Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 61, in which our beautiful family gets baptized, and in which I'm more tired than I've ever been, even after my movie marathons with Sarah during freshman year

I am so tired. SO. TIRED. I spent about two hours last night just laying in bed and walking around the apartment eating crackers. Stress combined with a killer headache and a hard mattress (but hey, at least I have a mattress, right!) doesn't make for the best sleep.

And that's it for my complaining. I said I'd limit myself to three sentences, so I'm not going to count the SO and the TIRED as sentences. Really, I'm probably the most blessed missionary in the world right now. Sister D and Brother R, our sweet little family, got baptized yesterday, along with another sister named L (although for some reason I always call her 'Victory' haha). It was such a special experience. After Brother R was baptized, he was just glowing. He was dripping wet, but he came out and watched as Sister D was baptized. The love in the room was tangible, and I could hardly hold back my tears. I am so proud of them. Their faith and love for the Lord is so strong, and they will go on to change lives as they serve within their family and the church.

One of the factors that played in my decision to serve a mission was that Dad was taught by sister missionaries, and so many blessings have come to me because of their service. I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted so badly to teach a father. And even though I'm not a perfect missionary and I can be silly and frustrating sometimes, our merciful Heavenly Father blessed me with that opportunity. I told this to Brother R last night after church. They don't realize now all the blessings that are in store for them. But I know that they're coming. I love this family so much. I could go on and on, but neither a 10-page essay nor a masters dissertation nor a three-volume novel could accurately express my feelings on the subject. They have a special part in my life, and I am so excited to hear all about their future. We gave them the illustrated Book of Mormon storybook for baby A, and we wrote little messages for her inside. I'm so excited to watch her grow up and be baptized by her father and serve a mission and get married in the temple. I love this family.

The members were so excited and emotional yesterday. So many people came to support Sister D and Brother R and Sister L. Some of the members brought refreshments, and some of them even bought church clothes for them to wear. I love these members so much, and I'm so grateful for their service. They are wonderful examples to me, and I have learned so much from serving with them.

In other news, although I've been serving as an English-speaking missionary for five months, my English is still steadily declining. A couple of days ago, I told Sister P (one of the sisters I live with) that I felt as 'fit as a whistle.' And I described someone as 'bones and skin' instead of 'skin and bones.' Honestly, I've had to consider changing my focus from editing to something else... Maybe I'll finally fulfill Dad's dreams and become an engineer. The RM version of myself would fit right in: awkward, poor spelling skills, super nerdy. Wow, I'm sorry, that was rude. Plus, it's not really true, Dad has great spelling skills, and he's probably more socially adept than I am at this point. I mean sure, if we're talking about our recent lessons or food or how to improve member-missionary cooperation, I'm a great conversationalist. But if it's anything else--politics, celebrities, the weather--well, let's just face facts: I'm awkward. Bright side: I don't have to worry about that for months and months!

T-shirt of the week: "Comes when the true value is asked of it." Yeah, I don't even know.

We had a really challenging lesson Saturday night. We met for the first time with an investigator that the missionaries had taught once before I arrived in March. A M just showed up to church and then texted us the next day to ask if she could see us. She's Indonesian, so she doesn't know English, just Chinese. I walked out into the lobby and said hello, asked how she was doing. And she told me that her mom had just passed away in Indonesia. I had no idea what to say. I just stood there and hugged her for a long time while she was crying, praying with all my heart for some kind of inspiration or guidance or something. We shared some scriptures with her and sung 'Abide with Me.' And although the Lord's resources are limited to this white girl with limited Chinese and a Filipina with no Chinese or Indonesian, I think he helped her. She's so special, and she has such great faith. I'm struggling to know how to help her, but I know

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