This was a tremendous week! A couple weeks ago, we set a baptismal date with a lady who was referred to us by a member in the ward. Unfortunately, shortly after setting that date with her, she returned to where she had previously lived in Missouri. Well, this week we had a Ward Christmas party! A lot of people in the area and many of our investigators showed up. It was a great party! We all sang Christmas carols and we listened to a Christmas Primary performance and had some great food! However, the most exciting part of the evening for my companion and I was when our investigator who had returned to Missouri came strolling in while we were greeting people in the foyer! We were so surprised and we excitedly asked her what she was doing back in Alabama. She told us that she had moved back and was going to stay this time! What a Christmas present! Yesterday, we went over to a member’s home where we taught her and reset a baptismal date. We are so glad she is back!
In addition, I learned something wonderful while studying the scriptures this past week. I was reading 2 Corinthians 7:4 and the end of this scripture stood out to me: “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” This is Paul talking to the Corinthians basically saying that he is happy even during the hard times. Recently, with breaking my wrist and needing surgery, things have been a little more difficult than usual. Specifically, as a missionary, it is really hard to get ready in the morning with one hand. My companion helped me out a lot in the beginning, but recently I wanted to be more independent and get ready myself. I’ve dealt with a lot of buttons, putting on a belt, and of course tying a tie and many other things – all tasks that are relatively easy with two hands, but very difficult with one.
So I caught myself looking in the mirror this week, after struggling to get a tie on, asking myself, what does Heavenly Father want me to learn from this experience? I think what Heavenly Father wants me to learn and the point that Paul was making in 2 Corinthians is that we should be “exceeding joyful in all our tribulation” because we are strengthened by facing difficulties and working through them. This life is full of tough experiences and through those experiences we have an opportunity to come closer to our Heavenly Father and gain a greater love for him. This experience with my wrist is tough, but this is also teaching me a lot of patience, humility and love. I have also encountered a lot of “tribulation” on my mission, but I am a much better person because of it. I, like Paul, will find joy in the hard things that come my way in life from now on. For an added bonus, I can now jokingly talk about how great this surgery was because the doctors were able to take the screw that was loose in my head and use it to fix my wrist! Ha! I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I am having and all that I am learning. I love and miss everyone back home and hope you are having a great week!