I will never forget the night that we were walking on the dark street and saw ONE house with lights on, and a soccer ball out front. As soon as I saw that soccer ball, I said to Sister Parsons, "We have to go to that house, they have a soccer ball so we automatically have something to talk about". A month and a half later, I call that same house, my second home. I have grown to love the 3 children there, Bobkie, Malad and Blessing, more than I even thought possible. They have now entered the waters of baptism and are officially, a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and there is absolutely not more I could even ask for!!! On Saturday when they were baptized they literally just glowed as they wore the white clothing! I honestly cannot even find any words, literally to describe the feelings in my heart that I felt on Saturday, and that I still feel right this second (as I type). Ya I'm crying...haha. It was just the happiest moment of my life, and being able to stand at the top of the stairs (of the font) and watch them be fully immersed into the water and baptized by that priesthood authority that Christ himself had, was literally a glimpse of Heaven for me. Afterwards Malad and Blessing bore their testimonies (Bobkie chickened out;) and oh.my.gosh.......again I just cried (and am still crying) . Malad said, " I know the Book of Mormon is true, I'm grateful I got be baptized today (I love how he says baptized ha), I am grateful for Sister Ensign and Sister Parsons, and I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". All we told him, was to speak from his heart, and that's what he did, and the spirit was...indescribable! He sat down next to me, buried his face in my arm and just cried...:)- Then Blessing got up and gave the most BEAUTIFUL testimony. I thought she had written it, but afterwards she told us that she left her written testimony (on paper) at home and that she as well just spoke from her heart. She talked about how before she met the missionaries she just listened to music and went about day to day feeling no purpose in life, and didn't really care about anyone or anything.......but now, she has direction and now knows how much God and Jesus Christ love her. She also bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the gospel...she just cried as well. I never before have felt this happy...I really cant even say anything else about the baptism because no words will do it justice...I've tried typing my feelings a million times and really just can't say anything else........ but it was by far the best day I have yet to experience in my 20 years. This is the true church, and the ordinance is real...its not only real, but essential...absolutely essential, and wow...it is amazing!
There have been so many other MIRACLES, but I really can't even put any of them into words. I'm literally just sitting here at the computer crying! We just got back from the temple (we got to go as a zone for p-day today) and my heart is just about ready to explode. The reality of the miracles we've seen these past few days, just became more clear and I just feel completely...ummm....speechless. This week Sister Beckstrand and I have worked SO HARD! It's the hardest I've worked on my mission, and I am so grateful that I have a companion who is wanting to work just as hard as I do! We spend about 10 minutes for lunch, and work through dinner. There is so much to be done here and with our desire to work hard, Heavenly Father is blessing us with soooo many tender mercies and is really moving the work along! As missionaries, we all give our time, efforts, talents, etc. to the work and Heavenly Father, but really. It's not all that great- because we're just giving back what God has given us. but one thing that God does not have, is our hearts...that is literally the only thing...The past month I have tried so hard to really give God my heart, and this past week I can confidently say that I have given it to the Lord. Each day I try to give him my all... my everything...because really, its all his... I have never felt closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in my life, and I never want this to change!
Today I sat in the temple and literally just cried as I played out in my head, what I will be experiencing in 15 months time...my badge coming off my chest and the mantle of Missionary work being lifted off of me...I hate the thought of it, and it literally makes me sick. I want nothing more, than to be a missionary for the rest of my life. It is the most important thing to God, and has become the most important thing to me as well. I have never worked harder, and been happier, in my whole life, than I am right now. "IT'S A GREAT DAY TO BE A MISSIONARY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA"..... what we ALWAYS say:)
This week I also received the clearest revelation from God while reading my patriarchal blessing! without talking about this sacred experience too much, I want to share some of it with you. God told me in my patriarchal blessing and through the Holy Ghost exactly what kind of people I need to work with...the CHILDREN! It may sound crazy, but we have been told over and over again by apostles AND in the scriptures, that the rising generation is stronger than ever- and boy, do I believe that with all my heart or what!? The Book of Mormon tells us to share the gospel with EVERYONE, not just adults...or not just certain races of people...but EVERYONE! All of his children need it. Meemee, (our 11 yr old dry mormon (believes and lives the gospel, but hasn't been baptized because her parents haven't granted permission)) took Sister Beckstrand and I out to teach one of her friends. We were able to share the restoration with her friend and her friend's mom and oh man...the spirit was sooo strong and Meemee testified like a member to everything throughout the whole lesson! Afterwards she said, "it feels good to share the gospel, I love it!". I just wanted to cry inside. Hearing an investigator who wants to be baptized so badly, say that, just made my heart melt! When we finally had walked backed to her home to drop her off we said, "meemee we have an appointment with you tomorrow, do you want us to teach you or do you want to go teach more of your friends?" and throwing her arm up in the air she said, "I WANT TO GO TEACH MORE OF MY FRIENDS!". She is amazing. Heaven sent. Perfect. how else can I put it?! Haha, I have grown to love her sooo much, and between her, BObkie, Malad, Blessing (and Kathleen- the other investigator (13 yr.) who is also sharing the gospel with every single person at her school and friends/ getting us a million investigators ), the word is spreading like crazy here in Western Australia:)
My time is up but please have soooooo much fun in Powell this week, please strengthen your relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father...they are real. and their love for us is even more real. IF you want a way to strengthen that relationship...go serve others and share the gospel, and I PROMISE, you will be happier than ever before!
p.S We have indian investigators...ya I'm dying...I LOVE THEM!!!\
p.s.s the picture is of malad and I. We brought them a picture of the Perth temple, and his mom let him put it in their nice frame and now its in their living room. Another tender mercy/miracle...now bobkie and malads dad wants to learn about the church!!! Pray for him please:)