August 11, 2014
Hello, everyone! I am sorry to have been silent the last few weeks. It has been a whirlwind of a month, so far. And it’s only the second week of August!
We have had a grand week! Our investigator, Kathie was baptized!! It was such a great weekend. We had a small but meaningful turn-out at the baptism, and a small but meaningful miracle, besides the big one, which was that a soul was brought unto Christ and into the waters of baptism! Our ward mission leader related the miracle to us after the baptism:
He had been putting together the program for the baptism and was having a struggle with some of the formatting. Kathie’s favorite hymn is Amazing Grace. We wanted to include that in the program, but it just wasn’t working and he was getting frustrated. He left it alone, determining to not worry about trying anymore. But then he felt like he needed to try it again. No luck, so he gave up once again. But it wouldn’t leave his mind, and he felt like he just had to keep trying. Meanwhile, Sister Haycock (from another ward) and I were planning a musical number for the baptism. She had suggested a few different songs and thinking that the ward mission leader would include Amazing Grace as one of the congregational hymns, we chose I Need Thee Every Hour. The day of the baptism arrived. When we saw the program we were pleased that Amazing Grace was included, but at that point, we had no idea what a giant feat it was on the part of our ward mission leader. It turned out that he had finally figured out a way to fix the problem, after determination, and following the promptings of the spirit not to give up. Then we realized that only the words had been printed. (It isn’t in our hymnal.) We quickly brainstormed while the baptism was beginning, and decided that we would still perform I Need Thee Every Hour and then ask everyone to sing Amazing Grace out of the program as a surprise for Kathie. So we practiced the hymn with everyone while Kathie got dressed after the actual baptism, and then we sang I Need Thee Every Hour followed by Amazing Grace. The spirit was so strong! It was both beautiful and bizarre to have the chance to sight-read Amazing Grace from of our ward mission leader’s laptop! The whole thing was just so good.
Later on, the ward mission leader shared this with us, adding that he had wanted to choose I Need Thee Every Hour as one of our congregational hymns, but had felt like doing something else. Now we knew why. Sister Haycock commented that, “We really aren’t in charge.” Thank goodness for the promptings of the spirit. Such a beautiful plan and power our Father in Heaven has for directing and caring about the details in our lives. It was so beautiful.
In other news, we’ve moved…again. I don’t know how many of you recall my last moving adventure when we left the Visitors’ Center apartments and moved to our area in Washington, but we’ve moved again! The Smiths, a missionary couple that serves in the mission office, are my moving buddies. They helped me square everything away when we moved to the Washington apartment, and they came over to Kanab to help us move this time, as well. Sister Smith and I joked that I wouldn’t know how to move if she wasn’t there to help me.
We are going back and forth today between our old and new apartment, cleaning, unpacking, packing, and doing laundry. It’ll be a little bit of a chore-filled day, but it’s actually very therapeutic to clean. It clears my mind and you can see what you are accomplishing. My good friend, Sister Schafer (from Germany), once told me she loves to vacuum because you can see where you have been and what you have done. I identify. Not all work is immediately gratifying like that. And it really isn’t supposed to be. So I guess this is just a plug for being grateful for the instant gratification that comes from cleaning. Now go do your house cleaning! Just kidding. But really. No, read your scriptures first and pray, if you haven’t done that already. Then clean. Ok, I’m done.
Anyway, next week is our transfers! I’ll have news next time as to whether or not I’m shipped out, staying put, getting a new companion, etc. It will be exciting! All I know is that I am involved in the greatest work I could ever imagine and I can’t think of a better use of my time.
When I was still at the MTC, I had an experience one night walking back from a devotional that opened my eyes to the enormity of this work (it at least opened my eyes a little bit). While we walked along the sidewalks of BYU’s campus and back along the road to the MTC campus, I could see nothing but a sea of missionaries, walking in the strength of great numbers, emitting an energy of wonder, strength, untapped power, beautiful imperfection, and trust in the Lord. I was all at once hit with the thought of how big this work is; so much bigger than I could ever imagine. I am one of 80,000 or so of my Father’s children who are preaching the same gospel, all over the world, doing the same work, and seeing miracles daily. And then, as I have watched my mother working with vigor and excitement to complete Family History work from afar, I think of how much wider even than 80,000 missionaries this work stretches. The work on both sides of the veil is ENORMOUS. It is so much bigger than me, and yet it is so personal.
I marvel at the hand of the Lord in the lives of everyone I see, every day. I stand in awe at the way He directs His work, and His workers. I can thing of no better cause to be dedicated to, and no better use of my time, talents, energy, and efforts. And right now I get to channel all of that into the work in the Kanab Stake. What could be better?!?
I love you all so much. Did you know that? You cross my mind daily, I use what I’ve learned from you all the time, and I am so grateful for all that you are and mean to me. I wish you all the best in all things, always. Truly.