's potential. I feel like I understand the great worth of his soul, and Heavenly Father's love for him. I've watched him grow from his first hesitant prayer to Heavenly Father, to increasing his faith to follow commandments, and now where truly loves his Heavenly Father.
In his closing prayer, he just told Heavenly Father exactly how he felt. He expressed his desire to follow Christ and be baptised, but that he knew his family was so important. And he apologised to Him for asking for one more month, but said that he wanted to be fully sure of what he was doing before he went against his family.
Afterwards, my companion was given a blessing and she was told that the day Tony IS baptised will be a day he will not soon forget. He will give his whole heart to the Lord, and have full courage to follow Him. I won't be here to see it, but it will happen. And it will mean to him exactly what it should mean to him.
You know what I love about missionary work? We had a HARD morning, but then we picked up, moved on, and served and taught other people. We may have bought some Ben&Jerry's on the way home, but we were able to pick up and move on and care about others, even through sorrow.
And then Steven. He didn't answer his phone till Wednesday, so we were worried that he hadn't been able to quit smoking. And then he randomly called us, and told us he had quit for the past three days! We were SO thrilled. Like, I've never been so happy before in my life. Seeing people do hard things just brings me so much joy, that I get to see them overcome and progress.
And then he picked it back up again, and didn't come to church. It's heartbreaking to see him try to change, and not have enough faith in God and in himself to do so. I guess it's kinds how Heavenly Father feels about me sometimes.
And there were some other things that happened this week. Basically just imagine all the emotions you experience in a year and squash it into a week. Through it all though, I came to more understand the Atonement, and see how I can apply it to my life, and the lives of my investigators. I know more clearly than before that my Heavenly Father is there, and is aware of His children and their needs. I understand more the power of prayer, and the need for repentance.
Basically, I felt like I was standing before my Heavenly Father, and had done all I humanly could. And it wasn't enough. I stood there and felt so insufficient., and realized how I could not do it. But, my Saviour was there. He pleaded for my shortcomings, and enabled me to do more. Because He overcame the world, surely He can overcome my weaknesses in my little corner of the vineyard.
I can't fully express it. But it has changed me. It's not the “ending” I had in mind for Harborne. But I am so glad to have grown here.
It's amazing to think how different my life is in a year—a year ago today I decided to quit my job as an RA, and I was having trouble to have enough faith to move forward. I never would have imagined that in just a year so much would have changed, and that I would have spent half of it serving my Father as a representative of Jesus Christ.
And next year, I'll have spent the whole year serving Him. I can't imagine a greater privilege.
I love you! The gospel is the source of joy in times of trial. It's what picks us up, and moves us on. And we are so privileged. We have the fullness of it restored. The priesthood is on the earth again. Families can be forever. And through the Atonement, we can overcome!!