THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE
This week has been the best week of my mission by far. Arguably it could have even been one of the best weeks of my life haha!! I have just felt so much complete joy this week. So many miracles happened. I truly could not be happier.
By far the biggest miracle that happened was I was able to attend the baptism of a man in Canyon Crest ward. I had no idea he was even being baptized until this Tuesday when I felt prompted that I should ask the Canyon Crest Elders about the area. There is a man that I had been teaching my whole 6 months in the Canyon Crest ward. I met him one of my first weeks in the area while seeking with faith. His house is boxed in between 2 LDS families and that he has had a very good relationship with for several years. His conversion started off as those members simply just inviting him to activities and parties the ward was having. It wasn’t until we contact him that he really even started to consider learning more or participating in more than just the parties. While he was interested, he never would let us teach him. He is Jewish and his wife is Buddhist and at that point he was not comfortable changing tradition. But, he would reassure us that he really wanted his 5 year old son to be baptized one day. Weeks passed, and while we never got to teach him, we seemed to start seeing him more and more. Every time we would run into him, we would talk to him more. He really started to trust us. He became a good friend of ours. About a month later, his son, Jacob, actually performed in the primary program. It was so fun watching his son up on the stand dancing and proudly singing the primary song, “Nephi’s Courage” with all the other primary kids. He really felt comfortable and felt such a spirit during that day. Since then, he has come to church consistently every Sunday! I don’t think he has missed a Sunday yet. He made absolute incredible progress during the months he came to church. He was an active participator in all the classes. If we didn’t know better, he easily could have been mistaken as a life long active member. He even got to the point where he was actively signing up to clean the church building and he even signed up for tithing settlement! It was sooooo cool to watch this change. We taught him when we could in Gospel Principles class, in the hall, and outside his house when we would pass by. No matter how many times we tried though, he would never let us have a sit down formal lesson. He told us that in the Jewish culture, women do not teach (especially two 19 year old girls). He wanted to learn and he wanted to be a member, he just was not willing to formally have the lessons with us. He was completely converted though. I was sad to leave the ward and I was scared I would loose touch and not hear about his progress.
When I found out this week he was being baptized I was absolutely ecstatic. His baptism came up so fast after we left! We were not expecting it at all. When we showed up, his jaw dropped to the ground. He told us he was really hoping that we would be there. He wanted us to be a part of that special day, he just had no idea how to get in contact with us to tell us. It was a miracle for sure. He thanked me for being so patient and never giving up on him. He told me that if it wasn’t for us inviting and inviting and inviting him over and over, it never would have actually happened. If we had just given up the first time he kind of pushed us aside with a soft “no” the first time we met him, he never would have made it to church. He never would have finally come to find out what made us all so happy and what we were all eagerly trying to share. It was a true testimony builder that patience and hard work does pay off. I never would have ever expected to be at his baptism so soon. His baptism was one of the happiest moments I have ever experienced. The room was absolutely packed with members who have fellow-shipped him for years. He was so happy too. Sister Moffit and I were smiling so big our faces hurt. It was such an incredible moment. I am so grateful that I got to be part of his conversion. I know that his wife and 2 children will soon follow in his footsteps. They are going to be an absolutely incredible family. I know that this is going to be a family that is very strong in the Gospel for the rest of their lives. It was absolutely incredible. I am so happy that this was the first baptism I was able to have on my mission. I have waited a long time for this moment. It can get discouraging at times, but this was such a testimony builder that hard work does pay off. I have been studying hope this transfer. Heavenly Father promises us blessings, but they might not always come in the ways or the timing that we want. Hope is manifest through patience, confidence, and optimism. I knew that while his conversion was slow at first, that I was making a difference. The whole first half of my mission, I am confident that I have been planting very good seeds. I am so happy to see one of those seeds that I planted and took such good care of, finally be harvested. It has just been the happiest week of my life to see all this hard work finally amount to something great. I work all day and try my very hardest and put absolutely everything I have into my mission. So, to finally see the fruits of my efforts was absolutely incredible. I am excited to see where my mission goes from here. There is so much potential for absolutely amazing things to happen here. I am going to keep working hard every day and I know I will be able to continue to see miracles like this one. One of my favorite quotes from President Hinckley talks about how when we work with optimism and faith, things happen. He said, “You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.” I know great things are going to continue to happen! Miracles happen every day and I am excited to see what is in store for me next!
SOOOO MUCH LOVE,