Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One of the Best Weeks of the Mission

From Derek's November 30 letter.

"This week was super awesome!!! haha probably one of the best weeks that we've had on the mission! I'll pretty much just focus on Sunday since it was a day of miracles! The... family was baptized this Sunday by their Father who recently received the Melquisedec Priesthood, [the other investigator who was baptized the week before] also received the Holy Ghost, in short an amazing day at church!

"The baptism was once again incredible just to see a family fully united in the Gospel. It's always super touching to see them all dressed in white and know of the eternal significance of the step their about to take. It's super incredible!

"[The brother's] experience was also incredible, he's super solid and has a very firm desire to follow his Savior and recognizes the difficulty and the joy of the path he has decided to take. We're excited for him and he's already starting to get more involved in the branch, tonight he'll be helping out with a service project, and there's definitely no better way to fellowship than through service!

"So that was the beginning of the awesome day of Sunday! Then we had some other super sweet miracles. First of all this girl we've been working with ... finally came to church! We've been working with her for probably about two months now, and two months ago she didn't even believe in God. She's been faithfully reading and praying and has felt the spirit strongly on so many occasions, and now she finally decided to come to church and really loved it! Man, it was so sweet! She loves the unity that is felt there and just the way it is, she says she's looking to see if her life will change at all by living a "religious" lifestyle, meaning going to church. We assured her that it most definitely would! Later that night we went to the Visitor's Center with her as well where she almost accepted a baptismal date, but at least accepted to be baptized, just not yet with a specific date. So she's doing super well and God continues to give us so many miracles!

"So earlier on in the day on Sunday we also had an incredible lesson with a lady we were trying to teach but whose husband hadn't seemed too interested, luckily God works in mysterious ways and opened up the way for us. We were coming back from checking on their door when we ran into them and it turns out they were coming back from the doctor because she'd been assaulted and robbed a few days earlier and they were doing some check ups on her. Yeah, crazy place! Anyways we were able to offer to give her a blessing and the husband was also there. It was honestly one of the most spiritual experiences on the mission. As we gave the blessing and explained the implications of the authority of God on the earth, namely eternal families, the spirit of the Lord filled the room and clearly testified to these people that this was God's church and the path they should take. We asked them to describe their feelings and the hermana said that it was like her heart was opening up to God again, and the Husband said that he just felt a peace in his home that apparently he hadn't felt in quite awhile. It was so cool and the wife accepted a baptismal date, and the husband did, just not as firmly as the wife. Unfortunately since that point, as happened with Jessica, Satan has been working hard through his family members to convince them to no longer listen to us.

"In times like these I've learned that all we can really do is pray, work hard, and trust that the Lord will do his work and touch their hearts. It's interesting, because it breaks our hearts, and then I think of how Heavenly Father must feel and how it must just tear him apart, but at the same time he is their father, and these are his children and he is very aware of the plan that he has for them, and they will never be lost or dropped to him, even if we may lose them or have to drop them.

"That same thought was also manifested in another incredible miracle. Do you remember ... the guy that ditched us at the metro stop? Well, Sunday he randomly called us and asked if he could come to church or the visitor's center that day! Yeah, super weird, but we went with him to the visitor's center that night and had a lesson with him. Haha it was kind of weird because we went on splits inside the Visitor's center so I ended up teaching [him] kind of alone. It helped me realize how important companions really are! Nevertheless we were able to figure out his doubt. It turns out he ran away from baptism and from us because he felt so bad for something that he'd done pretty close before his baptism. Luckily we were able to help him and give him some hope again and help him to repent, he is once again on date for the 18th! We'll see how it goes this time! Haha still it was crazy, definitely a testimony that God is very aware of his children and will touch their hearts at the appropriate time.

"In short, we are seeing so many miracles it's ridiculous. While it is at times stressful, like when church is started and none of your investigators are there yet, even though they're supposed to be baptized that day, it all seems to work out in the end. Like them showing up in the middle of the sacrament hymn. Yeah, super crazy, stressful, fun, joyful, and legit! ;)

"Haha as for the other things during the week, it flew by, haha I honestly only remember Sunday. Oh, and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was sweet! We went to the former Branch President's house... We ate dinner with all of their family and we all dressed up as pilgrims and Indians, haha super crazy! The food was great, as was the pie, ah so much pie! :) It was also cool because they really made us feel included in their family and not just like the outsider missionaries, so I was grateful for that, and Mom you can rest easy knowing that a kind lady out here in Maryland... is super generous and made your son feel at home on Thanksgiving, so no worries ;)"

"Well that is it family. 11 months have already gone by, ugh terrible. Have a good week though! Until next time! :)

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