Wow. 100 weeks of missionary service. By far the best 100 weeks of my life so far. The mission is something that changes people in ways that is indescribable. I love it and will forever cherish these times and these memories. The people of Texas have changed my life, and I will never forget that.
With that introduction, Hey there y'all!! It's been another great week here in Texas! We had a lot of ups and a few downs, but it was for sure a good week.
To start off, I might as well talk about one of the most 180 experiences of my mission. About a week and a half ago we knocked on Neressa's door. She is in her mid-20's and is married; no kids yet. She agreed to let us come back and we did so on Tuesday. We taught her the Restoration, and after sharing the First Vision, we asked her how she felt. She told us that she felt really warm and at peace and that everything made sense to her. My jaw about hit the floor and we committed her to baptism on June 18th and to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. At the end she started asking questions about her deceased mother and what would happen to her and so we came back on Thursday and taught her the Plan of Salvation. She loved that as well and understood it completely. We followed up with her Book of Mormon reading and she said she felt the spirit and knew it was true. Everything was perfect. We met her husband that day right before we left (he had been at work before but was fine with her talking to us) and she talked to him and said they would both be at church on Sunday.
So then Sunday comes around. Neressa and Dustin (her husband) don't come to church. We try calling and texting, but no answer. About 45 minutes into the meeting, she sent us a text and told us her husband researched the church a little more and had some major disagreements with some of the doctrine. I don't know where he researched, but it likely wasn't mormon.org. He does not want anything to do with the church for now and she can't go against him. She said she would keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and later that day we stopped by to talk about it. He was cordial but firm in his decision. He said a lot of it had to do with the fact that he was working 2 jobs and had a lot of stress and wasn't very religious anyways (he had religion shoved down his throat as a child growing up). He needed time to talk to her about it. We left them with a copy of Gospel Principles and left it in the hands of the Lord.
The interesting part of this whole experience is that I am not as torn up about it as I thought I would be, and I realize that I have developed a wonderful gift: being able to let go and move on. Yes it was hard and of course I am still upset. But I have a testimony of the Savior's Atonement and how it helps to relieve us of burdens and to push through those hard times. Neressa was prepared. She knows it's true and I believe that she will one day join the church, whether within the next couple weeks or in several years. Either way, she knows what is true. She won't stop reading the Book of Mormon, and the Lord will provide a way. Satan is powerful, but nothing can overtake us if we have faith in the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Moving on, the family of 5 did not work out last night. The mom, Lashawn, had to go do something and wasn't home, but we should be seeing them later this week. Mike is being mike, and we are trying to teach a Catholic couple that are pretty stubborn right now. However, we had a less-active family come to church with a 14-year-old daughter who is not baptized, a member is going to be marrying a non-member who wants to take the lessons (he's been reading the Ensign, the Book of Mormon, and even Preach My Gospel!!) and a 13-year-old girl named Sarah who has been going to church for a year and has gotten permission from her mom to be baptized when she turns 14 in June. Things are definitely looking up. Even in the hard times, the Lord tries us to see if we will do all that he asks us to, and then he blesses us.
On a side note, all you Californians and Nevadans and Utahns and Arizonans know about In-N-Out. Well, this week one opened here in Allen. I've already been twice. It is SO good. I LOVE In-N-Out, and I'd never thought I'd see one in Texas. They are opening a store in Frisco, one in Richardson, and they have plans for a couple in Fort Worth. All hail the Double-Double Animal Style!
That's all for this week. I love y'all and miss y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!