Monday, June 29, 2015

Yes

Ayyy all

I feel like this area that I've been in has been improving since I got here. We haven't had a whole lot of luck with finding a lot of cool new people, but the cool new people that we find are usually COOL new people. So I feel like we still have a lot of cool experiences, they just seem a little fewer and farther in between. I get to appreciate every spiritual moment better.

So, I wanna talk a bit about an investigator that we have named Melanie. She's a really awesome investigator. She's really interested in the gospel, and has had a confirmation for herself about the truth of our words. She is following all the commandments that we've taught her about. In fact, she's had every single part of every lesson that we need to teach her before baptism. The problem is, Melanie and her mother (who we think may have seen a video on polygamy in the early church) both think that she isn't "ready" to be baptized as a member yet. They want to wait a YEAR. We've been working on helping her understand about how she doesn't have to be perfect before she gets baptized, as that's kind of the point of baptism. We haven't had way too much success with helping her understand this, so it's been like this for a little while.

HOWEVER

President Mathews sent a message to the Zone Leaders of Mindelo this last Friday morning, saying that there are 7 people here that are ready for baptism the NEXT DAY. The Zone Leaders called asking if we had anyone possible, and we both felt that it's Melanie, if anyone. We had a good companionship study on miracles and having the faith to make them happen, and we went to our appointment with Melanie (which just happened to be marked for that evening) with strong intentions. What proceeded was what may have been the most spiritual lesson that I have ever taught on the mission. We shared our testimonies of the truth of the church, and how we both knew that she was ready to become a member and start on the pathway the Lord had prepared for her. We talked to her about how the Lord has already provided a way for her to overcome any difficulty, any trial that may stand in her way after baptism. She still seemed pretty set on waiting, but it came to me to talk to her about what President Mathews told us. We shared the experience and told her that we both thought that she could be baptized the very next day. I think that that really struck her, because she sat there for at least 5 full minutes, thinking. She finally told us at the end of the lesson that she would ask God about it, and send us a message about the answer. We left that lesson feeling really happy, feeling that we had finally made a breakthrough.

HOWEVER

She didn't text us that night. A little worried, we waited until 11 am the next day (if she said yes, then we had some stuff to do before the baptism at 4 that day) and then we visited her house. She told us to talk with her again at 3, but sent us a text message a little bit afterwards to explain to us what happened. She told us that she prayed and that the Lord had told her that she was ready, but that she still didn't feel ready herself. We sat there for a bit, very confused and disappointed. It had seemed so sure that she was going to tell us yes. What I think confused us the most is that the Lord had told her what to do, and for some reason she didn't believe that that was the right answer. We had another lesson with her yesterday, talking about why she got the answer that she did, and about how she can put her trust in the Lord more than to her own understanding.

I've thought long and hard about why the story here rolled out like it did. We definitely had the faith to see a miracle happen, and we were so excited when we thought it was going to happen. I don't pretend to know all the works of the Lord, but I think I was able to figure out a couple of reasons: Firstly, it helped Melanie to progress, a lot. I really don't believe that it will be long before she takes the decision for herself to be baptized. Secondly, it helped me learn that we can do everything that we can, and people still have their own personal agency, they're still free to make their own decisions. What we need to do is make sure that our part is done in the best way that it can be done, learning about the gospel and always trying to bring the Spirit as strong as possible to every lesson. I feel comfortable about what happened with her. It may not have been the result that we had desired, but the result still was a good one. As the scriptures say, all things that are good come from God. God had his hand in this situation, and maybe I'll learn more as I go along. I hope I do, learning about this stuff is cool.

I'm somehow reminded of the lyrics from the Coldplay song "Yes", which if you think about it really talks about the lesson that I learned today in these two lines:
"If you would only, if you'd only say Yes,
Whether you will's anybody's guess."

Wow, that was a long story, but I wanted to share all of it. So I guess that's it for today, I hope to be able to share some more cool experiences next week! Have a good week, all, and I hope you go wild this Independence Day!

Abra├žo,
Elder Penner
There were no pictures this week.  The computer he was on wasn't cooperating with his camera.  

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