This whole week has been pretty tough. It was almost like a scene from The Best Two Years. Knock – slam. Walk – pouring rain. Appointments – not home. We don’t have a lot of people to teach, and we got a few doors slammed in our faces. I’m so proud of Sister Williams for persevering through it. We determined to keep working hard, even though we aren’t seeing a lot of the success most missionaries expect. I’m pretty used to it at this point. When people reject us, it hurts; however, it doesn’t hurt because they have injured our own personal feelings. It hurts because they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand what they are saying “no” to. They don’t know that they are shutting the door on the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We try to share the joy of the gospel with everyone we meet, but some people aren’t ready for it yet. Oh well. That’s why we keep trying. Everyone deserves the chance to hear about the restored gospel.
Interestingly enough, November 8th was my favorite day of the week (not because it happened to be my birthday… it really was an amazing day. Heavenly Father poured down some heavenly birthday presents on us.) It was like a break from the storm (literally… the “noreaster” had finally left and we saw a rainbow!). It started off on an amazing note – teaching. We finally got to teach someone! We went over to a less active’s home. Her name is Sister W, and she is a character. She feeds us figs and seaweed and has an enormous pet pig. His name is Barbeque, and she feeds him bacon (she thinks it’s hilarious). We had a sweet lesson with her and her grandson, R. R isn’t baptized (his parents aren’t members), but he loves the missionaries and always sits in on our lessons. He’s a pretty spiritual little guy though.
After that, all of the missionaries in our area met at the church to go on a contacting blitz! It was a blast. We went contacting around Monmouth University and then in Asbury Park. Asbury Park used to be in our area, but the sisters are no longer allowed to go there because the ward petitioned to get us out. It’s pretty dangerous, even during the day (I know some sisters who almost got kidnapped there). We got to talk to this really neat woman who asked us a lot of questions, like, “Will I ever see my mom again?” and “What happens to us after we die?”. She was really interested and invited us to come back and teach her! We gave her to the elders though, because she lives in Asbury Park. We also contacted a sweet Spanish woman who wants to know more about eternal families! She also invited us back, but we gave her to the Spanish elders because we don’t really speak Spanish. All in all, we got to talk to a lot of people about the gospel. It was so fun.
Here comes the best part of the day (actually the entire week). SOMEONE PROPOSED TO ME. Yes. You read that correctly. I got proposed to on my birthday. On my mission. It made my life. Sister Williams and I went to go and give one of our new investigators a copy of The Restoration video, and we met him outside. Oh, his name is D, by the way. After we explained what the video was about, D started asking us a lot of questions about our personal lives and the rules about dating… he wanted to know if we were allowed to date, what our rules were about chastity, and if I could ever consider him as someone I would like to have that kind of relationship with. It was very awkward. It was also very funny.
That night, our recent convert C invited us out to dinner. She is such a humble and giving person. I always feel bad when members take us out for meals or buy us anything, but I know that they will be blessed for serving us. If anyone deserves blessings, it’s C. She was baptized in May, has more trials than any person should have to endure, and loves the Lord. She is so faithful and determined to keep her family rooted in the gospel.
All day long, Heavenly Father showered us with blessings. It was a miraculous and happy day. Do you know what was the greatest birthday gift I received? This next year. I get to spend my 20th year in the service of my God. Every day, I get to wake up and share His gospel and His love. I get to invite and help His children come closer to Him. Is there anything greater? I don’t think so. I feel truly blessed to have been called to serve a mission. I never expected to serve, but I will ALWAYS be grateful for this opportunity. No work is more important or more joyful than this.
I love you all dearly!