Monday, June 29, 2015

"It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ´s Atonement shines."

Hello!!! Sorry I´ve neglected writing for much has happened lately!! I don´t even know where to start!!! I have less than 8 weeks left!!! I´ve already recieved my flight itinerary. I´ll be home in the morning on August 25th!!! I can´t even believe how fast time has gone by!!! I have so little time left, but I feel like I still have so much to learn!!!!

I would have to say these past few transfers have been some of the most challenging for me. Considering all of the stress of what happened with our investigator I___, and the ever looming prospect of having to end my missionary service have taken it´s toll on me. But these transfers have been among those I have learned the most from. 

We still haven´t been able to find I___. As his cellphone was robbed, and as he´s working almost every day an hour away in Buenos Aires, it´s become very difficult to find him. We´ve left notes in the hopes that we can have at least some means of contact. We´ll see how that goes. It´s frustrating because we know how prepared he was!!!! All he needs is to be baptized. I´ve never had such difficulty in getting someone baptized before. But we know that God has His reasoning for everything, and he has a plan for I___. 

Our wonderful investigator, F________ (he´s 19 too) was baptized on Friday (the day I completed 16 months on the mission!!!) Just a few months ago, he wanted nothing to do with baptism. But about a month ago, the Bishop from the other ward came up to us and gave us the reference. He´s good friends with a few of the ward members who are serving missions now. We spoke to him, and he mentioned that he was a lot more interested in taking the lessons. We met with him and set a baptismal date. Everything fell into place wonderfully, and his whole family had the opportunity to participate! So many members came! We put on a short video about the Restoration, and his family was enthralled! We´re going to start making the effort to teach them too and hold a family home evening. F________ is already preparing to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood and enter the temple, already has some names prepared that he wants to put into Family Search, and has shown significant interest in serving a mission!!! He is such a wonderful example to us!!

The only downside is that yesterday, he wasn´t confirmed. It rained and thundered all day, flooding many of the streets and causing many to stay in their homes. Literally only half of the members came. But we trust that Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, has a plan. And that perhaps in the confirmation next week, more people will be able to come to support him, including his family. 

We´ve seen so many miracles this transfer!!!!

 We found a less active woman walking on the street. We saw her walking, and felt impressed to speak with her. We soon discovered that she is a less active member who hasn´t gone to a single sacrament meeting in 20 years. We visited her, explained the importance of going to church and invited her. She shared a moving testimony with us of her faith in this church, and she came!!! The first time in two decades!!! It was a wonderful experience to see her interact with all of the members and remember all of the wonderful times she had had. Retention truly is bringing these people to a remembrance of the things they already know!! And by doing so we can easily gain the trust of the members. Many members told us afterward "thank you for doing the work we should´ve done long ago" and now we know that the members feel more encouraged to actively help us in this work!! The Spirit was a vital part in this miracle!! It was wonderful! She came again yesterday, and has promised that she will never fault another Sunday again. 

Such miracles, but rough spots too. But due to those hard times, I´ve learned so much!!! It´s rough for a missionary when well laid out plans don´t go well. I would say that is probably what I´ve learned the most this past transfer. That there is only so much that we can control. Sometimes it´s hard for us to remember that others have their own free agency to act or do as they choose. Sometimes it´s hard for us to understand why bad things happen, ever after all we can do. Something that I´ve been trying to apply is to go forward with faith no matter the outcome or circumstance. I´ve learned that, if the worst possible outcome is something that the Savior can help us to overcome, that we should keep moving forward without fear. Sometimes the day-to-day stressors of life keep building up until we just can´t take it anymore. But with positivity, and a higher understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can push on without such oppressing fear for outcomes that are unexpected or unhoped for. I´m convinced that if everyone completely understood and applied the Atonement to their lives, there would be no need to stress, fear, or mourn. As Elder Holland so powerfully has stated, "It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ´s Atonement shines." Another quote from a General Authority also helps me through, it states "You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord, then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do." 

I know that this is true!!! I love you all!!! See you in a few weeks!!!!:)

Con amor, 
Hermana Edwards
Baptism of F_______!

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