This is the work of the Lord, and that is the reality and wonder of missionary service! It was a little bit of a traumatic week, the mom of our sweet investigator family (even though she passed her interview), mailed us on Sunday and said that she would not be baptized. We had already known we would need to move the date, but she is in a place where she has decided she will not be baptized at all. It is so sad to see someone who needs it so much, who the gospel can help, and see her turn away--that is when I thought of this concept, something that has been with me for a while--"getting sick people to take their medicine." Doctors see their patients who have physical or emotional problems, and prescribe medicine to help them. If the medicine were taken, it would help so much! Life wouldn't be perfect, but they could live in a completely better way, function on a new level. Isn't that the gospel for our souls? I know Heavenly Father must feel this way sometimes about His children who almost come to church, almost make it to the temple, almost choose the gospel life, and how heartbreaking it must be--even our sweet Father is not exempt from the sadness of watching His children sometimes choose the wrong things as they use the gift He has given them. I see my Eternal Father in the Pearl of Great Price, weeping over the world, and saying, "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency..." And then, our Heavenly Father rejoices in the gift of His Son for us in v. 39. If we but choose, the way is prepared. Isn't that doctrine beautiful?
That might be kind of a heavy topic to start off this letter, but I love you so much. I know Heavenly Father is watching over us. We had interviews this week and President trained us straight from 2 Nephi 2--about the need for agency. It couldn't have come at a better time for us. Another sweet investigator, an older man who is just a little slow, who needs the Gospel so much, came into Church with a chicken in tow, as a peace offering telling us he wouldn't be coming to church anymore. Rachel has gone back to her island home, but should be coming back sometimes. But the work of the Lord is rich. There are so many sister missionaries coming here that they need trainers, I even thought of extending because I love it so much--which is odd because sometimes it hurts a lot. But I love it! I love my Savior. I love ministering in His kingdom. I love His sheep. What a blessing it is. My sweet friends and family...we may not have every puzzle piece in the eternal spectrum, but we have the truth. We have enough to fight for it, live it, breathe it, teach it, sanctify ourselves through it - through Him. Today I read in Hebrews about the Savior being the "author" of our faith, and I think of the way authors and publishers work (another scripture says that He is the finisher as well.) But I love that. Being someone who loves writing, I think of how a book is written, sad parts, happy parts, the author going back and working on weak parts, but all of it so special to the author, almost a part of the author. He is the perfect Author, and what He is authoring is all of us. Isn't it amazing?
I love you sweet family! I read President Uchtdorf's talk on "Regrets and Resolutions," and was impressed again with what matters most. And it's you, experience, and my Heavenly Father. We can choose to be happy. I love you! And I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior, who knelt and pled for me and each of you, who trembled and bled at every pour so that we could be together, so that my "authoring" could happen, that my character, too, could develop--and I weep with gratitude. I love Him, and I know He lives. I want to be so much better for what He has given us--what a joy.
You are so wonderful you sweet people! Heavenly Father loves you, the scriptures are true, the Plan of Salvation is our road map, the Gospel of Christ is the way we can walk it, and Jesus Christ is our Savior--so that we can return home to live with God. I love you!!
PS thanks for your love and support - it means so much to this missionary on the other side of the world! I love your letters - thanks for writing! Happy birthday to everyone in January!!!!! Mom, it looks like your birthday celebration was nothing short of spectacular! Wow...you are so loved!
PPS My doryo is so patient, wonderful and patient and an angel, and did I mention patient? I just love her!
waiting on interviews
unagi (freshwater eels) restaurant