Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blessings in Disguise...

Welp, all of our investigators decided to not contact us back this week sooooo it was a good one! :) but on the bright side...SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK.

The first being this: FAITH WENT TO THE TEMPLE. AND I GOT TO SEE ALL MY SNELLVILLE FRIENDS AGAIN. Ah man, life is so good. Shenelle was going to come as well but sadly she got sick the day before and couldn't make it. But! Baptisms with Faith was a beautiful experience. :) As she was about to go down into the font, she had the biggest smile on her face that I've ever seen! Man, I love that girl. Proud of her!
The second beautiful thing: If i haven't mentioned Mr. EJ yet, i'm really sorry. He's a 95 year old WW2 veteran we've been visiting for a while. Originally, we would go visit him once in a while just to give him company because he's lonely and he's "been baptist for 45 years and they'd disown me if i ever went to your church!" so we've been seeing him for the last couple of months. In those few months, i've met a pretty large portion of his family members who are all the nicest people ever! This past week, we met his grandson's girlfriend Y. while they were down visiting Mr. EJ who was actually learning from the missionaries in Norcross before they moved! We saw her a couple of times this week and mostly just answered a lot of the questions she had about the church. When i say "a lot of questions", i really mean A LOT OF QUESTIONS. One after another after another after another....We probably could have stayed for hours if we could. it was actually pretty awesome, she just really wanted to know! We left her with a Book of Mormon and an assignment to read something from it, and each day we came back over and answered more questions she had and that she had written down since then. I've never seen anything like it! 

After each visit, she became more and more interested in coming to church, and she actually ended up coming! 

The most beautiful thing of the week: When Y. came to church, she had her paper and pen ready, and had it flying across the paper throughout all of sacrament meeting. Then we went to Gospel Principles class and the lesson was on "Family Responsibilities". Now in the days leading up to this, I had gotten the sense that Y. came from a difficult past with a lot of family troubles, but didn't know to what extent. During the class, there was a discussion about how we each would describe our families, and as we went along the line, people said really happy things about how much they love their families, and i got more and more nervous because i really didn't know what she was going to say. It came to me, and i said "My family is the best group of friends God ever gave me and the only ones i want to struggle and go through life with." and then it was Y.'s turn. She started by saying "My family situation is really different from the rest of yours..." and then she listed off some the really, really hard things she had experienced in her life in regards to her family and had tears falling from her eyes after each thing she said. The whole room was silent and in tears themselves, and when she finished, a less-active woman in the class said to her "Y., thank you for sharing. You are so strong, and I want to let you know right now that you are in the right place. God led you here to this church because he knows how much peace it can bring you in your life, and how much happiness it can give you and your future family. Your past was hard, but that doesn't mean the future has to be. Heavenly Father loves you and has not left you alone." It was the most powerful moment i've ever experienced on my mission, and after the class was over, we asked her "Do you feel different here?" and she said "Yes. i am so glad i came today."

I testify to each of you today that God loves all of His children so much. No matter what past you come from, what mistakes you've made, how torn up you are, how broken or how beaten down you might feel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing on earth that can take those broken pieces and put them back together. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the earth today with the power and authority given from God to bind families together forever on earth and in heaven, and to fulfill His glory purpose of "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"! (or in other words, making us "eternally happy parents :)") 
Although a majority of this week was crappy, that one hour of church made it all (and the hard parts of the last 9 months) all so so worth it. I love my Savior, I love this work and I love this gospel.

"Therefore dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17

Til next time,
Sister Lawson :)

1. Faith (from Snellville) and Sister Howell at the temple.
2. Temple again :)
3. Snellville YW and a few distracted ones.
4. A scary sign i saw on the door this week.

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