I gave a talk in Sacrament yesterday and chose to speak on our responsibility to turn to the Lord in times of trials and shared this trial. Our bishop here announced the week I was gone that Mom had passed so when I got back everyone was giving me hugs and stuff just like in Katy 2nd ward. It was nice to feel so much love and support from my ward here. It makes me feel at home.
Well I'm not getting any younger and my mission isn't getting any longer so to start this past week off my companion and I set a goal to teach 50 lessons this week. Before I left we were averaging about 25 lessons but I feel such an urgency to accomplish everything I can and I have this feeling that there's no time to waste and there are too many people in our area who don't know about the gospel!! So we set a high goal and we finished the week with 47 lessons. I am happy with what we accomplished. The Lord gave me a trial this week probably because I set a goal to teach a ton of lessons. I woke up on Friday morning feeling sick to my stomach so I slept a little longer to see if it would go away. Around 10am I bolted out of bed and made it just in time to throw up into the toilet. After that I had super painful cramps in my stomach so I laid in bed and moaned for about two hours before I finally fell asleep. I woke up Saturday morning feeling awful still and wasn't able to get out until that evening. It was definitely humbling because I have so much fire in me that I need to spread and then BAM, God let's me get sick so I can't do anything. It's a good lesson to me that God cares more about our character than he does about the things we accomplish. Even still, we were able to be almost 2 times as productive this week with my two sick days than all our previous weeks. I'm fully recovered from the funk I had and I'm really excited about what we'll be able to accomplish this week.
We have an 84 year old investigator named V we're teaching now who is really excited about everything she's learning and wants to be baptized. She came to church last week and we've met with her every day this week and everything was looking super for her baptism to be on the 24th. Well on Saturday as I'm laying in bed sick, my companion gets a call from her where she said, "You're not going to like this but I've made up my mind. I don't want to be mormon. If you could come by some time today to pick up your bibles I would appreciate that." Absolutely devastated and too sick to do anything about it, I turn over onto my knees and said a prayer as my companion and another missionary went out the door to talk to V. They burst through the door about an hour later ecstatic! They said that when they pulled up to her house she came out the front door and said, "Elder's, I changed my mind. I want to keep studying with you. It's made me happier than anything else in my life has." It turns out she has a son who has power of attorney over her finances and he got super angry with her that she was meeting with us and was thinking about being baptized. Because he has power of attorney V was afraid that he would start threatening her if she continued meeting with us. Well she's decided she isn't going to let that stop her from accepting the gospel and she's back on track! We pushed her baptism back a week so she can come to church one more time and prepare for her interview. It was an awesome experience to be so devastated one minute, and then elated the next! And it was a testimony builder of the power of prayer. When there's nothing else we can do, at least we can pray.
At dinner last night the member kept feeding us more and more. First we had a huge plate of spaghetti, then her son brought in some big steaks he had been grilling, then we had salads and a large helping of potatoes. By the end of the meal I was pretty stuffed. I was starting to feel a little sick again because I hadn't eaten hardly anything on Friday or Saturday because I was sick so my stomach was having a tough time with normal food again. Well thankfully desert was a fruit smoothie. It was ice cold though and so it took awhile to eat. As we ate desert we were talking about different food challenges we had done like the gallon challenge or the cinnamon challenge. I was thinking about how much pain I was in from the meal we had just eaten and I entertained the idea of asking if anyone had ever done the spaghetti steak salad potato fruit smoothie challenge. But I didn't :) I figured that might come across as ungrateful. Which I wasn't. The food was really good :)
I love you all and I hope you have a super week!
Love Elder Janis