Well this has been a very exciting week!
Max was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past weekend. Sister Towne and I could not be any more proud of him. I’ve met a lot of people on my mission, but there is something special about Max, and I am so happy I get to meet with him. At his baptism, he shared his testimony about coming to know God. It was really neat to hear because of his Chinese background. He said that as a kid he would always look at their fish tank, and how all the fish only know their little environment. And as he looked down at them, he wondered if there was someone looking down at us. Coming to America and finding Christianity has changed his perspective. And his baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has changed him. He has this crazy glow about him which I admire so much. He has an amazing path a head of him.
The same day Max was baptized, by former investigator I taught on Mormon.org last year, was able to go through the temple. After his baptism, Ryan, has been diligently preparing for this day to enter the Lord’s home and make more promises with Him. Like Max, Ryan has so much faith. When Ryan was baptized, Sister Bradshaw, who was my first companion, and I taught him over the phone. Now that Sister Bradshaw is off her mission, when Ryan went through the temple, she was able to attend. How cool is that?
I have been blessed with so many miracles on my mission, and have had countless prayers patiently answered.
We have been striving to find new investigators while teaching Max, because at the time, he has been our only investigator. So a few days before his baptism, we got nervous, because we wouldn’t have anyone else to teach. And its not a number thing, it just makes me happy to have someone I know we are helping 🙂
While we were studying last week, we read in Preach My Gospel (study material for missionaries) about prayer. There was one phrase that talked about praying to find those who are ready to hear the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since Max was a miracle from a specific prayer, we had the faith to pray for something specific again. During Max’s baptism, we received a text for a referral for a man who wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon that some other missionaries had met.
The next day, we met this man and he is awesome! He’s baptist and from Mississippi. He wants to come closer to God again in his life and when he was given a Book of Mormon, wanted to learn more about it. He said he loves how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has modern day prophets. Was this someone who has been prepared to hear the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ? I think yes 🙂
I’ve had many times on my mission when I have prayed and prayed for months, anticipating being able to help one of God’s children. And in this past month, I’ve only waited 3 days. God always is listening and preparing people. I’ve definitely learned that sometimes helping others (or being helped) may mean helping another missionary, people in the Visitors’ Center, investigator, those who haven’t came to church in a while, or just someone in the store. I am so grateful to be on the Lord’s errand, whatever that may mean.
Although, being on the Lord’s errand isn’t always a piece of cake. This week I found some of my weaknesses to be quite apparent to myself. This was hard on me because I got down on myself for not doing my best and gave myself a hard time because of it. Then, I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. Quickly after I started having feelings of jealousy, I turned it right around. I’ve been trying to strive to follow Christ’s example rather than wishing I was “as good” at something as someone else. But even when I feel like I’m not as effective as I’d like to be, and question why I feel I am not, I am trying to to look at the big picture and remember that the Lord knows more than I do and he always has a plan. Just like as a missionary I am always inviting people to change, I am a firm believer that missionaries would not have empathy for others unless they are turning to the Savior and making big changes in their own life too to be better. The Lord knows where I am at now, and He knows who I can become. And to become anything great, it takes humility, diligence, patience, and a willingness to change.
I love being a missionary even when its hard, because I know how important the Lord’s work is and the impact it is having on me and those around me.
Here’s a link to a cute video that we shared at Max’s baptism.
The freezingness of Idaho
Ryan’s temple day with a visit from Lauren (Sister Bradshaw)