What an inspiring week we had! I LOVE being a missionary!!
Sister Doherty is excellent as ever. She values the Spirit and leads our companionship in exact obedience in order to have it : ) Love her to bits.
We had the opportunity to teach a new investigator this week, Shandre, who is the daughter of a fairly recent convert. Shandre lives with her boyfriend and she just found out she is having a baby. They are engaged and she knows that they should get married, so we are really hoping that it happens sooner than later! Our lessons with her have been really great. She’s really bright and I think that now that she’s starting a family the Gospel is something she really wants in her life.
We are also spending a lot of time finding new investigators! We are focusing on praying that we find the ones that Sister Doherty and I are specifically meant to teach while we are together. Our transfer goal for baptisms is 2 and we are anxiously engaged in bringing that miracle to pass!
I absolutely know the extension of my mission was inspired! Remember at Christmas when I said I felt that I had one more person to train and that’s mainly why I offered to extend? It was true! I just know that the Lord wanted Sister Doherty and me together this transfer. In addition, we had another sister return home for medical reasons this week. If I wasn’t here they would have been down a sister and have to close an area for up to a month! There is nothing better than seeing your life unfold and realising that you are exactly where the Lord wants you. The joy of being used by the Lord to accomplish his work and glory is unparalleled. Our very own Heber J. Grant said, “I believe there is nothing in all the world that can compare with the joy that a man feels when he realises that he has been the instrument in the hands of the Living God of reaching some honest heart, inspiring in it a love of God and the desire to serve Him.”
We experienced a lot of mini-versions of that as we followed the Spirit this week. I think the entire week was a lesson to me in following those little promptings. We had many experiences with helping ward members at just the right moment, and I wouldn’t want to share the ones that are confidential; but suffice it to say that most of them are people we had no idea were struggling in any way but just felt drawn to at exactly the right time.
One situation that didn’t have to do with the ward was Saturday morning when we were getting ready for the day. I had to call President for something and I thought to myself, "That can wait. No need to do it now." But something whispered, "You should ring him now." So I did. He told me about this sister who is going home and said it would be good for me to talk to her, too. So I did and we ended up having a really good, long talk together right before she left to go home. The Lord wanted us to have that conversation and for her to have a chance to tell me what she was going through. It was so inspired and I am so grateful for the way the Spirit leads and guides us!
The best moment of the week, though, was at Zone Conference where I organised my last zone conference musical number. We sang a medley of "For All the Saints" and "Press Forward Saints." It's kind of hard to describe how amazing it was but I'm going to try. As "For all the Saints" drew to a close we arranged it so that the Elders sang that Alleluia and then the sisters emerged with the Allelulias from Press Forward Saints. And then, as they finished, Elder Hopper started a tenor solo, "Press forward saints with steadfast faith in Christ.." joined by Elder White, "With hope's bright flame alight in heart and mind..." joined by two others (spreading exponentially : )) "with love of God and love of all mankind" the whole choir "Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!" Well, I completely lost it. I couldn't sing the second verse with them. With tears streaming down my face I turned around so that the whole Zone Conference could join in on the last verse and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. People were just weeping as we bore our testimony in song of the divinity of the message we bear. "Thus, saith our God, Ye have eternal life!" Whew, I'm tearing up here in the library. It was so amazing. And then I got to stand up immediately after and attempt to bear a departing testimony to my fellow missionaries. I'm not sure they understood any words I said between the weeping but I'm sure they got the feeling behind it : ) It was truly moving and I will never forget how powerfully I felt the Lord's love for those Elders and Sisters.
This work is TRUE! And we will have eternal life as we press on enduring in the ways of Christ. The way wasn't easy for Him and it certainly won't be easy for us, but He's with us every step of the way. I know that to be true.
Love you all! Press on!