Monday, January 6, 2014

Happiness and Heartbreak

Yeah, our hair is braided together.

An area seventy was actually at our ward this week!  Sunday started out in Ward Council just like every Sunday, but this Sunday, Elder Lansing was presiding. He did a little training for us, and talked a ton about how the ward should be working with missionaries. He showed a missionary planner and he said, "This is a missionary's daily schedule, it is the ward's job to fill it up with things to do. USE the missionaries in your ward! They are on the Lord's errand 24-7 and they are at your disposal!" I just want to challenge you to use the missionaries in your ward! If there is someone on your mind you think could use a visit from the missionaries, or if there is someone going through a hard time that you think could use a visit, let the missionaries know! I know that I would be completely ecstatic to have a member give us a job like that. Finding things to do is one of the hardest things, and we really don't want our missionaries tracting. It's SO ineffective. One person in a thousand will get baptised by tracting. When a member refers the missionaries to someone, the statistic goes way up to something like 100 in 1000. And if you let the missionaries use your name when they contact the referall, it goes up to something like 600 in 1000. You can find the real statistics online, I'm sure. But anyway, he talked alot about that.

The other highlight of Sunday.... WAS T----- AND S----"S BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!! I got to see investigators, that I have taught, enter the waters of baptism!!!!! I wish I could descibe the feelings I had. It's funny, because I feel like I didn't do anything with them. They were so elect, so ready. They taught me much more than I ever taught them. Sister Pierson and I got to go behind the font with T----- and watch from the back as both her and S---- were baptised. There's a sound when people get baptised that I never noticed before. It's beautfiul. That whoosh of the water, with the backdrop of a silent audience.... it's beautiful. I guess it's the sound of salvation. First T---- was baptised, and then S----. They were glowing. We were glowing. There was a happiness and peace that was almost tangible about the whole experience. A really cool thing about their baptism was that the area seventy, Elder Lansing, who had been at our ward all day, got to be there and preside. That's such a little thing, but I thought it was really cool. He got to welcome them into the church and say a few words to them personally, and I just hope it made the whole experience that much more special for them. It was also S-----'s birthday, which made it EVEN MORE special! The way everything worked out, and gosh, just everything about their baptism, it was so meant to be, so right. And now they get to work towards getting sealed in the temple for time and all eternity :)

After the baptism was all over, we went to go visit F----. I haven't got to talk much about her. F---- is the very first investigator I met in Lexington. She's about 65, and has just gone through a NASTY divorce. It has literally crushed her. She never gets ready anymore, she doesn't eat, and she is just hurting so bad. Her husband is truly an awful man. Because of the divorce, she has to go back to Kosovo (Former Yugoslavia. She has the COOLEST Russian sounding accent and I am just in love with her. She loves us so much too.) She will fly out tomorrow morning, so Sunday was the last day we would see her. She talked about how much she will miss her dog, T---, and how much she will miss us. It was heartbreaking. She started talking about how much she will miss seeing us, and how she knows that God sent us to her when no one else was there for her, and Sister Pierson said, "It's not goodbye forever F----, we can still email you, and we will forever be your sisters." F---- started bawling then, and we both couldn't help but start to cry too. I know for a fact that God truly did send us to her, and in that moment, I realized that doing what we are doing, and just LOVING people, it IS worth it, and it IS making a difference. I love F----, and I know God loves her, and I don't think I have prayed for another person quite as hard as I pray for her as she goes to Kosovo. I guess the whole expereience has really just showed me that all missionary work really is, is love. Loving people the way Christ would love them, and wanting the best for them. We all hugged and cried, and my heart broke as she hugged us saying, "Please don't make me go God. Please don't take me away from my friends, my sister missionaries." As much as missionary work is love, it's also heartbreak.

We left F----'s home and waved at her for the last time and cried as we made the drive to Buena Vista to attend the baptism of an excommunicated member who got to be re-baptised.  We cried the whole way there and talked about how Flora will be part of our lives forever.

I love being a missionary. I love Lexington. I love Sister Pierson. I love President Pitt. Most of all, I love my Savior. 

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