Sunday, August 25, 2013

First baptism, New mailing instructions

So, about that investigator I talked about last week: don't worry, we
are very careful. We always make sure to bring a member with us when
we teach him. But if the Spirit told us not to go see him, we
wouldn't. Thank you so much for your concern though <3

Something that I realized this week was just how different mission
life is than I expected it to be. Ok I realized that awhile ago, but
this was a new realization. Before the mission, I thought that we
would be going out and teaching people and they would either accept it
or reject it, and hopefully get baptized. But it is so much more than
that. Everyone we teach is a real human being, and they consequently
come with a lot of baggage, real life problems that we end up getting
involved in, one way or another. It's frustrating and heartbreaking to
see them struggle and hurt, but so satisfying when we see them make
those changes in their lives that bring them closer to their Savior,
Jesus Christ. This week is Akosita's baptism. And wow, it has been a
long time coming. Something that I have a very strong testimony of is
that whenever someone is about to make a really good life changing
decision, like going on a mission or being baptized, Satan starts
working on overload. We have seen that with Akosita. It has been hard.
Currently, some of her family members are trying to convince her that
we're a cult and that we worship Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson.
Ok, let me just say something about that. We are not a cult. We
worship the one true God, our loving Heavenly Father, and His Son
Jesus Christ. The name of our church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of
Latter-Day Saints. And if anyone wants to call us a cult, alright
then. Prove it. Read our scriptures. Study our doctrines. Matthew 7:20
says that by their fruits ye shall know them. So study the fruits of
our church, and see for yourselves if whether or not we are a cult
that worships mortal men. It just really frustrates me when people
make judgements with no genuine information to back these judgements
up.
But anyway, Akosita is strong. She is still going to be baptized this
Wednesday and it is going to be so great. I am really proud of the
progress she has made, and of the fact that she still has such a
desire to join herself with the church despite the opinions of her
extended family.
Other than Akosita, we are still trying our best to teach Ali. And he
has such a desire to change and be baptized, but he doesn't fully
understand just how many changes he has to make. It has been really
hard with him, but the Christlike attribute we have been working on
this week is hope, and last week was faith. I know that the Lord can
change him. I know that he has the potential of being a very good man.
It will just take time and patience.
Holy cow, if I have learned anything since I got here, it is patience.
Patience with SO MANY difficult people. Patience while learning a
language. Patience with ridiculously slow internet connections. I
wouldn't say that I have the patience of Job, but man. I'm getting
there.
I was just thinking yesterday, about what life was like for me growing
up. I have been so blessed, and so sheltered. Here I can see the
realities of life so much clearer. People suffer. People are so
strong. And I realized that my childhood is truly over. I am a woman
now. And this is a little sad and a little scary to me. But here's
what I have to say about it: bring it on. Come what may. Try me. For I
can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

The package with the three CD's came last week like Wednesday. It took
them until today to finally give it to me. 
And when it comes to the emailing, I have less time than before. Only
one hour on Mondays. So, on the blog, tell people to write me snail
mail instead of emails.
  (see Address on sidebar) Also, I won't have time to do the live
chatting anymore. Just part of the sacrifice. I'm sorry. I really
really am.
About the songs, they made me and my companion cry. Sister Bechu
wanted me to tell you thank you for them. Man I miss you people.
I was reading something in Jesus the Christ yesterday, about how the
disciples were to leave everything behind. It even went so far as to
say "hate your families". Obviously the language didn't literally mean
hate, but rather leave them behind and follow Christ. It made me
think, even though the live emailing has been something that I have
loved, it's important that I am willing to sacrifice it. Also, when we
get to talk on Mother's Day and Christmas, it's only for 30-40
minutes. I think I'd rather talk than Skype, because Skype is so
unreliable. But we'll talk more about that when the time comes.
If it feels like I am not spending enough time writing you and
emailing you, I am so sorry. But that is part of it. I have less time
to email and write because I am trying to focus more.

Transfers are coming up. The new intake is coming soon. I won't be
training, because my own training will not be over. But I might have a
new companion. Sister Bechu is fairly certain that she will be
transferred week after next. I guess we'll see. I'll let you know.


I love you all!

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