Soo much to talk about and so little time. #missionlife
anyways... First things first.
Tara got baptized!!! Huzzah!! It's been super cool to follow her up here having taught her in my last area. She's doing great. Her baptism was spectacular. There were so many people from the ward who came to support her, her family, many of her non-member friends.. and the whole service was just inspiring and uplifting. Another perk was seeing some friends from my last area who came up for it. Sunday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and then shared her testimony!! She did such a great job and I think it was so good for everyone to hear her story and her testimony and love for the gospel. She has such a light about her and she is going to be able to continue to share that with many other people.
Melane and Brooke. I have a hard time not talking about them together because they're always together. They're best friends and roommates and are both planning on being baptized in the next few weeks.to be exact. It is a joy to be in lessons with them first off because they're hilarious, but also because they are so eager to learn and willing to believe. It reminds me of stories from the Book of Mormon--people like Zeezrom, Lamoni, Lamoni's father and many other incredible people who had great faith and were willing to believe. Miracles surrounded those people and amazing things happened because of their faith (see Ether 12).
Deciding to make the commitment to be baptized can be really hard, especially when there is a lack of support from your family. Developing a solid testimony for yourself becomes even more necessary. Sunday God moved people around where He needed them and we had a great lesson one-on-one with Melane about faith and receiving and recognizing revelation to help address some of her concerns and fulfill her desire to have a stronger testimony. It was such a great lesson because of the earnest desire she has to know. One of the ways we are judged is by the "desires of our hearts" (D&C 137:9) Where your treasure is there will your heart be also. (Luke). Or, the things we desire are a good measure of what we value. I loved seeing Melane's honest desire to know, her desires for a testimony. Her honest concern about it shows how much she values it and it made me excited to help her learn because she already has that desire and has great faith. I am confident she will receive and answer.
Other investigators I've had are not as eager or wiling to do the seeking to obtain an answer. In the Book of Mormon after King Lamoni's amazing conversion a multitude is gathered to see what's happened. Lamoni starts to teach them and it says, as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord. (Alma). But some wouldn't listen and thus were not converted. It's amazing to me how many people have no desire to learn more, they aren't curious, or think they know what we believe already. Others just refuse to listen. There's a quote by Aristotle I like, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" I'm not asking everyone to automatically accept what we teach, but to entertain the thought, consider the possibility, and then find out! Pray and ask. Trust the promise from Moroni that you will get an answer. Believe in the possibility. I've tried it and I know it works. Asking in faith is a True, Eternal principle for receiving heavenly guidance and direction. I've seen that happen for many, many people throughout my mission.
We're teaching another girl who has read the entire Book of Mormon but feels she has not yet received an answer. I think it goes back to desires and how earnestly she wants it. We're trying to help her to find that answer and to know how significant it can be. The blessings that come to your life when you know the Truth and act on it are hard fathom.
There's another investigator who has begun reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. I think he has sincere desires and hopefully we can help him receive and recognize the answer when it come for him.
I met another really cool person this week. She was baptized less than a year ago but is struggling with that a little bit now. She is struggling with a lot of the same things I was when I started college--like almost exactly, but she doesn't have, or doesn't want the support the church can bring. I don't know where I'd be without the knowledge that I have. I am so grateful for my testimony, but also for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow here on a mission. Its the greatest experience.
In other news football is still a big deal here. We had another home game which means the missionaries get free food from the tailgate at the church--and I'm sure other tailgates if we walked around, we decided to use that time to plan instead.
If y'all didn't get to watch the CES fireside where Elder Christofferson talked you should go watch it because it was amazing. He spoke of losing your life to find it again. It was a mini miracle as well because it helped our investigators with their concerns.