AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
The last 2 weeks here in Skyline have been the biggest trial of my endurance of my whole mission.
I thought the last 2 transfers were just hard and that things would pick up because we were working and being diligent, but there are always things to improve on, so I spent 3 months thinking of new door approaches,
challenging myself to talk to EVERYONE,
not miss a single minute of a single 5 to 7,
be what I need to be.
And these last 2 weeks with a new companion with a fresh take on the area has really opened my eyes to it.
This area is bitter, slow, unreceptive, and angry.
One of the first days we were out tracting together my companion said she had never been in an area where so many people are so unreceptive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash the area or the people here, it's just a comment on the general attitude of the people here. No one wants anything to do with missionaries or the gospel. It's heartbreaking, actually.
I have been reading possibly one of the greatest books ever written the last month or so.
The Infinite Atonement.
Never have I ever had, nor could I have hoped to have, such a deep and profound understanding of and appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life.
It was the most pure act of love that was ever performed
It exalts, sanctifies, redeems, purifies, and perfects us.
It is all based on mercy.
In the law of the economy of heaven, justice is absolutely fair, mercy is not. And thank God it isn't because it is MERCY that allows us to change and to become more, to rise above what we once were.
If we get everything that we deserve, we don't get anything, because none of us are perfectly obedient and God doesn't owe us anything.
But, in the economy of heaven, mercy outweighs justice and comes into effect to make us whole, to not just make the difference, but BE the difference for us.
That is when blessings flow.
Friday night we had a beautiful baptism.
Ayana was in town for exactly 1 week and she knew she wanted to be baptized. Less than 12 hours after she landed we were on her mom's couch teaching her the first lesson. Over the next 2 days we battled to get the green light for her to baptized-and confirmed-the following week. When someone is prepared to be baptized and wants it bad enough, nothing can stop it. God will make the path clear. As soon as she came up out of the water she had a beautiful big smile on her face. She told us the next day, the day she left, that when she was under the water she felt the Holy Ghost there with her. Children amaze me. The Savior's counsel has never been clearer: Become as little children.
The next morning changed everything for Sister Lee and I.
Personal study was one of the most profoundly spiritual moments I have had on my mission.
We both felt an extreme measure of peace from Heavenly Father.
His council was to simply go and work.
Whatever we do, He doesn't really care.
He just wants us to be diligent.
That was the most incredible feeling I have ever had.
Sunday, that feeling wasn't there as strongly.
I remembered that my comp suggested we fast, so I decided that's what I needed to do.
I pleaded for that feeling to stay with me.
I had to work for it, but for the most part it was there.
There were some great, little miracle that happened at church. Things just ran smoothly, people were happy and excited to be there. We got free fresh eggs. So I thought, eh, maybe I'll just go home and eat lunch. My comp isn't fasting (actually, she doesn't eve know that I am fasting) and I could just end it early. What's the point anyways? Good thing I decided to pray about it first.
Sitting at the table, I bowed my head.
As soon as I began praying, I didn't even have to ask my question.
"Do not end your fast. There is still more that can happen today."
I did not end my fast.
I was exhausted, it was freezing, but we went and worked anyways.
No one answered.
When they did they didn't talk for more than 30 seconds.
Dinner was at 5.
I was watching the clock, waiting until I could thaw out.
4:40pm. Soundview Sisters call, my good friend Welch.
"Chronister, have you been working hard today?"
"Have you been working hard this transfer?"
"Have you been working hard for the last few months?"
"What does God when you work hard?"
"He blesses you."
"He blesses you."
"He blesses you. Chronister, there is a miracle that is about to happen in your ward."
She proceeded to tell us about two 9 year-old girls that wanted to be baptized.
Their only hold-up was their dad, who wouldn't let them.
His Christmas present to them: He would allow them to be baptized.
They live in the Skyline ward.
I cannot describe to you the feeling I had following that conversation.
Tears welled up in my eyes.
Yeah, that intense.
I had the very distinct impression that this was a result of my efforts and desires.
We dropped by the house really quick to grab something.
While my comp was in the bathroom I dropped to my knees and all I could say was,
God is real.
He works in our lives.
He works by our faith.
He works through miracles.
The work of God cannot be stopped.
He blesses those who follow Him and love Him.
Thank God for mercy.