Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I hate emotions...

Yep, remember how last week was a major bummer? GOOD NEWS: This week was better(ish)!

I'm going to focus on one major event that happened this week. A part of me is hesitant to share this but oh well:

So you know john right? John that I've been teaching for my entire mission? The one with a back injury John? That john? THE ONE I HAVE MENTIONED IN JUST ABOUT EVERY EMAIL JOHN???
Okay we all know who john is. This week we had a very special, spiritual experience with john that may or may not be the REAL highlight of my mission so far. For 5 months, I've been teaching this man John, and we have become really close, and I care about him a lot. Teaching him has been incredibly slow and we haven't really seen all that much progression. He's hit and miss on his commitments, cancels appointments regularly...For the last few weeks, we've been heavily considering dropping him just because it's been majorly hard to get anywhere with him. The priesthood has been extremely hard for him to understand and I'm pretty sure I've taught him about the Restoration at least 5 times. (not an exaggeration). But last week, he FINALLY understood the definition of the word "priesthood"=the power of God given to his servants to act in His name. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
Thursday night John called us around 9:30pm and he was an absolute mess. He was sobbing and told us that he just didn't think he could handle life anymore and he didn't understand why God was doing this to him. Literally such a mess. I had no idea what to do, i was pretty speechless actually. Thankfully Sister Howell is much better with situations like this and she tried her darndest to comfort him. He was pretty lost.
Then we asked him if he wanted a PRIESTHOOD blessing and he said yes of course! We quickly called up the Austins (the bomb.com family in our ward) and asked Brother Austin if he could go give john an emergency blessing for his back injury. Then we waited for about 45 minutes....
10:20 rolls around (almost bed time) and JOHN CALLS US. He said "THAT WAS AWESOME. I can't even explain to you what happened but as soon as Bro Austin laid his hands on my head, the pain was gone. I want to have that power. I know that came from God, and I want to be able to bless my kids just like that man blessed me. I'm ready. I'm ready to be baptized! I want it!" AND I CRIED. I wish you all could have heard the excitement in his voice, it's so hard to explain. I have worked tirelessly with this man for my entire mission and to hear him finally say that and finally understand, I can't even tell you how happy I felt. aka-EXTREMELY happy.

The next day, we planned on going to teach John and follow up with him, and as we were literally on the threshold of our apartment leaving to go teach him, he sent us a text that said "This isn't going to work, going to the hospital now, I'm sorry". AND I CRIED. My heart literally broke and shattered into a trillion pieces. (#dramatic). But that's how i felt...EXTREME sadness.
As ashamed as I am to say this, I started to question Heavenly Father and thought things like "How could you do this to him? Why would you help him and then take it away just like that? He was so close....Why now?". I kind of just sat on the floor and cried and prayed for a good while. I was so confused and upset and sad...I hated feeling that way. I was mostly just concerned that john's testimony would be completely shattered because he wasn't "healed". I didn't know what would happen to him--if we'd lose him, if we'd be able to save it, if we could recover....Basically it was a really hard day.
I'm still really confused about what happened at this point even as I'm writing this email. I still don't really understand why He would give John that small taste of relief for a few hours, and then take it away just as easily. I still don't understand what God was trying to teach John, or what God was trying to teach me through that experience. But one verse of scripture has repeatedly gone through my mind since yesterday:

(1 Nephi 11:17) "I know that He loveth His children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."

It's so so simple, but there is so much meaning behind those words. God's ultimate purpose is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39). In other words, HE WANTS TO MAKE US HAPPY---> "Men are that they might have JOY". (2 Nephi 2:25). What loving parent does not want more for their children?
I testify to YOU that God wants so much more for you, me, we, he, she, they, them--ALL OF US.
I feel like I share this almost every week, but GOD LOVES ALL OF US SO MUCH--I can't tell you enough how true that statement is! I have been rebuking myself since that morning for ever doubting God and His purposes. I realize now that know nothing. As much as I thought I knew John and what he needed, i didn't. I know that God loves John so much, and that although I may think he is being a "bad parent", He knows His child so much better than I do. He has a purpose for this and truth will triumph! I'm just going to have to wait and see what God has in store for John in the next few weeks... I'll keep you posted.
RANDOM: People ask me all the time what's the hardest thing about being on a mission. Overall, the hardest part for me being on a mission by far has been the emotional exhaustion. I really feel like prior to my mission, (correct me if I'm wrong) I was pretty much at the same level emotionally most of the time. I would have small occasional dips of sadness, or small occasional peaks of super-happiness, but for the most part I remained pretty content and happy. On a mission, I can go from EXTREME happiness to EXTREME sadness in a matter of hours (as you can see, I experienced it this week hardcore...0 to 60 in one night) and that seriously has totally drained me. Gah, it's hard....

That's about all I have time for this week!
Til next time,
Stay thirsty my friends.

Sister Lawson

PS--ERIKA IS BACK. The court case didn't go the way it was supposed to...
PPS--we rose to Stake Conference with Sister C and Franklin this week and that was literally the highlight of my life
PPPS--We found another 14 year old GIRL.... heaven help me.
PPPPS--Everyone please google "Virgin Mary Conyers GA" as soon as possible so that my pictures make sense.
PPPPPS--Sister Howell and I majorly clashed this week in regards to favorite chick-flicks and now I have lost all respect for her. All who love "A Walk to Remember" please raise your hand and leave. BYE
This is a freaking dinosaur......We saw it in a perfectly normal neighborhood. We were driving by and I did a double take and slammed on the brakes and reversed.....We stopped some dude in his yard and asked if he knew about it and he said no so we gave him a Jesus card and left with the determination that we would return and knock on the door and ask why these people are so cool and them commit them to be baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God:)
(ignore that run-on)
And this is called: False doctrine :) (except for that little book of truth in my hand)
Don't we make a lovely couple.
So you're probably wondering whether or not Sister Lawson and I switched to Catholicism? Nay. The story goes as follows:
We went to stake conference yesterday in Jonesboro with a member and we were driving back home through Conyers. Conyers Georgia is full of many wonderful things, including this lovely apparation site of the Virgin Mary. OK SO APPARENTLY this lady, way back in the day, claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to her in her house and told her stuff...so then this lady told all of these other people about this "stuff" that the Virgin Mary told her and they all gathered around her house in these HUGE fields every year to hear the "stuff".  Then one year, this lady decided to "retire"....and they made her house and fields a memorial site.

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