Thank you for your emails. Mary, I laughed so hard at your story! I miss you all so much.
A mission is a roller coaster ride. There are so many emotions – one day you’re on such a high or you’re laughing so hard, the other day you’re crying because you just lost all your investigators at once. It’s okay though, we can do this!
Last week, my companion found a man on a bus who we have begun teaching. He had a dream about the Spirit World when he was in a coma. Everything that we have been teaching him just makes sense to him, it’s beautiful. We have had members at all of our lessons with him, which is making such a huge difference – they can speak Italian so much better than us, and our investigator is developing relationships with the Church outside of the missionaries. He moved last week to the other ward though, so we have passed him to the anziani to teach. We are excited to see where he will go!
I’d have to say, that the highlight of our week was… the baptism 🙂 We had zone conference that day, and so Presidente and Sorella Dibb stayed for the baptism and everything. The service was half in English and half in Italian. D brought his sister and his niece and nephew. And crazy thing – the other sister’s had taught his nephew before, but then he dropped them. His heart is being reopened again by watching his uncle come into the church. We taught them a lesson before the service started – and they are all interested! Miracle, miracle, miracle, miracle. We had like 6 investigators at the baptism too. The spirit there was beautiful. D’s face when he came up out of the water – I can’t even explain it, he was so, so happy. Light was just radiating from his eyes. He shared his testimony and he said in his African English- “I feel so unexplainable good. I am born again through Jesus Christ.” AH! La vita è bella.
The next day Sorella Acerson and I went to teach his family with D about the Restoration. D is going back to Ghana in about a month, and he said – “You make sure you teach them everything that you taught me. Take care of them while I’m gone. I’m going to go tell my wife and kids in Ghana all about Jesus.” It’s really such a miracle that we found him on this random bench, and we won’t even get to see what comes of it. But D is going to be such a big missionary, I just know it 🙂
We won’t continue teaching his family, because they live in the other sister’s area. It hurts a little, but my companion and I prayed about it, and it’s 100% the right thing to do. I know that no matter who teaches them, they will be hearing the same message. And I feel that the other sisters will be able to touch some them and address their needs in a way that we can’t. And D will help them.
So all in one day all of our investigators left our area, and now we’re back to where we started! MEMBER WORK. This is what we are trying to do. It is slow, it is super slow. We’re trying to just get our members to answer their phones 🙂 But it is what we must do. We are igniting this flame inside of our members to share the gospel with others. The next missionaries that come in after us are gonna be getting so many referrals they won’t know what to do with themselves 🙂
Being a missionary, I am understanding love on such a deeper level. We love these people – so much. We are praying for them all the time, thinking about them, wondering how to serve them, and filling our days to help them. It hurts when they reject all of that preparation and love. Don’t you realize we are thinking about you all of the time? Don’t you realize you are everything to us? Don’t you realize you are the reason we are here?
I’d imagine that is a little bit of how a parent feels about their child. They watch their children, the center of their lives, struggle and face pains, and they know that if we just obey them, they will be happier.
And that’s how our Heavenly Father feels. Don’t you realize I sent my son to die for you? Don’t you realize you are everything to me? Don’t you realize I am giving you so many opportunities to be happy, you just have to open your eyes to see it?
I am learning more about myself every day. I am growing, struggling, and leaning on my Savior in ways I never thought I could. I am filled with love for these crazy Italians 🙂
I love you all so much too, I think of you every day, and I pray for you all the time.