Great things that happened this week:
1. Glow got Baptized! I haven’t said too much about Glow on my e-mails. Mostly because our experiences together are sacred to me. Not only are they hard to replicate in words, they’re too close to my heart. I feel like they belong mostly to God and Glow– and I am so grateful to be a part of them. The night before she got baptized I just laid awake in my bed and thought through the six months I have come to know this woman. I cannot imagine my mission without her. I love her through the spirit we’ve felt together as she’s finally found where she belongs. Right here. She is her Heavenly Father’s daughter. Glow has been through many things that I understand deep down in my heart. “You can be free from all of these things,” we’ve told her. She is. She is breaking free. Teaching Glow has transformed me. I understand so much more now about God’s plan. He has a plan for Glow and for me, but his plan is not governed a watch or a calendar. A plan is different than a measured timetable. God let Glow find the truth at her own pace. One spark at a time. My trust, my patience, and my faith were lengthened and strengthened through their story. Ahhh! I know all these words are vague and floating in the sky but I just can’t show you specific grounded experiences. It wouldn’t be enough.
I LOVE HER! SHE DID IT!
2. I went to a mosque. That’s right. Wrapped my head in a scarf– the whole deal. We made a deal with our Bishop’s neighbor that we’d come to the mosque with him– if we could teach him once. He referred all our questions to this man who is the master of Islam. He was at the mosque too. It was a peaceful place. He tells us he is very scared of the judgment day. I think he thinks we are going to a very bad place. Lots of people have told me I might go there. But no one knows for sure. No one can quite explain what’s going to happen after we die or why. I said to him … (yes I DID!) We can! It’s beautiful! Maybe you could listen and then pray about it? God will let you know if it’s true.
3. Sister Reynolds asked President if he could transfer her to Somalia so she could contract a worm and lose weight. Pres decided it would be better for us to stay together for six more weeks. I love this idea! We had another killer week. Blew our goals out of the water again. BAM! Time for higher goals! We are going to sit down this week and have revolution time. That means we’re going to talk about our visions for the transfer and then make a plan so we can accomplish them.
Main idea: MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN. Yeah! Watch out Valley.
4. Sometimes I am overcome when I realize the stack of blessings in my life. I have received so many, especially since I came out, that it doesn’t even make sense. There’s no way I legitimately qualify for all the beautiful things God is sending me. He is so much more merciful than I ever understood. In those moments I’ll do anything. I’ll talk to anyone. I am ready. Other times I sit down and think I cannot possibly work for another hour. Sometimes these two feelings occur within the same day, even the same few hours. Being on a mission is insane.
5. For all those out there who are harboring a secret hope that I am learning Spanish out here, I’d like to take this opportunity to say… well, that I’m not. I can say a few fun things. Like “AMARILLO?! POR QUE?!” when the light turns yellow too soon. I know how to say gospel words that people usually only recognize in their native language. The other day this Abuelo we know was moving his trashcans. We went over to help but I didn’t know where to put them. “Um… donde?” I said. I am still very white. This is all. Still love Spanish. Still love life.
6. This week one of our people started our lesson by saying “I don’t want to be Mormon anymore.”
I didn’t even freak out.
I didn’t even start testifying my excited heart out about all the truth. I just sat quiet and waited for him to explain. Lately I am learning the value of silence. And asking questions. And listening.
The value of shutting up.
It was Ralph. He explained. Then member that was with us tried to help for a bit. I just let things happen. I knew the spirit would work this out– not me. Not the member. Not incessant talking (although I’m the master of incessant talking.) When he was ready, we showed him some scriptures to resolve his question. He had found a verse that said no man can see God. Of course that contradicts with Joseph Smith seeing God. So he was feeling lost. That makes sense, right? We told him it did. I think it’s important to tell people that they make sense. The Bible does say that. It also gives instances of men who saw God. So that’s confusing even more. Then we showed him a verse about transfiguration that clarifies how both sides can be true. Then we read him examples of transfiguration in the Bible. After it made sense in his mind, we invited him to pray so God could help him feel it in his heart too. Done. By the end he was saying “Oh I remember now. I remember why we need prophets and how this works and all the things I used to know. “So, are you Mormon?” Sister Reynolds asked. “I am a Mormon!” He said in his Nicaraguan accent that I just love. “Me too!” I yelled. Yeah! Me too!
I love the gospel. I love that God makes sense. I LOVE THE SCRIPTURES. I’ve always wanted to know the scriptures. I’m getting a little better every week.
Out of time.