Wow, what a wonderful week in the mission field.
I was able to witness someone I have come to love enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. S___ is now a member of the church and has the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am so proud of him. I have seen him come a long way from when I first met him. His baptism was beautiful. I can't imagine it any other way. The next day, he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great blessing, everything that was needed was said. A highlight of the weekend was definitely seeing the branch president give S___ the biggest welcoming hug I have ever seen. The spirit was so strong for the whole meeting. The members, who do not understand English, told me multiple times how strong the spirit was. It was a wonderful experience. I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I wouldn't be surprised if I think about it every day.
A highlight for me this week was Zone Conference. It was seriously a pump up . I am just so happy and excited to be a missionary!!!
An interesting experience we had was while tracting. We came across this man who let us in. The second we sat on the couch he was firing off questions and before we could answer, telling us we were wrong. His questions were directed so he could loudly respond on what he believed. It was frustrating. After a while, we started to talk about prayer and how he could talk to God. He immediately started asking questions with a purpose. His voice changed. He really wanted to get the Book of Mormon in his native language. At the end of the meeting, the spirit was there, he invited us to come over again, and he had said a prayer. It was a miracle. It is so fun to watch the spirit change people.
This week we were able to teach the Chinese family again. This really resulted in us sitting there, while the Chinese-speaking member taught the lesson. The lady said a beautiful prayer asking Heavenly Father for his help so she could know the truth. She told us she felt really good about everything that was said and wants to keep meeting (of course, I found this out after the fact). The member that helped us is so cool! On the train ride back, we were sitting on the train and got to know a Japanese exchange student who now wants to get a Book of Mormon. This member blows me away. This member really shows me how I want to be when I return home. I want to encourage every member to really help the missionaries!
Okay, I am so blessed this week. But I have one more thing that really blows me away. A man, who was less active when I first got here, passed the sacrament yesterday. The combination of S___ receiving the Holy Ghost and then seeing that, you better believe I felt like I never have before.
Although this week, my mission has been everything but hard, hard times come. But missionaries do see results from their hard work! I was able to experience that this week. Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done. I love it. It is also the hardest thing I have ever done. The rewards are great and the hard times are worth it! Here is a quote from my Mission President's email this week.
“Anyone who does any kind on missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is it so hard? Why doesn't it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
“You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ this is the truth and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.”
-Jeffery R. Holland MTC talk @ Provo MTC June 20, 2000