August 25, 2014
Hello dear ones!
I don’t have much time to write today – there is a multi-zone softball game today, so we only have a few minutes to email! It’s going to be tons of fun! Half of the mission and the Taggarts will be there!
This week has been very interesting. There have been moments of deep pain, but also moments of peace. I’ve noticed that Heavenly Father always punctuates our trials with comforting spiritual experiences. He never lets us fall down too far before he picks us back up!
One of the saddest moments (ever) happened on Wednesday. We met up with M___ on Spring Street for our lesson, but she had a weird look on her face. As soon as we reached her, she said, “I can’t be baptized”. What? M___ was set for baptism on the first night I got here. She was my first lesson. She has never doubted, and has been super excited to be baptized! We were in shock. M____ went on to explain that her family was extremely opposed to her baptism and were threatening to do some pretty awful things if she got baptized. To make a long and incredibly painful story short, M____ is not currently set for a baptismal date, didn’t come to church, and is now avoiding us.
I am having a hard time understand why this is happening. We love M____ so much, and she loves the gospel! She wants to be baptized, but she’s afraid of her family’s disapproval. Heavenly Father gave us three of the most wonderful, faithful people in New Jersey to teach and love. J___, Maureen, and M____ were all perfect investigators, prepared and excited to come unto Christ. J____ got extremely sick and moved. Maureen died. M____ got scared. Why is this happening?
It’s been a pretty emotional week, however Heavenly Father has really supported us through this. My heart breaks, because now I understand how important the gospel is. I KNOW that it is true. I know it with my whole heart and soul. The thought of anyone, especially M____, not receiving the joy of the gospel makes me so sad. Heavenly Father has a plan, though, and we just need to trust in Him. Everything happens in His way and in His time. I just need to remember that.
On Friday, we were completely rejected by our new investigator family. They had read some unpleasant information about the LDS church online, and had decided that they didn’t want to meet with us. The adversary is tricky. As we walked away from there home, I actually almost cried. I am becoming such a softie. There’s a scripture where one of the prophets (I think it’s Nephi) waters his pillow every night with his tears, because of the unbelief of his people. Well, that’s how I’m feeling. I feel devastated every time someone rejects the gospel. I can only imagine how Heavenly Father must feel when His children choose to reject Him and His Son. Anyways, as we left our failed appointment, we headed to another appointment with a man named S_____. He was politely interested when we met the first time, and agreed to let us come back. When we knocked on his door, he came outside with two of his children, and we had the most wonderful lesson with his family! They were very open minded and agreed to read the Book of Mormon this week! That lesson was such a tender mercy from the Lord.
Another tender mercy from the Lord: He is allowing me to use my piano talent here! I accompany the ward during Sacrament meeting at least every other week (I almost tried playing the organ this week, but I figured I should probably remember how to use one first, ha). Also, I accompany most Sundays in Relief Society, district meetings, and zone meetings! Playing the piano is such a relief for me. It’s incredibly therapeutic, and I was able to emotionally re-charge again after such a trying week. I also played two musical numbers during a special women’s meeting in our ward on Sunday! The Lord really blessed me with that, because I played one of the arrangements a few times on Saturday night, and played the other one once before the meeting started. They didn’t give me much of a heads up, so I didn’t have any time to practice! Heavenly Father led my fingers though, and it was wonderful. Thank you so much for giving me piano lessons! A million thanks go to Jeanni and Mom and Dad. You are the best! Thank you thank you thank you!
I love you all so much!