Hello, everyone! I love you! I hope and pray that you are doing well and feeling the Lord's watchful care! :)
This week, Elder Doan and I were able to do a lot of good things together. I was able to show him a few fun Australian things, like his first tim-tam slam, and he has been able to improve his missionary cooking skills (of which he's really proud!) as he adjusts to missionary life. He's been learning more about missionary life, what it takes, and how to bear a great testimony. He got to speak in church for the first time, and he did an excellent job! We also got to meet our mission president for interviews, which went fantastic! It's been a fun week, but not one without its challenges.
Earlier this week, someone that we were helping to prepare to be baptized decided that she wasn't ready to commit to learning more about the church, living the commandments, and getting baptized. She's not even sure she wants to pursue the church further. This was really unfortunate timing, it seemed, because we only had one more lesson with her before her interview and everything seemed to be going wonderfully. However, as Elder Oaks reminded us in the last General Conference, people learn on their own time and in their own way. As we discussed with her about her growing testimony in the Savior and the great things that she learned from the church, she shared time and time again about all the wonderful and useful things the gospel has given her. Unfortunately, even after all of that, she decided to use her agency in a way that turned her away from entering the waters of baptism and covenanting with our Heavenly Father. Nevertheless, as we left that lesson, I did not feel burdened in my heart. The Lord helped me to feel comfort and assurance. Not only did we do all that we could to give her a clear choice, but I'm confident that she will come back to the church. The biggest thing, she said, that she got out of the church was repentance, and how we can be made perfect through Jesus Christ as we try. As a missionary, I can think of no greater take-away for investigators than to know that they have a Savior who loves them and has given them the wonderful gift of repentance so that one day, we can answer the question, "can I be good enough? Can I live with Father again?" with an ultimate and resounding yes. I testify of Jesus Christ's redeeming love. I know that He has given us repentance, the chance to grow and improve, so that we can become more like Him and ultimately receive eternal joy. No matter the trial, challenge, or even joy that we feel in this life, I know that there is just greater happiness to come through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
BIG thanks to Holly for taking us out for Pho! :)
I pray that you all have a wonderful week! I love you! : )