Yesterday, Sister Croft and I were teaching about the fall of Adam and Eve. We ended up talking about the three pillars of the gospel - The Creation, The Fall and the Atonement. And I realized that everything in life hast hose kind of stages - a beginning phase, where everything is beautiful and paridisacal. Then a fallout, where you realize that things are imperfect and things seem to crumble a little. Then, a reconciliation - where you learn to work things out and make them stronger than they were before. The creation, the fall, the Atonement. Without the Atonement, we would all be stuck in "The Fall" stage. There would never be any reconciliation, never be working things out. Once a relationship crumbled or a mistake was made, it could never be fixed. But how blessed we are! We do have a Savior, and He gave us the Atonement, a chance to make things better and stronger. It was all part of our Father's perfect plan to begin with.
How much I love it. :) He made it possible for broken things to be fixed. Good thing too! Because I don't think a single day passes that one of us doesn't madke a mistake and want to make it right. Guess what? It can be made right! Through the Atonement.
This week was a fun one. Well, mainly our baptism for this weekend cancelled. He changed his mind, said it was coming too fast and backed out. I was very sad, but then I realized - this is the first time my entire mission that someone has backed out on their baptism, and I have been out for 13 months! Really, I've been so blessed. And he still wants to get baptized.... Just probably later in the summer. :)
Then, we had a less-active in our ward text us and say she had a friend who wanted to take the lessons. So we went over the next night to meet him. His name is Paul. We asked him a few questions to get to know him and asked "What is it that you want to get out of these meetings with us?" Without hesitation he replied, "Baptism."
I think my jaw might have dropped. Usually, that isn't how our initial conversations go. xD
So yes, now we are helping Paul prepare for baptism. He said he wandered away from God for a while there, and God has slowly been guiding him back. He feels as though this is the best course for him to take. He's pretty cool, I like him a lot. He lives outside of our ward thought, so we probably have to pass him off before he gets baptized. Still, I'm happy to be part of this. :)
As if that wasn't cool enough.... Our recent convert Amey, we've been visiting her and helping her get ready to move. It's a bittersweet thing. She's excited, but we are so sad to see her leave. We've become so close. She has her daughter, Sarah, moving with her to Florida. Sarah has sat in on the lessons since we started teaching Amey, but she told us she would probably never join herself. Which is okay. But oddly, she continued to sit in on the lessons - and she read the reading assignments. And she stopped drinking coffee. And she came to church every. She has been every bit as involved as Amey along the way, while still maintaining that she wasn't going to join herself.
Well, we were over the other night laughing our heads off (this family could be a comedy show, I tell you. They are hilarious. They don't try to be, they just say whatever is on their minds. And usually, it's pretty funny. We spend so much time laughing. xD) It was just Sarah and her son Michael with us and suddenly, out of the blue she says, "So I've been thinking about getting baptized before we leave."
This was another jaw-dropping moment. Please note, they move in a mere two weeks. We assured her that yes, she could be ready for baptism by then. She didn't seem so sure, and changed the subject shortly thereafter. But now we know - Sarah may not be far behind her mom in joining the church. :) Whether it will be here or in Florida, I don't know but I don't really care. I am just so excited for her. :D
Okay, here is a really neat story: On Monday, Sister Croft and I had visited everyone we'd planned in already and we still had an hour left to work. We were trying to figure out where we needed to be when suddenly, a piece of paper fell out of her bag with a name, address and number. No, I'm not kidding. The answer to our question "Where do we need to go?" literally just fell into her lap. It was my handwriting, and I recognized it as a referral for a less-active family I'd received while on exchanges about three months ago. I'd lost the piece of paper and thought I would never find it again. Clearly, Father in Heaven had been holding onto it until it was time to visit them. ;) We went to visit them. The dad answered and was nice, but assured us that he was not a practicing mormon and his family had no interest in changing. But he did say we could come back next week. Sowe have an appointment to meet the rest of the family and I'm excited. Heavenly Father obviously wants us to come into their lives at this exact time.
It's just been such a good week, you know? Sister Croft and were talking the other day about how we have seen so many miracles while we've been together. More than I've ever seen before. I just feel so blessed. Really, none of this has been because of our own work. Literally, baptisms have fallen from the sky. :D
Your funny story for the week: We were reading from the Book of Mormon with our recent convert Joe. We were explaining how the Lamanites were typically the people who were more wicked because they didn't have the gospel and didn't know God. He interrupted with an impetuous "Yeah, hence the lame. Lame-anites." We busted up laughing. He's been baptized all of two weeks and already he's cracking mormon jokes! He brings us such joy. Sometimes, as a missionary, you just feel like a proud parent. ;)
Another story: We were heading home from a lesson atnight and discovered that a cop car was blocking our way home. No worries, we just looped around to go a different way... except that road was blocked too, for no apparent reason. Eventually we figured out it was because of high school graduation - we share the street with Highland High School, and that night they blocked off all incoming traffic so that the crowds could get out relatively quick. It was a good idea, except we had no way home ha ha. They finally opened up the roads at 9:50ish and we made it home just before 10! Close call, for a missionary's curfew. That night I had dreams about driving around in circles, surrounded by cop cars ha ha.
All in all, it has been a wonderful week. The weather here is still cool. Only in the 80s or so. Crazy, right? Arizona doesn't know what to do with itself when it's cool in May!
I love you all and I hope you have a great week. I know God loves you and he is looking out for you. He knows you better than you know yourself. He's always on your side. :)
Till next week!
-- Sister Ball