Monday, June 23, 2014

Rejoice

Something happens to you on a mission. You start to love people. Like, a lot. :)

I can tell I'm finally getting used to missionary life because I'm starting to act like my own weird self again. For a while here, I was all bent out of shape trying to be the missionary I thought I was supposed to be. But becoming a missionary is kind of like learning to speak a language. (it's a rough analogy, just go with it ha ha) First you have to learn things like alphabet and grammar and words, of course. But language is more than the sum of its parts, and once you practice and start to become fluent, you can begin to express yourself and it becomes more than grammar and words. It becomes the way you communicate with people. It affects everything you do.

So, in essence, I'm starting to become a fluent missionary ha ha. I'm less worried that I'm doing things "right" anymore, I'm just doing them. Missionary habits have become my habits. I'm expressing myself as I work, and it makes me a better missionary. Because I can love people - I could before my mission, and I can now. :)

Anyway... I attended my first baptism as a missionary this weekend. Our investigator, Erin, came home from girls camp with just enough time to shower, get ready and come to the church building for her baptism.  I can honestly say it was the most joyous moment of my mission so far.

Joy is different than happiness. It's different than being cheerful. Watching Erin get baptized caused me to feel an emotion so deep and profound it felt like I might burst - that was joy. I am so proud of her. She is a truly remarkable 14-year old. I love her and her whole family more than I thought possible. :)

Chris also attended the baptism and was able to meet members of the ward and feel the Spirit. Typical of him, he kind of scowled when he told me that he felt "good energy" when Erin was baptized. I love that guy too. :)

I love the members where we serve. Erin's ward is amazing. Even though half of them had an exhausting week at girls camp and were drained, mentally, emotionally and physically, they all came to her baptism to show their love and support, not only to her but also to her family. Even though her parents and sister haven't chosen to get baptized, the ward has adopted them and love them dearly.

I repeat what I said last week: love changes lives. It's changed me, and I'm watching it change so many other people. The love Christ has for each of us is pure and unending. It will always be there for you. Once you start to use His atonement, you begin to feel His love. It changes you. I know, because I feel it every day. <3

All my love,

Sister Ball

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