Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year!

Happy New Year!!

This year is off to a great start! I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Liu and she comes from Taipei, Taiwan! I absolutely adore her, she is the cutest thing ever and has the sweetest testimony. Not to mention that on our first night together, she comes out in her pajamas wearing a "minion" shirt...that's truly when I knew we were meant to be :)  She also is a full on chef! It was her major prior to coming on her mission.  She asked me the other morning if I would like some eggs...sure.  Next thing you know, she brings me these beautiful eggs with chopped onion and garlic with basil leaves on the side with some fresh chopped fruit! Haha, incredible! She's made herself right at home here in the city and she is learning quickly. I'm very grateful to train her and serve together. 

We had an amazing miracle. Since we are re-opening an area, we didn't have too much going on the first few days. We had just one investigator, her name is ________. She has been taught for a few months now by other missionaries and was supposed to be baptized months ago.  She backed out at the last minute because she didn't feel ready. During my first lesson with her a few weeks ago, she told me she's planning on moving up north for about 5 months. She said she'd consider being baptized after she returns. She is moving next week, but the next baptism we are holding isn't until the 11th...after she moves. 

So, in our companionship study Friday morning, Sister Liu and I were discussing ________ and how to help her.  I felt really strongly that we needed to invite her to be baptized one last time, but this time it would be inviting her to be baptized the following day. Seeing she was timid to commit to baptism in 5 months, this didn't sound too promising, but I really felt that if we had the faith and invited her then she would say yes. I was reading in Enos Chapter 1, which talks about this faith, that if we really believe and have a righteous desire then Heavenly Father will grant us what we're asking. So, I told Sister Liu, "Okay, this miracle is all dependent on our faith. Do you believe she can be baptized tomorrow?" Sister Liu said, "Yes, I do."   We proceeded to go over our lesson we planned to teach her and both of us were in tears as we practiced what to say with ________. 

The lesson was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. that evening. We asked the Zone Leaders to send out a mass text asking all the missionaries in the zone to say a special prayer for ________ and our lesson.  I gave Bishop a call and asked if it would be possible to throw together a baptism for tomorrow and he said yes. All was in order. 

Finally, the time came for our lesson with ________, we shared a few scriptures, talked about a few things and then invited her to be baptized the following day. She paused for a minute and then said, "No, sorry. I'm not ready. Maybe when I come back in a few months." I was shattered. I truly believed she would say yes. We all just sat there for a few seconds and then I asked her, "Okay.  Well, would you just do one thing for us? Will you kneel down with us and ask Heavenly Father in a prayer, right now, if you should be baptized tomorrow?" She said okay. So we all knelt down, I told her to focus on the Spirit and that we won't say anything until she does, and she can tell us what she feels. She said the prayer, a really sincere prayer. We all just sat there in silence for a good 6 minutes...waiting...waiting. Finally, she looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry, I'm not ready."  Again, I was crushed. But we just expressed our love for her and concluded the lesson. 

We had an activity at the church right after our lesson, so Sister Liu and I were occupied with members and investigators at the activity for the next hour and a half. All of a sudden, someone taps me on the shoulder and it's ________. She says, "Sister Raitt, can I talk to you?"  We walk out into the hall and she asks me a few questions about baptism and then she pauses and says, "Okay, I'll be baptized tomorrow." I said, "Really!?!" And then I just hugged her, I was so happy, I ran in to tell Sister Liu and we immediately went to get one of the Elders and she was interviewed right then for baptism. I couldn't believe it, what an amazing miracle! Within 24 hours she was baptized. We managed to find speakers and even someone to perform a musical number. The baptism went so smoothly, it was just beautiful. I was so grateful for this experience, especially for my new companion to experience. We both were strengthened and now have a greater testimony of Enos Chapter 1. 

Sister Liu and I have been working hard, talking to many people and we are excited to have many lessons this week with potential investigators. Things in our area are growing and growing quickly :) Another miracle...we were waiting for an appointment to come to the teaching center and it looked like it was going to be a no-show.  All of a sudden in walks M______! She is a girl that I taught with Sister Slade about 6 months ago! She just came in and there I was and she said, "Oh, Sister Raitt! It's been so long, could I have a lesson please?" haha...amazing. She told me in our lesson, "I know my faith may not be strong like yours, yet. But for some reason, I find myself keep coming back here." It was a great lesson. We're seeing her again on Wednesday

I've been told that the miracles really start coming in during your last few months on the mission and it seems to be true :) It's been a great week. I love you all, I hope your week is filled with miracles, as well. Take care,

Sister Raitt

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