Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You have been called to labor

     General conference was AWESOME this weekend!  I loved it. Just like all spiritual highs, I was not really ready for it to end, but I walked away with resolve to be better and with a stronger testimony than I had before. I can’t believe that was my last mission conference. For all those who missed it you can still watch it at LDS.org! My favorites were Elders Holland and Ballard and President Monson. I can’t wait to read Elder Oaks talk from priesthood! I hear it was great!

     We haven’t met with Deborah Velardi again. She’s dog sitting 5 mini poodles. We taught our friend the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Nebeker’s home. It went well, but was a little unconventional. We all reflected back on our baptisms. That was the main focus of the lesson. It felt more like a conversation than a lesson. I hope tonight goes differently. I want it to feel like a lesson. We’re teaching her about how to build a sure foundation, ie scripture study, prayer, and following the prophet. We’re teaching in another member’s home and have called and given her directions. We haven’t heard back from her yet, but usually with her no news it good news so we’re excited.

We again taught the family we had dinner with last week. It was just her. The lesson was supposed to be on temples. The kids were a little crazy. She was a little disengaged. Sister Salisbury tried to keep the kids quiet and I tried to teach a lesson to a wall. I finally stopped the lesson and asked her what was wrong. I explained to her the I had noticed a difference in our meetings. She talked about not knowing where she was or what she wanted to do and said she didn’t want to tell us because we’d tell her to read and pray and fast etc. We talked about the reason we tell her to do those things is because they work. Because that is how we find our answers and how we gain direction and understand God’s will for us. We bore testimony of it and then talked about how if she really wanted to know she would pray and read and fast. She acknowledged that yes, if she wanted to know she would do all those things. So I asked her why she didn’t want to know. She said that she is scared of the commitment that would follow. I feel like she knows it’s true, but that she doesn’t want to pray because she KNOWS that God would give her an answer. She scared of three hours of church; she’s scared of the lifestyle changes. I wish I could show her the temple and help her feel eternity, help her want an answer, and help her have the desire to actually put forth the effort. For three hours of church we are promised peace in our homes and overall happier lives, not to mention a fullness of joy in the life to come after we have done all that we can do.  I want to give her my testimony. It is my testimony that makes it forever impossible for me to look at Our Savior or even kneel in prayer and tell Him and our Father in Heaven that it is “just too hard”. Nothing is too hard. The Savior died to make it that way. He did what He did so that we CAN do what He asks. It is not too hard. I wish I could accurately show her that. I wish I could help her feel that, the easiness of the yoke, and the lightness of the burden. The way maybe straight, and narrow, but it is smooth and light.

     We taught our other friend the second half f the plan of salvation. She loved it just as much as the first and, like most people, wanted us to place her in a kingdom. It gave us opportunity to bear testimony of the Savior and His role in the plan and to incorporate her reading into the lesson. She had read Alma 7 and really enjoyed it. We forgot to follow up on her commitment from dinner and will have to follow up on it this week. She’s awesome. She hadn’t smoked a cigarette yet that day before we came over. Which was awesome because we talked to her about quitting when we invited her to take he lessons and she said she wanted too, but that she wasn’t ready yet. We didn’t meet with her until 1 o'clock either so it was a big step for her not to have ANY before we came over. I love her. She is so headed for heaven. When she talked about “lookin’ at the terrestrial kingdom” the thought that came to my head was, “it is better to be a mile from hell and headed towards heaven than a mile from heaven headed towards hell”. I don’t know about being a mile from hell, but I know she is headed for heaven. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to walk a bit of that road with her.

So many people were supposed to watch conference this weekend. We can’t wait to see who did! It was so good!

     We finally taught a family this week that we’ve grown very close too. They are cobbles together with all sorts and forms of membership and activation. We are officially teaching the lessons to two of them but all of them sat in! It was an odd lesson. I felt like I struggled to teach. I think Sister Salisbury felt the same. It was actually kind of hard to have everyone there, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We just need to find a different angle to take than we did last night.  We’re going to eat dinner with them on Thursday. Where we will follow up on the dad’s commitment, which was separate from the rest of the family. The rest of the family is reading and praying about 3Nephi11. We finally got him to read Elder Bednar’s “More diligent and concerned at home” talk from last October conference. He is not a member. In fact he has grown up all his life as an atheist. He lives the gospel already, he just doesn’t believe in God. He mentioned that he has been surprised at our efforts to teach and to testify to him. He says that no other missionaries have really ever tried. I don’t think he was mad, but I do think he was surprised. His wife bore her testimony to us (with him in the room) of the gospel and how much she wishes he was a member. But that she’s okay because he loves her and her kids more than the two members of the church she was previously married to. She was thrilled to find out he was going to read. I am thrilled he is going to read!@ He’s the best!

     I’m going to miss all these people so much. I love them. And I mean everyone in Liberty Lake. Even the people who are mean and horrible to the missionaries. I love them. Again, it’s weird to be leaving.

    I know this gospel is true. I also know that the Lord is mindful of his children. This was reiterated to me this morning when Sister Salisbury, the elders, and I went to breakfast at the Howard’s. They live in the Evergreen ward and I served with them in Nauvoo. I haven’t seen them since I left Nauvoo. My heart almost burst from my chest when I saw them. I ran to meet them and was overcome with joy through out the entire ordeal. It was such a blessing. I was so happy. I love them. There was laughing and crying and pictures and reminiscing. It was so nice of the Elders (Elder Snyder and Elder Freckleton) and Sister Salisbury to come with me. I had to look out the window and remind myself that I wasn’t in Nauvoo, that I was in Washington. It really was the first time that I felt a rush of peace and joy come over me about leaving. The Lord knows us. He knows what we need, when we need it, and where he needs us, when he needs us there. It would not have been right to stay in Nauvoo these past six months and it would not be right to stay here for the next six months. My heart is still heavy and it is all still weird, but that ever humming peace that comes from the spirit is finally my horse again. I will ride it out with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I am grateful to the Lord that He has let me serve here all this time. I am grateful for all that I have learned and for the opportunities I have had to become better than I was and am. I am grateful for the hand of the Lord in my life and I am grateful for all of you who support me on a day to day basis. Especially those who support me so much with out really understanding my reasons for being here or what exactly it is I do while I am here and why I love it so much. I and mindful of you always and your support means more than you will ever know.

God be with you til wee meet again.


Sister Bailey.

No comments:

Post a Comment