Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
What a beautiful week we had. I feel like I'm often juggling on my mission. We have beautiful experiences, where we find people who are so prepared, and they are so revved up to get a baptismal date, while at the same time another investigator who has a baptismal date comes across the Word of Wisdom and says they can't do it, their entire life they will never be able to. On another day, our most progressing investigator stops answering her phone, because she decided to go back to her way of life before, denying her divine nature, and giving up her virtue. But then on another day we find out that one of our old investigators, who almost completely dropped us a month ago, is slowly making his way back to faith, and finished the Book of Mormon without even telling us! There's great moments of joy, and great moments of disappointment in every day, in every hour. Sometimes I feel like I'm pushing so hard to help the kingdom of God move along in this country, but I look up and I see a brick wall behind my hands. Those are times when I'm not looking at it right. Maybe if I walk a few feet down, there will be a door in that wall, and Heavenly Father just needed me to work a little bit so I could find it. Perspective is so important. Faith and hope are what anchor us. I love the work. I love the people. I pray for charity every day, that I might love the work and the people even more. I think often of your words of counsel you wrote me a while ago, Dad: "Don't just sprint to the finish. Sprint the whole way."
Want to know something beautiful? Mother, you asked if that young girl was able to get Sundays off of work. Well, this last week we had a lesson with her, when we taught the beginning of the plan of salvation. We ended the lesson talking about the importance of our choices here, and the importance of following the example of Jesus Christ. We brought up how Christ was baptized as an example that we are to be baptized as well. When we brought baptism up, she immediately seemed to straighten up a bit. She started asking questions about who baptizes, and how it works. We answered and then we committed her to be baptized. She said she would, but she wasn't quite prepared yet. We told her that of course we would teach much more, and work with her much more, and we committed her to the 24th of March. She accepted. Fireworks burst out of my face :) We had mentioned church in our lesson, sort of as a side comment, and at the end of the lesson she said that she actually had an interview on Friday that would be a much better job, with better pay, and a schedule from Monday to Friday. We were so happy to hear! This last Friday she had the interview, and she texted us that it went well, she's just waiting to find out if they'll hire her. We're praying our hearts out! It will be such a blessing for her progression in the gospel, and also a blessing for the well-being of her and her sister. Good stuff. God loves His children.
Want to know something else beautiful? The old investigator I mentioned, that was originally scheduled to be baptized in December, had been avoiding us quite a lot, and refused to come to church on Sundays. He was taking on a lot of work, working 7 days a week, for 3 weeks, and avoiding the church. Unfortunately, this investigator broke his back at work (he does construction) last week, and is bed-ridden for at least 3 weeks. It's so awful, and so nuts, but such a miracle for him! He now has time to read, and study the gospel. He picked up the Book of Mormon again and finished it in just a few days! I learned 2 things from his experience: 1) The Sabbath day, the day of rest, is something inspired for not only our spiritual, but also our physical health. 2) The Lord is very aware of each one of us, and loves us very much. We're talking about baptism again with him, and Sister Izatt and I are so excited about his return. One more thing I learned from that experience: Never give up on people. Never, never give up. We didn't let up on this man for a single day. We called him, texted him, prayed for him, read scriptures to him over the phone, exhorted him to repentance, and reminded him of his testimony again and again, whether he wanted to hear it or not. Repentance is painful sometimes. Following the Spirit is difficult sometimes. But when you see your friends going astray, or family members denying their faith, DO NOT let go of them. Work your hardest. Pull them back. We can't give up on each other! I know the Lord never gives up on us, no matter how sad we may make Him sometimes. I know, even if I make mistakes, and discount his love, when I am ready and I am humbled, He will always be right there, ready for me to turn back.
I'm so happy. I love this work. I love the Lord.
I love you all!
Sestra Lucy Brimhall