Serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint in the Texas, Fort Worth Mission

Monday, July 6, 2015

7/3/15 Week 67

Dear family and conocidos,

Up to something SNEAKY..?

This week was honestly the most EXHAUSTING week of my entire life!  Rene got baptized!!! waaahooooooooooo!!!   It was such a miracle.  Everything just worked out perfectly  Honestly when we met him (last week) and he insisted on being baptized next Sunday, I was doubtful...he had only been to our ward 1 time and we had no idea how we were gonna teach him everything in a week, especially since this week we had 3 exchanges with all of the sisters planned, but one thing after another fell into place, and yesterday the spirit was sooo strong at his baptism! And like half of the ward showed up too. whaaa?  Ok...that's maybe an exageration...but still there were tons of people and we were just praying that the bishop would come.  

I guess the biggest miracle was just how much the spirit really was teaching Rene.  I was worried that he wouldn't know everything and wouldn't be ready for his interview, but when we reviewed it with him, I just felt a wave of peace as we talked. The whole experience never really felt real until then.  I remember thinking "Wow. He's ready! This is actually happening!"  Such a great feeling!

Then after he had his completed his baptismal interview, he was glowing!  I mean the guy is 70 years old, but he was giddy!  Hehe!  I think I've said this before, but THE BEST part about missionary work is watching the spirit change people.  I didn't think I would really get to see that with Rene since we only taught him for like a week, but a week was really all it took.  He said it himself after his baptism "This is a day I will never forget.  The happiest day of my life." awwwwww!! Doesn't he just sound too good to be true?  Ya well that's another thing I've learned: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one place where things are never too good to be true! I should make a commercial or something...

Great company, great food, and a great time!
The other big events this week were all of our MANY exchanges!  I'm sooo pooped right now.  They really are enjoyable, just also SUUUPER exhausting.  So on Tuesday sister Ertel (greenie) came here, then on Thursday I went to Denton with my old sister training leader sister Nichols, and then the next day I came back here with Hermana Yingling.  After we switched back on Saturday Hermana Taele and I were VERY happy to see each other! I always knew I loved my comp, but until you spend 48 hours apart - GASP! (That's a lot of time for us missionaries ok!)  You realize how awesome she really is.  I do love being an STL. I just wish that I was better at actually helping people with their problems.  I love listening and giving my input, but I hope that it actually helps them.  I know God called me to help these sisters for some reason, so I will just have to trust that:)  

The pic doesn't do it was massive!!
I've been reading this talk by Elder Holland called "Feed my Sheep" He is talking at the MTC to a bunch of missionaries about Preach my Gospel, and how much more is required of us as missionaries compared to when he served a mission.   He talks about how they came up with Preach my Gospel, and why.  He said it was because they were losing too many missionaries.  Too many were just coming home and going inactive, because all they had to do was recite the same lessons no matter who was listening.  This talk just really hit me hard, and I think that it can apply to everyone even if you aren't a missionary, but especially for those future missionaries (Weston...cough cough).  God doesn't want missionaries who are robots, or just part of our commitment.  This quote is kind of long, but it's from the conference talk that he gave as a summary of the one he gave in the MTC, its BEAUTIFUL!!  

 "To which Jesus responded perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

We are here on our missions, as well as in our lives to change!  To become his disciples. I feel like a hypocrite sometimes, because quite often I think it would be so nice to just take a break and sit down in the sun, sip a lemonade, and just forget about all the work we have to do.  It's a lot, and it can be a big burden if you let it be.  But I KNOW there is nothing more worth it, nothing more rewarding then when I push those thoughts away and remember what Christ did for me.  Then the work we have to do here just seems like the right thing to do. Why wouldn't we obey him when he did literally everything for us?  I know he is my Savior and Redeemer, and he wants all of us as his true disciples.  Who cares where you are at in your lives, I know that nothing can really make us happier:)  I love you all.  I love this gospel and most importantly my Savior Jesus Christ.  

<3 Hermana Bonny  

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