Monday, February 11, 2013
A day of Gratitude
Oh man, today is a day of gratitude.
So throughout my mission there are times I feel like I'm never doing quite enough and I worry so much that I've missed opportunities and let things slip past because of my mistakes and weaknesses. Obviously I realize no one's perfect and I take comfort in the fact that Heavenly Father knew I was going to make those mistakes when he sent me to areas so it must be okay in the end, but there are still times or days I just really feel my imperfections and can't seem to find how to overcome them. Pretty standard for most missionaries I think, but this last week I'd had all those feelings weighing on me extra heavily.
Then I got a call last night from my first ward mission leader. His daughter is in our ward and so she passed on our number. After first telling me I'm perfect and they all love and miss me (what else is new), he told me he really called to tell me that my very first investigator ever is getting baptized. Like, actually. He's set dates to be baptized so many times but never made it, but Brother Parsons told me it's been announced, he's been interviewed, he tried on clothes, and he asked Brother Parsons to do it. So it's finally happening. Best part is, guess who's the missionary there right now? Sister DeRuvo! So I got to start teaching Steve and then train the missionary that would finally get him to baptism!
He then told me about a family that my companion and I tried to contact while I was in Owen Sound. He was this golden guy who studied online with missionaries for months while in Afghanistan and he walked in the church one day with his 3 little girls and told the bishop he wanted to be baptized. But his wife was really against it so he disappeared and we never were able to teach him. But he's been coming out for a few months now and has almost worked it out with his wife. He told me "So the effort you put in there wasn't a waste." It was interesting because when we couldn't get a hold of him we prayed to ask what we should do and we got the answer, Wait. When we told Brother Parsons that he said the missionaries before us had the same experience. So the timing just needed to be right, and again now Sister DeRuvo can help harvest that family.
THEN he told me about the little boy who had been baptized a few months before. He's the son of a less active who we tried to see but couldn't very often. So again, not really someone I felt like I was working with at all. But it was so interesting as he told me all these things, I got to see the plan for these people be laid out how Heavenly Father had seen it all along. It really is true that no effort we put into sharing the gospel is wasted! We have no idea what Heavenly Father will eventually do with the little bit of energy we invested.
I dunno, it was just really cool and it brought me so much peace that if the one person who I most had regrets about how I aught and my imperfections is now being baptized, the rest of my mistakes will be compensated for as well. One of the missionaries said one time in a zone meeting right before he went home "There's a lot I would do differently, but I have no regrets, because I did the best that I could in that circumstance and there's a perfect Atonement to make up for the rest." That's the feeling I've had ever since that call. I love it. And it motivates me to do so much more and really put in effort every minute of every day so that those seeds can be planted.
Anyways, it was a really good week here. We're teaching Roger's grandson Anthony now along with Roger- they both immediately got sick after we taught them and have been down all week so that's stunk, but I think Anthony is going to be baptized the end of this month! We also started teaching 2 people, Brandon and Kevin, who are so fun to teach. For example we asked to start with a prayer and Brandon immediately said "Okay but explain everything you do and why you do it." He prayed at the end and both opened and closed "In the name of the Heavenly Father" haha it was cute. And they take in every word you say and ask really great questions about it. Sister Sorensens said "God is our loving Heavenly Father, and we lived with Him before coming to Earth" and they had about 10 super solid comments and questions on just that. We kinda taught all 3 first lessons in one hour lol.
We're going on sisters exchange next week, and I'm going to go back to Woodstock to work with Sister Wester's baby! I'm so excited! I'm already planning people to tell them to make appointments with, especially the Butlers, who we started teaching the day before I left and who are getting really close to baptism now.
Okay, I'm going to go experiment with EFY. Wish me luck! Love you, good luck with all your projects!!