Saturday, December 28, 2013

merry CHRISTmas!

DEC 23, 2013

This week was sick. But not just because I got sick!!! After 3 short weeks, M was baptized on Saturday December 21st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The change he has gone through has been absolutely unreal. I have learned so much about the power and affect the spirit has on people just being an observer of his conversion. The first day we met him he had a very depressed spirit. His eyes showed the pain and loneliness he felt in his heart. Now those eyes radiate with life, purpose, and joy! As a witness of this process my testimony has grown deeper in the power of the atonement. It changes lives. It's changed mine and I've watched it change others. During our lessons we learned a little more about his life and story leading up to our meeting him. His family life was, and is, in shambles. His wife recently took the kids and ran away leaving him no way to stay in contact with them. He hit bad luck with his job and has been looking for work for awhile. Through the difficulties he resorted to renting the cheapest housing he could find which brought him to renting the room J rents out. J is the old retired man with the amputated leg we're teaching. Unbeknownst to us, 1 week after J's leg was amputated, Elder Goates and I felt prompted to call the man named J who was listed as an investigator from years previous but was dropped because he wouldn't progress. He was humble and invited us to teach him again. While installing adaptive equipment for his new needs at his house in preparation for his return, we met M. At this point in his life, M was truly searching. Nightly he would pour out his soul asking for guidance and help. He contemplated suicide and was barely hanging on. He accepted an invitation to hear the message we share and it changed his life. He now has the Holy Ghost helping him overcome his depression and he has a new perspective and understanding about why he's on earth and what happens to him when he dies.

One of the hardest things of my mission was missing M's baptism and confirmation. On Friday night I got sick with the flu and wasn't able to get out of the house. Of all the days to be sick, December 21st and 22nd were the worst.

I want to end with humor :)

Early this week J ran out of his pain medications. We offered him a priesthood blessing and he replied that "Absolutely no blessing you, or anyone can give, will help me. Nothing will help me but medication." Now, J's medication was on back order and was supposed to arrive before the last bottle was empty and it still hasn't come. Late Saturday night J called us up very humbled and asked for a blessing :) I feel so bad for him because he's in so much pain. I guess it's bad of me but the humor in this story is that J is very proud and constantly puts his faith in the arm of flesh rather than in God. He literally wrestles with God daily and always looses. He's been thrown bigger challenges in his life than any person I've yet met on my mission and he still hasn't let God win. Occasionally he'll humble himself but as soon as he get's back in control of his life he throws God out. If he would just let God in and allow him to influence his life, he would be a thousand times happier!

I love you all so much and wish you a merry CHRISTmas!

Love Elder Janis

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