Holy Hannah, 10 New emails!!!!! THAT was fun to see when I got on today! Thank you so much - I LOVE YOU!!!!!
Clearly someone wasn't thinking about missionaries and their P-days when they made half of our federal holidays on Mondays! It's ok though--I'm grateful that I at least don't have to wait an entire week before hearing from and writing to you!
WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!! We've been teaching this particular young woman for just over 6 weeks, and she was finally able to get baptized on Sunday! I realize that 6 weeks is not all that terribly long, but the interesting thing with Elizabeth is that she'd been pushing US to get baptized. When we first met her, we were watching the Restoration DVD with her dad, and she asked us if our church did baptisms, and if so, could she be baptized? ...Uh, yeah! She had some pretty big personal obstacles she had to overcome though, and so it took a little while longer than she wanted to be able to be baptized. She has some mental/psychological problems that make it difficult for her to totally understand or comprehend things very quickly. She's very sweet and sincere though, and had been SO anxious to be baptized! So anxious, in fact, that she actually got pretty mad when we told her we needed to postpone it a few weeks. But it all worked out! I tell you what though, Satan sure tried to get in the way! The DAY BEFORE the baptism, she had her wisdom teeth taken out. THE DAY BEFORE!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHH!!! So then she was a little late for church, and wanted to go home part way through Sunday school to get her pain medication from her dad. She said she'd be right back...
So we went on to Sacrament mtg (church is a reversed block here, with PH/RS first, then SS, then SM), and...no Elizabeth. They went to announce the baptism from the pulpit, and...still no Elizabeth. I was DYING!!! The bishop was kind of looking at me like "What's going on and why isn't she here?" from the pulpit, and all I could do was mouth, "She's Coming!!!" and want to just shrink away. Sacrament came and went...no Elizabeth.
I really don't know if I can adequately describe a missionary's thoughts and feelings when something like this happens.
So finally, I grabbed the sister who was my companion for church (we were on splits since we cover two wards), and we went to Elizabeth's house to find out what the heck was going on. When we got there, she said, "Oh, sorry - my dad's still not back yet with the medicine." After taking a deep semi-calming breath, I said, "Elizabeth. You're getting baptized TODAY. You HAVE to come to church!!! Why don't you just call your dad and have him bring your medicine to the church when he gets here? You can sit at home and wait, or you can sit at church and wait, and if you're going to be baptized today, you need to be a church." She said ok, and we took her back to church. After that, everything went off pretty smoothly, and it actually ended up being a beautiful baptismal service! When she came up out of the water, she kind of laughed and exclaimed, "That was fun!" And at the end of the service, the bishop invited her to come up and bear her testimony. My companion and I were a little nervous because we hadn't talked to her or gone over any of this kind of thing with her, and we weren't sure what she was going to say. She was actually really sweet and sincere though, and talked about how happy she was, and how grateful she was to have the church in her life, that she was glad that we'd taught her about "the Mormon book" - that it had brought a lot of peace and happiness, and then she ended with "And just, God is good. ...Thank you." and sat down. It was so good! And really, it's moments like these that make it all worth it!
Something kind of fun that I've been meaning to write about, but keep forgetting is a fun little song that my trainer wrote about sister missionaries. We call it the "Missionariettes" song. It's sung to the tune of a Mary Poppins song (the one that the mom and the maids sing, marching around in their women's rights stuff towards the beginning of the movie...I hope you know which one I'm talking about), and goes like this:
(Note: This is the Sister Suffragette song . . . Google it–it’s on youtube and you can hear the song.)
We're merely Elders in pantyhose,
Fearless crusaders for human souls!
Though we'll adore L.A. eternally,
We admit that as a whole,
They're ra-ther sin-ful...
SO! Cast off rejection from yesterday!
Crying repentance throughout L.A.!
Our recent converts will adore us,
And the'll sing in grateful chorus:
WELL DONE! Missionariettes!
I LOVE it! Make sure to sing it wil a strong British accent, and harmonize on "and they'll sing in grateful chorus:" :)
Now, for something on a more spiritual note...
I'm trying to read the Book of Mormon this transfer (which translates to 12 pages a day, if you're wondering), and although I'm behind, I LOVE it! It's just so amazing to me, and I can't help but think and feel and know as I read it just how true it is! We had an experience a few weeks ago that I've thought a lot about; we were tracting, and we met a lady who was nice to us, but absolutely NOT interested. She'd had a bad experience with members in the past, and just didn't like "our ways" very much. As we visited briefly with her and tried to share something, she said, "Well you see, you've got a problem here - see, I don't believe in the Joseph Smith seeing angels, and Mormon book stuff. In fact, I'm pretty sure that we had taken a little too much acid, and that's what happened." We talked for a few more minutes and then moved on, but as I've reflected on that, it just kills me! It was during my personal study the next morning that it really hit me. ACID?!?! He'd taken too much acid?!?!?! AAAAUGH!!! As I opened up the Book of Mormon and began to read, I was really struck with how true it is, and how utterly impossible it was that it was written in any other way than by inspiration and the gift and power of God! OH, if people only knew! If they would just READ the Book of Mormon and see the power and truth that is there, they would know!!! Actually, I do know and understand that people can and do read the Book of Mormon and don't realize that (because they don't want to, and they don't have or invite the Spirit as they do), but I wish that everyone did! I love the scriptures!!! As I read (sang) in 2 Nephi 4:15-16 this morning, "For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them..."
Thank you so much, Dad and Mom, for raising us with and teaching us of the scriptures! I know that they're true, and I'm SO grateful for the knowledge that I have!!!
The church is true!!!!!!!!
I Love Being a missionary!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
ps HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!