First of all, I´d like to tell my beautiful family thank you for this week! I am so glad I got to see your shining faces and that you are still my family 🙂 even more than that, you are still my family in the Gospel. Oh what incredible joy that brings to my heart to know that you know the same things I do! And that we are all working here to become more like our Savior, so that we can live together with Him. Heaven would not be any kind of heaven without all of you there.
One funny story: Sister Almeida my comp said something yesterday that almost made me wet my skirt a little I was laughing so hard 🙂 I will translate into english but I know it´s just funnier in portuguese for some reason.. She told me she had a new approach for talking to people. (read this imagining us walking along the street, literally dripping with sweat in the midday sun. I´ve never felt so hot in my whole life here). She would say something like this `It’s hot today huh? Just imagine hell… That’s a whole new kind of hot. I’m a missionary of Jesus Christ, and I have a message to share with you that will save you from experiencing that hell. Can we come by another day to share this message with you and your family?`
This last weekend was something else. I think this whole letter could be dedicated to the last three days of this week. And it´s all about a woman. I talked a little about her and how she is all ready for baptism, the only problem is she is afraid she won´t endure to the end. Well, Thursday, we went to her house determined that she would pray to know if the 28 (the day that we´ve been talking to her about for forever) is the day that God wants her to be baptized. It was one of those moments where she doesn´t want to pray, we´re waiting with our eyes closed until she does, and a lot of time passes in silence until she finally prayed. When she said the words `I want to know if I need to be baptiszed the 28,`the spirit dumped over the room like a bucket of water. So we told her as missionaries we would prepare everything for her baptism, and if by Saturday she had her answer, she could be baptized.
We left her house feeling so strong that the 28 was HER day. I have never felt that much of a confirmation about an investigator and a specific date, but I know that in that moment, it was not just the will of two girls, it was the will of the Lord. How powerful is that? That He who is master of all time, knows what DAY a person is ready to make a covenant with Him.
We went back the next day (Friday) and A. (Logan’s investigator) had a different look about her. She was more happy. I asked her how she was feeling about that prayer she gave, and she smiled and said she felt different. She kept thinking about it, and when she prayed she felt something very strange. (this is the part when the little sister missionaries sitting on the couch get very excited and try to compose themselves). We explained that this feeling was the spirit, that it was a special confirmation just for her that Saturday is the day she should be baptized. We left a card with her we had written that morning and explained everything we could. A. is a very stubborn woman, and I have never fought so hard to have someone be baptized. But it was so different because every time she said `can´t I just move it to the next week? I don´t feel ready to be baptized.` I wanted to say yes, of course. But my mouth felt like someone put a hand over it. God wanted her to be baptized the 28th, and it would not be changed. We made sure Antonia knew that, and bore our testimonies of obedience.
The next day (saturday, the day of the baptism) we show up to her house to prepare her for her baptismal interview, and she wasn´t home. My heart dropped, because she knew exactly what time we would be there. But I still felt like somehow it would be okay. The font was full, people were invited, her relatives even. We had done EVERYTHING to be ready for this. I have never put things on the line like that. My natural self fought it, saying that I shouldn´t plan things out without knowing if she would be baptized or not. But it wasn´t my will, or my companion´s will we were following, it was the Lord´s. We prayed for the faith to call people and invite them to a baptism that the baptizee said she wouldn´t attend. Man…. we prayed for faith almost every hour of the day. We fasted for her. We told her things that I´ve never told an investigator before. The spirit was guiding us like I have never experienced before.
Now I know you´re all wondering if she was actually baptized or not… after knowing she wasn´t home, we continued to follow the spirit, honestly having no clue what to do. We had her husband (who has some mental disabilites that makes him a little difficult) call her and tell her he loves her (was not easy). We had the zone leaders come to her house instead of meeting at the church for the interview. They brought icecream for everyone. We all prayed like our lives depended on it that Antonia would come home and want to be baptized.
She finally did, and we had the most spirit packed lesson of my entire life. My zone leaders are literally spiritual giants, some of the best Elders I´ve ever met. They said things, and we said things, that only God could have the right to say. We promised blessings, prophecied, and bore testimonies of doctrine. Many were crying. Finally A. went to have the interview with Elder Bennett (ZL). About 1:30 later she comes out, and her daughter askes her ´so are you going to get baptized today mom?`
Quickly she responded..´No.`
And all that we had built up for, all that we had done by the Lord´s will, came to a stop. We had done everything we could, but her heart was unwilling to comply to God´s will for her. For a fraction of a second I let myself think `but it was the will of God right? all that we have been doing that seemed so crazy and ´faith without sight´… was that God´s will really?`But I KNOW that it was.
I learned this weekend that sometimes we need to have faith in things that will happen, and sometimes we need to have faith in things that won´t. Not everything that we do for the Lord will make sense. Not everything will have a happy ending. But it´s not my will, But HIS be done.
This weeked has not only changed my perspective on my mission, but on my life. My goal for 2014 is to consecrate my heart to God. No matter what He needs of me, I want to be ready to do it for Him. I want to have the kind of faith to bring about miracles for other people, and like this last weekend, bring about miracles in ME.
I know these things are true, I can´t tell this story with justice because it was such an incredible experience, but I hope that it made some sense to all on the recieving end 🙂
Love, Sister Logan Packer