This week has been the biggest whirlwind of my entire life. Amy and Robert had back to back baptisms on Friday night and Saturday morning. Both got confirmed on Sunday. We had a mini missionary stay with us all week, so we functioned as a trio. I have never felt so happy nor felt so confused. Opposition in all things became very clear and real to me this week. For every good force and moment there has to be an opposite and equal negative force and moment. What an interesting thing that is to ponder and try and understand.
First off, our mini missionary named Bailey. She is a powerful girl with a whole lot of personality and drive. I had so much fun with her this week as we got to watch her learn and grow. She was so cute as she knocked on her first door and taught in the different lessons. It really helped me remember how lucky I am to be a missionary as she told us how happy she felt and how great the week was. She had lots of spunk and would do whatever we asked her to do. I really grew to love her as time went on and was grateful to be her mini mom for a week. I hope that Kate and Meg get the chance to serve mini missions while they are in high school. It will change their lives. I hope that one day I am transferred to her ward and get to see her again!
Next up is Amy and her story. We walked into our lesson on Monday night right after picking up our mini missionary. We told her that we were teaching towards baptism but that Amy was feeling pressure and trying to figure it all out. As I walked in the door I looked at Amy’s face and paused…. I could tell something was up. As I stood there she turned to me and asked, “can I get baptized on Friday? Without saying a word I just walked over and gave her a big hug. We then sat down and talked everything out. She said Friday was the only day her whole family was free and her friends could come. She said it had to be now or it wouldn’t happen until Christmas. She has one of the most powerful testimonies of anyone I have ever met. She just gets it. We called the bishop and got things rolling to make the baptism happen. She still needed to talk with her parents and tell them she was joining the church…..we started a fast and prayed together for her courage and then we had to let her go try and talk with them. At first, her parents were very upset and were trying to convince her to push her date to Christmas and not do it so fast. She was caught up in a whirlwind of doubt and feeling alone. As I fasted and prayed for her my heart was full of the Saviors love and understanding of her situation. I can’t really imagine or understand how hard that must have been. We kept planning the baptism regardless of the situation and just prayed and prayed. She cancelled our next lesson to talk with her mom again and we just kept waiting. Late that night we got a call from her telling us that it was on and her family would attend. I felt so much joy as she told us that. Her baptism was one of the best moments of my entire life. I have been there from the start with Amy and I have always loved her so much. The first time I saw her I just felt like I already knew her. That feeling has only increased as I have taught her and learned from her. She has the best ability to light up a room with her spirit and her eyes. She loves all people and never looks down on anyone. She is talented and giving. The night of her baptism came and the room was packed. So many people showed up to support her. Sister Vincent and I gave the talk as she was changing and the spirit was so strong in the room. I felt in that moment like I was fulfilling one of the blessing I have had pronounced upon my head to stand before many and testify of Jesus Christ and the restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith. When I told the first vision felt the spirit directing me to Amy’s family and to a few specific people in the room. I looked into their eyes and told them through my words and emotions all that I believe. A funny twist on the story involves Yoda and his words of wisdom. Amy was trying to make her decision when she was talking with her close friend. At the end of the conversation she told her friend she was just like Yoda because she always said the right thing. She hung up and walked onto the train to go home. As she got on the train the guy in front of her said, “It’s just like Yoda says, you either do or you do not. There is no try.” It really stuck out to her as she had been thinking so much about her baptism. Later that week she went to her internship and her boss was lecturing about presentations and getting the job done. He wrote the word try on the board in all caps and then crossed it out. He said, “it’s just like Yoda says, you either do or you do not. There is no try”. He walked over to Amy and asked her to pull up the clip on her phone. She was floored because she knew it was a message just for her. She said that God made it pretty obvious and slapped her in the face with the quote. After she told us the story, Sister Vincent said, “I think you are Yoda’s first convert”! Probably not funny to you but in the moment it was hilarious. Between Heavenly Father, the Book of Mormon, us and Yoda Amy decided to get baptized. Her confirmation was beautiful and she is doing so well.
Robert. Oh man. He also got baptized. I felt so prompted to get him his baptismal interview and after that everything just took off. He set his date and actually was super serious about it. Sister Grover got to come down at the end of her mission and see it. I don’t really even know what to say about the baptism. HE had to get baptized twice because the person baptizing him forgot a part of the prayer. Robert was cracking jokes about how he had way too many sins for just one dunking. He was so happy. So so so happy. Sister Grover and I gave a talk on faith and it felt so good to be with her and to be looking at him in white. I still am floored that he has the Holy Ghost and priesthood. His life will never be the same. Robert said that so many times he would pray for something and the very next lesson would be on the exact topic. It is amazing that when we try and have the spirit guide us it can truly help us know what to do. I got to be an instrument in God’s hands. I am so lucky.
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
We had a lesson with a recent convert named Choi. He said he had a bee that he found dead on the beach. He asked Bailey to pray for the bee. I think Bailey about lost it. She was laughing and trying so hard to take it seriously. At the end of the lesson he said the prayer and talked for 2 minutes about the bee fulfilling its job on earth and how it now has eternal joy. Mission life is so great. I was laughing so hard in the car after that. I love how sincere and completive he is about everything.
We had an awesome zone conference this week and I was touched by President Kendrick’s talk on conversation. She talked of how we can’t convince but we can help people come to remove the bricks that blocks the spirit. It is so true. We saw Lucas and it was amazing. He kept saying things like, “I think you are softening my heart” or “I feel very different when I met with you verse going to my bible study”. He told us that he really really enjoys our visits and learns a lot. He said we were amazing teachers. I told him it was all the spirit but that we appreciated that. His comment on church was, “They are all beautiful people, like model or actress status”. Then he said, “right on”. It was super funny. We are glad we can offer a good looking ward to our investigators. But don’t worry he is not going for that reason.
I have an analogy to write but I don’t have time. Next week. I love you all! Thanks for the prayers.