August 5, 2013
Bueno bueno bueno!
So first things first. Adios Amigos! I'm off to Palm Springs for Vay-cay-shun!.......Well, mas o menos.
We're having transfers this week, and neither of my companions are staying with me or together, which is a shame, because when you spend 24 hours a day with someone for seven and a half weeks..... they start to grow on ya. A moment of silence for the B-ates, T-homas W-oller trio (we're missionaries BTW)
Thank you for your reverence!
Moving on to what happened in Redlands before I move on to what will happen in Palm Springs.
This week I got rejected. Broken up with. Left at the altar. Or rather the font. But let's start at the beginning.
(Rewind sounds from those old-school VCR's)
It was a beautiful, scorching hot day, as per usual. The birds were singing, wind was blowing, and dogs were frolicking playfully about yard (i.e. trying to break the fence down to bite me. California has some MEAN dogs!)
Notwithstanding, it was a good day to be a missionary (every day is a good day to be a missionary.) We had a lesson planned with one of our investigators so we drove up to her house, said a prayer, and knocked on the door. I could probably summarize the wonderful, spiritual lesson in some way, but I don't want your little eyes to get tired from reading. I want them fresh so they can get big in surprise for what came next:
At the end of the lesson, we asked her if she was ready to get baptized. Let me preface her answer with a little background info. (second grade taught me to ALWAYS include background information in my writing. Here you go Mrs. Potter, I learned something.)
We KNOW that she's ready to get baptized. She's been going to church off and on for 10 years, she knows it's true, and we've asked her about 846,238 times if she's ready (give or take 1 or 2 inquiries) and she always says she wants to wait a few months.
Continuance of the story in a dialogue form-ette (translations from Spanish to English courtesy of Thomas Including closed Captioning:
ME: We know that you've been trying to figure out a date you think you will be ready to get baptized. Will you prepare yourself for this Sunday?
HER: Do you think I'm ready?
HNA. WOLLER: Very ready.
HER: Yes. I Think I'm ready.
ME: We're so happy for you, we know how prepared you are!
ME (IN MY HEAD): ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!! Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!
*I deem it necessary to explain my excitement.
NOT reasons why I was excited:
Not because she would be the first of my investigators to get baptized.
Not because I could say I "had 3 baptisms" (her kids wanted to get baptized too, ages 9 and 11)
Not because I had seen her through from the beginning of the lessons to the end.
Reasons why I was excited:
I had seen her faith grown immensely, and I knew that she was ready.
She would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after her baptism, a gift that has helped me every single hour of my life.
She was going to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and only perfect person to be born on this earth.
As a missionary, my joy has grown to be exceedingly full at witnessing the fulfillment of righteousness.
Anyway, this that and the other happened (i.e. picking up the flattering white jumpsuits, changing dinner appointments and calling every bishop in the entire stake because the stake building coordinator decided to go MIA)
Fast-forward two days. The Day before the baptism:
Hermana Woller gets a call.
She's "not ready."
We go over to her house and do everything in our power to remind her of why she chose to be baptized this Sunday, why postponing isn't a good idea and how we need to have the faith to act. I honestly did and said EVERYTHING I possibly could, to the point where I can now say that I testified with "All the energy of my soul." Which is not as easy as it sounds in Spanish, but to no avail.
We left the house with zero energy, zero smiles and zero desire to do anything but curl up and eat chocolate, which we promptly bought at the nearest gas station.
What I Wish they knew. What I wish She knew. What I wish I knew sometimes:
Faith: Everybody gets hung up on that little word, and I think that all too often we confuse it with "knowledge." I talk to many many many many people who want to develop their faith, and yet are unwilling do put forth any action. They are waiting to read their scriptures, or pray, or go to church, or quit smoking until they have faith. What they don't understand is that the way to develop faith, is to act. Faith begins with hope, a hope that a certain action of righteousness will bring forth good consequences even if you don't understand how. Then you must act on that hope. When you see that what you hoped for is coming to pass or has come to pass, you have a little bit of faith in it. This is because you have experimented on that primary hope. As you continue to act, your faith gets stronger and stronger, firmer and firmer, until your faith is so strong you can say "I know." You know because it has proved itself to be true time and time again. Start with hope. Act. Then comes faith.
(for more about faith read Alma 32: 21, 28-43)
For your homework tonight: PRAY. Pray with the hope that God is listening and not only that He can but that He WANTS to answer your questions, guide you, and comfort you.
I love you, and I like you and I love you.
Write me letter. Until I know my new address, you can address them to the Highland address located conveniently and at your constant disposal to the right of this blog.
Oh yeah, and I got in a car crash but I'm ok.