This week seriously flew by. Sister Barrett and I made some Valentine gifts for some members this week, and doorbell ditched them on Valentine's Day. We seriously love our members. We got caught a few times. One member actually caught us on camera. I'm going to send the link because it's so funny.
It was a fast week, and very tiring. We had the opportunity to attend the temple again! Our Mission President even gave us the option to do baptisms if we brought names, so we asked around to the members and got some names to do baptisms for. It was really cool. I think the last time I did baptisms was in -12 degree weather in Rexburg.
We have a few investigators on date for baptisms. Bill O'Connor, Melissa Sanchez, and Magali Zazuetta. S. Barrett met Melissa back in November and had a very spiritual experience with her on her doorstep, but we haven't been able to see her again until last week. Her son is into heavy drugs, and she says it's too dangerous to come over. But she has called/texted us several times expressing her need for God in her life, so we finally insisted on coming over with a few members to give her a blessing. We had a good meeting with her, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized, but she's bailed on us since then. She's supposed to be baptized on February 28th, but we'll probably have to push it back if she's still on board. Her biggest struggle is her lack of faith. We'll just have to keep up the persistence with her.
Bill O'Conner's wife and daughter are members, they were baptized about a year ago. His mother-in-law was baptized in December, and his niece is getting baptized at the end of this month. Needless to say, he has had a lot of support. His biggest obstacle to overcome has been his smoking. He's about 63 years old and has been smoking since he was 9. But he has read the Book of Mormon cover to cover twice, and he can't deny that it's true. Now, he's taking the steps necessary to be baptized on March 28th. We have seen the biggest change of heart in him overtime. He's a completely different person from when I first met him. He's quite cynical and sarcastic, but I can't tell you how much I have seen him smile lately. He got a blessing to overcome his smoking, and he went from smoking about 3 packs a day, to only having 8 cigarettes in the past 4 days. He is so incredible! He's just a living example of how to use the Atonement, and how to rely on Christ. We are so excited for him!
Magali is just so great. We taught her the Plan of Salvation in a member's home the other day and it couldn't have been a better lesson. She is just searching for her answer. She finally started reading the Book of Mormon and has expressed her desire to know if it's the path she should take. But she won't come to church! She always has some excuse. And since we had that lesson with her on Tuesday, she hasn't got back to us. It's starting to worry us in some ways, but at the same time I know we have done everything we can to help her. I feel confident in that. Now I feel like it's completely up to her agency. I read this scripture in the book of Jacob 1 the other day:
19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.
I felt the urgency to teach people with all diligence. It feels good knowing that I have done my very best with her. She is still on date for March 7th, but it's up to her to work towards that date. We can only do so much as to encourage her along the way.
Well folks, it is bittersweet for me to announce that I will be arriving in Taiwan on February 25th. 10 of us got our visas, according to my mission president. I don't know what my itinerary is, or what day I'm leaving exactly.. but I will be there by the transfer date!
I don't think I've really registered the fact that I'm leaving Georgia...
I'm leaving Georgia and going to Taiwan...
I'm going to Taiwan...
I'm going to Taiwan!!!!
He Jie Mei
LAST WEEKS' PICTURES