Happy Easter! I just have to say how grateful I am for the Savior! It is a shame that it takes Easter for me to really think about all the Lord has done for me. My heart is filled with gratitude. He came to this earth and bore the hardest trails and pains, and he did it with a loving heart, all because he loves us. He suffered everything alone; no friends, no one to understand, and everywhere he went there was rejection and hatred towards him. I know if it were me I would not be very nice.. but he never said a hateful word, he loved those that persecuted him. Even on the cross he begged for forgiveness for those that had done that to him. Because he knew.. he knew how they would feel the day they came to know that they crucified their Savior, he knew the guilt they would feel and the pain in their hearts, and because he loved them he suffered the atonement for them, so they wouldn't have to feel that. I love being a missionary, the longer I am on a mission the more I realize how in debt to the Lord I really am. I am so grateful that I can go on a mission and sacrifice a year and a half to Him, which won't even come close to repaying my debt. But I know that whatever I do, no matter how far away I am from paying that debt off, if I do my best, it will be enough! It was a great Easter for me! I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have what I have and to know what I know. I am so lucky, I am more than lucky! Even if it was a bumpier week, I feel so blessed and so happy.
A few weeks ago a lady came into the visitor center. She talked with Sister Peterson and at the end of her visit asked if she could have missionaries email her. She explained that she had been raised Baptist (ironic right) and that her parents were still very strong in the faith and would not approve and her father may even handle her investigation in a hostile matter if he knew. So.. Long story short her email got passed off to me. I have been emailing her for a few weeks now and she even built up enough faith to meet with missionaries. Last Saturday I went to her baptism! It was so beautiful! It is neat to watch how people who were so closed off to the church and who had said no many times come to find the truth in the Gospel, and not only that but they are so grateful for it. I love knowing that no matter what a person does or says, God will never give up on them, and he will try and try again to keep gathering his sheep and bringing new ones in! He is filled with second chances. Did you know that the average investigator has 11 interactions with the church before he/she commits to being baptized.. I love knowing that I can be a part of at least one of those 11! I have found that things don't always work out the way I envision or plan them to, but that the Lord knows what he is doing! I may not be the one who baptizes some, but I know that the Lord needs me for things that I might never know I did. Never delay a prompting! I love that conference talk! I have found that following a prompting doesn't always lead to what I think it should, but that God gave me the prompting for a reason, and if I act on it, the Lords work will be done, regardless if I ever know what it actually did.
Story time! So.. There was a man and he was sitting at a train station waiting for his train. He had a lot of work to do and was busy away at his computer. Another man with his kids come to the station and the kids are out of control.. they are running around everywhere and screaming and just being kids. The guy at work begins to be really frustrated.. he is working and these kids are being more than distracting. He keeps getting angrier and angrier until he almost goes over and yells at this man to take care of his kids. Just when he is about to say something the father gets a phone call, he overhears that the mother just died and the father had not told his children yet.. he didn't know how to tell the kids and he didn't know what to do when he got home.. he was a mess and didn't know what to do. The working man had a complete change of heart, he didn't look to this man with such frustration but with love and concern. Instead of his own welfare he began to think of this family and what he could do to help. I love this story because to me it is true repentance. Repentance is not just a stop in doing something, but it is a change of heart and a willingness to change for the better!
I hope you are all well! I love you so much!