This week was just crazy. But oh my goodness how the Lord will make us what he will, and work the miracles he chooses to in our lives if we are just willing to do the work and try!
Last week we were preparing for the baptism of Kim, she was a referral from one of our recent converts and she was as golden as it could possibly get. When we showed her the book of mormon she said "It's got to be true, it talks about Jesus Christ" and we explained the prophet and she said it makes complete sense, and she expressed the lack of the spirit that accompanied her previous baptisms, she said she just didn't feel anythingand when we explained the priesthood she said that must be why! She came back the next week to church with her daughter and we began to teach both of them. They loved all of it, but her daughter Aisha wasn't as certain as her mother. Its all good though we're still working on her. Wel,l that was two weeks ago last monday. Kim told us she was leaving(moving) for work the next tuesday! ( today) we began praying and praying trying to figure out if she was suppose to be baptized before she left or not?! it was crazy... but we finally felt that it REALLY needed to happen. And that was on saturday! So sunday we organized the fastest baptism anyone would ever see. We called all the people in our ward. The 1st counselor helped us a ton and we did it! we were not expecting very many people to come on such short notice and FAST sunday but oh my goodness. It was packed, and there were soooooooo many primary kids! ha :) I was blessed with the opportunity to baptize her. The baptism was sooo beautiful and the spirit was so strong. Sitting there wearing those whites, seeing her in white the spirit was overwhelming. I had been preparing, for 18 years straight, trying to learn all I can, make the best choices I can, spent nights staying up praying until I cried trying to find out if I was really good enough and ready, and could really serve this mission. Then I sat there, worthy, next to a daughter of God, who was completely ready to take that step of faith. We walked into the font, I grabbed her wrist, raised my arm, and with the authority given to me by my father and Ultimately from Jesus Christ, Baptized her and afterward Elder Langi gave her the gift of the holy ghost and confirmed her a member... Man. I was just so overwhelmed with the spirit.
But the craziest part is every single day, the devil combats my heart with feelings of insecurity, with inadequacy and a lack of confidence. As he does with all missionaries. Yes, yes, I and all missionaries can improve, yes I will work harder to be more obedient, yes I am a brand new missionary in the feild but I hold the power and authority of God, as well as being set apart as a minister to preach the gospel, cry repentance to every ear and lead them to baptism.
I heard a talk by Elder Holland, one he gave in the mtc. He explained that we need to teach with authority, and power just as ammon and aaron and alma and amulek did, get to the point that our natural impulse is obedience, and above all (combinding another talk I heard directly after listening to this one) do not cast away therefore your confience. I know that this calling is divine. I know that we are all destined for great things. For one we are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father. But above that ,the Lord will make us what he will if we endure and accept trails, and allow him to shape us. From that same mtc devotional by Elder Holland he explained that after the crucifiction of the Savior Peter returned to his boats and began to fish again, doing what he did before, and when christ came back asking him "Peter, do you love me?" three times, and Peter answers 3 times yes,Lord Thou knowest that I love thee! and Elder Holland explains what the savior was really saying when He said " Then feed my sheep!" He was not saying only feed them when I'm here, or for a little while, he was saying when I called you from your old lives Im calling you forever, when I called you as a disciple im calling you forever, when I called you as an apostle im calling you forever, when I called you as a missionary. It's forever. YOU. CANNOT. GO BACK. When Peter answered the Lord the Third time, saying it with all the power of his soul, truely responding to the commandment to feed His sheep, he truely became what the Lord had called him to do. I feel the same in me, as a missionary I am called forever. I will be whatever the Lord wants of me, I will leave my net forever, and just as ammon I will feed his sheep "perhaps until I die" because I have responded to the Lords question " Do you love me?" Yes. I do. I do love him and owe not only my mortal life, but eternal life to My Lord and savior and teacher and friend. When i am denied, he was denied first, when I am hated i am hated for his sake, and when I succeed, I boast of my Lord. I know that this is a divine work and i am a very very very small and insignificant tool. But the Lord uses very small means to accomplish his purposes. Through the hard times, I am made weak, and I endure, choosing right, hoping the Lord will make me strong, and accomplish some great purpose. This is my eternal, hope forever, I love this gospel so much. I love the chance to do this. I know my redeemer lives, and I know he chose Joseph and I join him, I stand next to those two proclaiming the Truth, in a world who denies those trying to save it. Any time I feel afraid, I remember a quote by Ezra Taft Benson, when one of the apostles asked "president any advice? he said "yea, remember its not 1830 and there's not just 6 of us :) haha I love it and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store!
Be not afraid; Only Believe