…said the Nike slogan right above President’s head projected at Zone Conference. I knew I came to the right mission.
We had to earn absolutely everything this week. (Nothing new, really.) Who knew that filling up our car meant we had to earn things, too? As we were coming home from an appointment on Saturday night, we stopped at the usual place to get some gasoline. To our surprise, it said, “Please see attendant for cashier,” which to the both of us, meant “someone in there needs you.” We walked into the store armed with our Book of Mormon, when immediately a man yelled, “You’ve got to be KIDDING me!” He proceeded to tell us he knew all about our church, and that we had no idea what we were talking about. Obviously, the conversation was pointless, so we ended professionally. Not much time later, the cashier announced to the rest of the convenience store, “These girls have a really cool church, and it’s all about families!” We immediately had three different women with their children come up to us. One, Joy, said that she had been talking to her sister just the day before about how she needed to join a new church that actually had something for her two little girls. I think we pulled up to the right gas station, don’t you?
Most of the week was filled with exchanges, baptisms, and both Rochester Zone Conferences. Sister Steel and I had to present trainings about online proselyting, and it went really well. We took a couple of our investigators, Brittany and Mandy, to the baptism at the singles branch in Rochester. Both Sister Steel and I were independently praying so hard through the whole thing that they’d feel just something. Not to our surprise, right after the closing prayer, Mandy turns to me and says, “Everytime I come to one of these things, I want to be a better person.” Whoo! They are coming closer and closer to their Savior everyday, and progressing so well. I wish I had more time to expound on them, but seeing as I typed more than half of this letter, and accidentally deleted it, I don’t have too much time. Don’t worry, it’s all in my journal. Find me later.
A huge lesson I learned this week was simply just to be absolutely positive about everything that goes wrong. It’s incredibly hard to slap a smile on your face when you just want to crawl in a hole for a couple of days and only come out when everyone else is smiling, too. But it really doesn’t work like that. The only way to actually get a smile on your face is to go to one of your “holy places,” as they call it. These experiences I share with you are literally the highlights of the week, work wise. The rest of the week was like Alma’s, “Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance. Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts, saying unto him: Behold, we know that thou art Alma…and we are not of thy church, and we do not believe in such foolish traditions.” -Alma 8:10-11 I’ve literally been on my knees more than ever, just wrestling with God that He would deliver those people from out of their bondage. It’s not like it hasn’t worked; coming home each day, I felt as if the Lord had run marathons for us in working miracles. It’s not that the miracles aren’t happening, it’s that free agency that always gets in the way. 🙂 We are working as hard as we can. I can feel the Lord is proud of the work we are accomplishing. But let me tell you–it’s a battleground!
I appreciate the prayers and support you still continue to give me.
Do we think that there are multiple ways to get to eternal life? As a missionary, I hear a lot of people say, “Oh, as long as I believe in Christ, I’m all set,” or, “All I have to do is love my family,” etc. Which you definitely should do–don’t get me wrong. However, Jesus Christ clearly states that there is only one way to Him, and it’s through His authority (permission) in His way.
Christ is probably the most organized person that has ever walked the earth. Right? Wouldn’t it make sense, with all of those organizational skills that He would create just one way to get back to the Father? Yep. So that’s exactly what He did! Remember, He’s the not the author of confusion, but the author of peace. 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ introduced His gospel to the world, the only one way back to Him. Because of so many disobedient children, there was a time called the Dark Ages that had no gospel on the earth. Because Heavenly Father loves His children so much, He had to help us find a way back to it. My last post on the Hill Cumorah described how Christ put His gospel back on the earth, and why I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Kingdom once again established on the earth. Regardless of whether you want to be a part of it or not, it’s really happening…right now.
Oh, and yes, the street was named after me.
“A woman’s richest rewards will come as she rises to fulfill her destiny as a devoted daughter of God. To all faithful Saints He has promised thrones, kingdoms, principalities, glory, immortality, and eternal lives. That is the potential for women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is exalting, everlasting, and divine.”
I think the experience I’m having right now feels closer than it’s ever been.
Something huge I’ve learned throughout my mission is that I really haven’t been on a mission for only a year. I received my “mission call” to New York on March 27, 2012, but I actually received my real mission call on March 27, 1999…exactly 13 years previous. It was the day I was baptized, around the same time this picture was taken. Once you’re a member of the church, you immediately qualify to become a missionary. You’re obligated to share everything that you know to be true, because of the impact it’s had on your soul.
As I’m currently a “full-time teacher” instead of a “full-time finder,” (as Elder Bednar put it) I’ve realized how much healing missionary work can do to one person. The Lord doesn’t say, “The people who don’t really care and scrape on just the surface of the gospel get to heaven.” In the scriptures, He specifically states that the “Laborers in the Lord’s kingdom gain salvation.” If you seriously want to find the truth, you have to ask for it, and you have to work for it. There’s no way around it.
“You may make the winning touchdown, cross the finish line first, swish down the mountain on perfect powder, drive “a beauty” to the left-field stands, or pitch a no-hitter. You may do and thrill to many things. But you will experience few feelings equal to the quiet, even tearful moment when you record in your diary: “Today we baptized Mr. and Mrs. Brown and all their children.” -A. Theodore Tuttle
The nametag only qualifies me as one of those “full-time teachers.” We fully rely on the members of the church to share this incredible message with their friends. It’s not awkward, it’s not scary…it’s your obligation. The best moments in your life will be sharing your happiness with others, so they can do the same thing. This moment has been prophesied for centuries–this is the gathering of scattered Israel, people! Take part it in while you still have time.
It’s never too late.