Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Change of Heart- Missionary miracles

hey rents
SOOO first thing is first, mom you deserve a Nobel prize for best missionary mom in the world. Seriously i was overwhelmed with the perfect packages you sent this week. I CANT EVEN TELL YOU HOW SPOT ON YOU ARE DOING AS A MISSIONARY MOM I SERIOUSLY WANT YOU TO TEACH A COURSE. thank you sewwww much. Rachael put the card you sent her on her bulletin board. that is a big deal. that bulletin board is only for important things okee?
second thing is second, RACHAEL GOT BAPTIZED!!! oh my wonderful parents what a joy that was. what an absolute joy. i was freaking out the entire week. So let me start with the beginning. So apparently sister C's last baptismal service was a disaster. an absolute disaster. like it started 30 minutes late, and some lady gave a talk full of pictures of gay people and Obama with a beer in his hand and the video segment didn't work and the font fan wasn't on so the whole baptismal room was super hot and humid and it was just a disaster. and so the zone leaders and district leaders kind of called this week and chastised us and essentially were like (in a nice passive aggressive way) don't you dare mess up or we will kill you and damn you to Hell. and so all week we were freaking out.
and i just had serious anxiety because i don't want to be hated by the zone leaders or district leaders and it was just scary. and so we practiced and practiced and got everything set up and the other sisters were seriously life savers and came early and helped us and it was just such a tender mercy because we couldn't do it without them.
 anyways so we finally get everything set up. and we start the program a couple minutes late but still somewhat timely and i was just freaking out because the zone leaders were sitting right behind us. and it just went perfectly. Rachael's dad who is a less active gave a talk and it was so adorable. he was dressed in jeans and a leather jacket and was super self conscious that he wasn't dressed up nice enough. but he gave a talk on baptism and you could tell that he had put so much work into it and it was just great and adorable. then other talks happened and sister C. sang a beautiful song and then we go into the other room so Rachael can get baptized.
and what a unique experience it is to see someone that you taught get baptized. i cant really explain how it felt but it changed me a little bit. it was just a really sweet sacred experience.
so while Rachael is changing sister C. and i gave a brief presentation on the restoration. and it went perfectly! some people teared up and it was just powerful and great. then we went into the bathroom to see Rachael and that too was a sweet moment. she said that she felt different and clean and she just looked beautiful. we asked her if she would want to bear her testimony and she said no because she didn't feel ready to talk in front of everyone and we kind of tried to convince her but she just said that she wouldn't know what to say and she didn't want to. so we asked her if she at least wanted to get up and thank everyone for coming. she said okay. so we went back in and told the bishop that Rachael wanted to thank everyone for coming and so he stands up and is like "now Rachael would like to come up and bear her testimony" and we were like "NOOOOOO RACHAEL PROBABLY HATES US RIGHT NOW."  but she stood up and walked up there and gave the most beautiful and sincere testimony in the world.
she just said "I don't really know what to say up here but thanks everyone for coming. umm..i know that this church is true. the missionaries found me when i was really lost, and nothing else could save me and this did. and even as i have met with the missionaries for the last 5 years but never could commit, Jesus Christ was always there, and never left me. and so i know that its true, and i know that the Book of Mormon is true." it was short and simple but so touching. i teared up. people always talk about how the gospel makes these HUGE changes in peoples lives. and it does to an extent. but Rachael i don't feel like is a completely different person. but watching the small and simple things change about her has made such an impact on me. when we first started teaching her she would be super distracted in lessons and never pray or open up, and honestly she just kind of seemed sad and lost. but now she has a glow about her. she bears her testimony and whenever we come in to teach a lesson she turns off the TV and puts away her phone and talks to us about the things she feels. they are small things, but they are great things.
anyways the only sad thing about the baptism was that it went really well but not a lot of people came. we called almost everyone from the ward and only a few showed up. but all of Rachael's family came and so it was still a really special night. there were 3 other sets of missionaries there and they all told us that that was the best baptismal service they have ever been to. The zone leaders told us that we did a phenomenal job and so finally i could breath normally again. thank goodness.
So that was Rachael's baptism story. it was great and i loved it.
here are some other fun missionary things that happened this week.
so sister C. and i went to go visit some lady and she wasn't home, so we just decided to tract her street. and so we start walking up this hill knocking on doors. and there were some guys out talking by our car but we were like whateves and kept going up the hill. then we got to a point where from the angle we were at we couldn't see our car because it was hidden behind a truck and i was like "sisterC. where is our car?" and she looks back and we both started freaking out because it literally looked like it was gone and we thought that it was stolen. and during that moment of panic i remember feeling totally peaceful because i had my scriptures with me. i was like who cares that they have my wallet and bag and the mission car. i have my most valuable possession so I'm not worried. turns out our car was there and fine thank goodness, but it was still a special moment. idk. I'm spiritual. give me an award if you must.
also another day we were tracting, and for those of you who don't know, tracting is pretty much going door to door offering to share our message and it usually involves doors being slammed in our faces. so anyways we were tracting and we knock on this door and its a teenage aged girl and she answers and i give my little schpiel and I'm like "were missionaries...we have a message...bring you closer to that something you would be interested in?" and at this point i am completely expecting her to say no and close the door, and she goes "yeah i would be interested in that" and i straight up no lie was like "are you serious?" and she was like "yeah id want to learn more" and i just stared at her. for a solid 3 seconds. and then i look over at sister C.  and continue to stare. finally sister C. like stepped in and it was really awkward but its like I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE ACCEPTANCE. it was funny. I'm an idiot.
i received the biggest compliment of my life this week. we were at zone conference and there was a table of limited supplies that we could grab. like special editions ensigns and pamphlets and what not. and they were like "we only have a few of everything and so please be considerate in your taking" and so i go up to the table and I'm see these two ensigns that i really wanted. and so i grabbed them both because i had already finished reading all of the ones at our apartment. and i came back to the table with the other sisters and i was like "i grabbed two instead of one, is that bad?" and sister G. goes "well normally i wouldn't endorse that but you love the ensign more than any other person Ive ever met and so i feel like you deserve it." AND IT JUST WARMED MY LITTLE HEART.
also this week i had an interesting change of heart. i just had a little moment of usual panic where i get scared that my visa will never come, but this time when the thought came i thought, "maybe i would like that. i really do like it here." AND IT WAS HUGE!! BECAUSE THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. and I'm not saying that I wont have any more anxiety or desires for my visa, but i truly have valued the time that i have spent here. and the people that i have been with and i really do love Ohio. I really truly do. which is so great to say because i can still remember how much i hated it my first few weeks and thinking "i will never be happy here get me out." and now i think of leaving with a little bit of sadness. Never did i ever think that that would happen.
I will send you pictures of Rachael's baptism.

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