Not many new things to report. But... we had a baptism! His name is A. He is married to a member and he has been investigating the church for 8 years. 8 YEARS!! He finally decided to be baptized this month. He picked his date and everything. My companion and I didn't have to teach him anything because he already knows everything and more! It was a beautiful service. A lot of members came and I felt the spirit so much as we sang the opening hymn: I am a Child of God (A's favorite). He asked me to give the message about the Holy Ghost and it was a nerve-wracking experience. I'm not sure why! After the ordinance was performed, we were able to listen to A testimony. It was such a beautiful and simple testimony. I am so happy for him! He is going to bless his family so much!
J is doing well! It's been an interesting experience teaching her. There are some basic doctrine points where we clash and she is very firm in what she believes philosophically and then there are other points that most people don't agree with where we agree. But, at the end of every lesson, she is all smiles and through her actions, she is progressing. On her first Sunday at church, she paid her tithing. This Fast Sunday, she is planning on fasting with us! I know I was supposed to meet her.
R and O are doing so well! They weren't able to come to church on Sunday again, but we are really working for this Sunday! Yesterday we had a Family Home Evening with them, the P Family, and the Bishop and his wife. It was so great but it almost didn't happen. I can tell that this family is going to do many good things in the service of the Lord because the adversary keeps putting obstacles in their path. Everything was all ready to go with the P Family and the Bishop, but when we called R yesterday, she told us that she was feeling really sick and that O had to work late. We called O later and he told us that it was probably better if we didn't do the Family Home Evening because of the circumstances. We felt a little stressed and, I'll be honest, I lost a little bit of confidence in the Lord. I kept asking in my mind, "Why is this so hard? We just want them to come to a Family Home Evening! Why isn't this easier?" I pushed those thoughts aside and we said (many) prayers and went to work. We called O again and asked him if they would be able to go if we moved the FHE to a later hour. He agreed and said that only if R was feeling better. We called R and she said that she would go if she felt better when O got back from work. They live a little far from us (seeing as they live in the Elder's area), but we went to visit R anyway to see how she was doing. She was still sick when we got to their house but... to make a long story short, we were able to have a successful FHE. As I reflected upon that experience last night, I was humbled to remember that the Lord ALWAYS listens to our prayers and always fulfills His promises, even when we are a little ungrateful. We can't control everything, but we can control our attitude and our actions. When O and R told us 'no' the first time, we didn't just say, "It's okay! Don't worry!" We want this family to progress and we had to put forth a little more effort last night to help them do so. I'm not saying this to sound like a hard worker or a wise missionary, but to show that faith needs work. We cannot just sit back and SAY we have faith. We must DO.
Something I have been contemplating a lot this week is the testimony versus conversion. I've been thinking a lot about my own personal testimony. In this month's Liahona, the First Presidency article is about having a testimony versus being converted. A testimony can be a simple, direct declaration about a spiritual truth. It's like a spark. A conversion is a continually growing testimony. A process that requires diligence and patience. It's like building a bonfire.
So my question to you all is: Are you truly converted? Do you REALLY believe that Jesus Christ is your Redeemer?
Love you all! This work is moving forward!