So this was a rough week. We had 4 baptisms scheduled for this weekend and they all fell through. The member who was going to baptize Samantha wasn’t available, Bryan wants to investigate the Catholic church more and the Hernandez family wasn’t able to because their mom wants them to learn more. Bryan was a sad let down because that kid is very special. Heavenly Father has prepared him, but he just needs more time to see things clearly. He has been going to the Catholic church as well, so he is confused with the differences between their church and ours. I have never felt such Godly love for an investigator. After talking to him on the phone and him telling me not to feel sad that he doesn’t want to get baptized, I cried. Frustrated he hasn’t received his answer that the Church is true, and that he doesn’t love the Gospel like I do. I can bare my testimony to him over and over…Of course I would be sad that he didn’t want to get baptized…I love him and want him to have the happiness I do. Bellin is 12 and her mom wants her to learn more (which is totally fine.) But her brother Angel was so pumped about getting baptized…he was for sure shed say yes..but instead she laughed at him and wouldn’t sign the permission slip. L that was like the saddest thing ever! He was really bummed. We hope that we can continue to teach this family and get the mom more involved so that she can realize what a good thing the church is for her children. Our favorite family also moved to Arizona but they told us that we made a big difference for them in getting back into the church so I don’t feel bad about that. Although, it would have been nice seeing their baptism! I know they will get baptized in Arizona.
Throughout the tough times, I realized that its all part of the mission. Jonathan helped me out by writing a really nice email. All the trials will make the success that much more rewarding! Which is definitely true, and I am growing from these experiences and so is my testimony. A quote I really like from “Discipleship” by Neal A Maxwell. He states, “Disciples, like diamonds, are developed in a process of time and heavy pressures and both the disciple and the diamond reflect the light that comes through them. As the disciple enriches his relationship with the Lord, he is apt to have periodic “public relations” problems with others, being misrepresented and misunderstood. He or she will have to “take it” at times. Meekness, therefore, is a key to deepening discipleship.” As members of the church we are all disciples of Christ and we shine the light of Christ through our testimonies. We receive pressures from the outside world to change or not follow the path of Christ but we remain strong. We might also encounter people in the world who think they know our religion but have been misguided. But we cant take what they say to heart, love them as children of God and hope that they can feel the truthfulness of Christ through our testimonies.
We have some cool new investigators too that are progressing. One of them might get deported though so we are praying for her!
Other things…found a gluten free section at the grocery store! Wahoo! I also made Bompy’s tamale pie “quick style.” That was yummy! I also made his spaghetti sauce last week and nannys rice krispies. Lizzy sent me rice krispie treats that were the bomb! Thanks, Lizzy. One of our assistants to the president goes to ASU and he just called me to tell me my volleyball team at ASU beat UCLA. Haha I already knew because dad emailed me! He said also that mail is getting forwarded to me from ASU from the mission office..he thought it was for him but its for me from my coach. Good times. He is going to be a good friend I think. We will be at ASU at the same time.
This last Sunday was fast/testimony Sunday. I bore my testimony about how important journal writing is and also how important being a missionary is. I try to write spiritual experiences in my journal so that I can go back and read them later during hard times. Recently I looked back and read my feelings after being set apart as a missionary. That helped me a lot remember how strongly the Spirit hit me that night. I know I have been set apart by God to serve Him in the Spanish language. I also talked about how thankful I am to be a missionary and how I want to be a good example for my family (since I am the first one in our family). I started crying while talking about being an example for my kids and also for Claire. I want Claire to grow up and know that she can serve a mission like Aunty Caitlyn. She is the cutest thing by the way! I want to make a mural in my room of her! Hehe. But the testimony meeting was full of the Spirit! It reminded me how important my family is to me and I love them so much. Its been a little hard being away while Claire was born but I felt impressed while baring my testimony that part of the reason I am meant to serve a mission is for her. So we will see what happens with that!
I love all of you so much. I am growing a lot while out here on my mission and witnessing a lot of cool experiences. As I continue to work hard and have faith I know Heavenly Father will bless my companion and I with success. We got frustrated when our baptisms fell through, thinking it was our fault..but overall everyone has their agency, all we can do is testify and teach.