Monday, August 18, 2014

a taste of charity & a hint of crazy...

Big news first: I am staying. Sister Bateman is getting transferred. Not going to lie, I am rather bummed she is leaving. We have honestly had an amazing companionship. My new companion is Sister DeBry. She is actually coming from the Rimrock YSA ward, so I know her pretty well because we have been working in the office together for the last two transfers. I forget where she is from. Sister Bateman is leaving for Whitefish. Slightly jealous there- that's in the Kalispell area.

The preferred place to send mail is probably the mission home still, but we did finally get a key for our mailbox. So you can mail stuff to : 1223 Benjamin Blvd. Billings, MT 59105

Last Monday, Sister Bateman & I went to the Montana Fair for preparation day! She had never been to a fair before. Crazy Oregon girl. I actually was not that impressed; the fair food wasn't that good and there were hardly any animals. The best part was the 4-H huckleberry ice cream. Have a raved about huckleberry yet? Huckleberries look like small blueberries but they are much sweeter and way more delicious. But they only grow in the mountains in Montana. (or at least primarily in Montana...) They are pretty iconic for Montana. Anyways, the fair was way fun and we got seen and talked to quite a few people! 

About our Tennessee family. They are back to wanting to be baptized. Here is the story - 


We haven't been able to meet with them the last two weeks. They have been super stressed and backtracked on the gospel. And we could see the stress and anger in them when we did drop by briefly.

So we schedule a lesson at the church to watch "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" projected in the chapel with their family, our zone leaders, and a member. We figure if his problem is Joseph Smith, we'll do our best to help him know more about Joseph Smith in the simplest way possible. We call that morning and he kept giving excuses because his wife got called in to work. But eventually we get him to agree to accept a ride.

He was bawling by the end of the movie. He then tells us how stressed he has been and how he has felt like he wants to give up on God because he feels like God has given up on him. We explained to him that he ran away first- God's hand is always outstretched. By the end of the lesson - and it was a long, powerful lesson - he finally agrees to work his way back. He shares that two weeks ago he had 100% doubt about Joseph Smith and by the end of the lesson, he had maybe 25%.

They did not come to church, but we did have another lesson with them on Sunday at our ward mission leader's house. It was another long lesson. We went over Alma 5 and discussed faith and action. Anyways, he shared with us that he now does believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet and wanted to know if he could get baptized on Wednesday. We explained they needed to come to church more and quit smoking first. So their new baptismal date is his upcoming birthday in September.

Honestly, this journey has been a roller coaster with them. I keep reflecting on this experience and note how we care about this family SO MUCH. We're so worried about them making correct decisions, about them developing a closer relationship with Christ and their Heavenly Father, about them being happy. We are always worried if we are teaching by the Spirit well enough and if there is any more that we can do. They are constantly in our minds and in our hearts.


Well, the lesson in Relief Society this Sunday was about raising your children in the gospel. Comments were made about always worrying if you are doing enough and teaching them well. I instantly drew the connection to how I felt about my investigators. Obviously, the relationship I have with those I teach is a mere shadow of how parents must feel about their children. Their worry and concern is a many manifolds larger than my concern for those in Lake Hills. And honestly, I can get transferred, I don't always stay with these people. But when you are a family, you are always with them. They are always yours, no escape, for better or worse. And I thought being a missionary was exhausting! 


But wait, there's another level! What about how Heavenly Father feels about all of his spirit children, all of mankind? And He loves all of us perfectly. 

While maybe cheesy, it reminds me of the Mormon Message, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father". Look it up on Mormon Channel or on Gospel Library. 

But really, the love I feel for these people is just a small taste of charity. I will learn more about it later when I have my own family and when I become more like God. 


One of our zone leaders talked to us about charity. He was saying how you may have many different motivations for being on a mission and serving honorably; you know you should, you want to be a good example, etc.. But as it discusses in 1 Corinthians 13 and Moroni 7, "charity never faileth". All other things must and will fail. But love is the ultimate motivator. A large part of this life is learning how to love how Christ loves.

"Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

This led me to develop a parody of "What is Love?" by Haddaway into "God is Love!". Don't judge or roll your eyes, I'm a missionary. But I haven't gotten too far into it. I think Peter should work on it for me.

Anyways, love you all much :)
Those chickens need some charity.
Love,
Sister G


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