We´ll baptise this week. We´ve been working with Jaque and Jaina and they´re ready for baptism, which is wonderful. Still, we´ve been going through a rather tough time with this branch. When we had lunch at the 1st councilor´s house we asked how we could help this branch, to which he replied with tired shoulders, "I don´t know....this branch truly has given up hope." The only person who is helping us is Irma Maria Jesus and all of our investigators are her relatives. Two of her daughters are eternal investigators and one cannot get baptised because her husband doesn´t want to marry her (when asked if he loved her, this man said no, but that he is staying with her because of the kids) and she said roughly the same thing. It´s hard because she is feeling miserable but is not willing to change.
The other daughter is one of those investigators who are difficult. She knows the church is true, because if it wasn´t, she wouldn´t be attending church for 5 years, but she says she hasn´t received a response, that the Holy Ghost hasn´t told her yet. Well...when she said this we gave her the most amazing lesson of faith I have ever given in my life, and the spirit was strong and we promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon sincerely, and then prayed and asked God, she would receive a response....well, she said she read but didn´t feel anything. She is very hard hearted, she wants a sign from God or something, but what she doesn´t seem to want is to be baptised. She goes to church, sings in the choir, and she does what she wants, when she wants. I have learned so much about patience and about humility from her. Truly, we need to follow the will of God. He will not give us the response we want, but rather, he will give us the response that we need.
Then last night after we taught Jaque and Jaina, their mom asked to talk to us. She told us that she is having suicidal thoughts...which led to another lesson about love and about how God knows us. He knows what we are feeling, He trusts this woman because he gave her four wonderful children, she is amazing and a warrior. Out of everyone in the world, God chose her to take care of, to love, four of his choice spirit children. We then hugged her and talked some more, I hope that we can help her.
We have not been having the best of luck with finding people, before us, the branch was closed for missionaries...so we´re trying to find anyone. In this town (I think) of 19 thousand, most everyone has a church. We gave 3 first lessons, where we teach about Joseph Smith and no one wanted to know more. It was quite disheartening. We can´t really plan, because we have nothing to plan for...other than the baptisms of this week and helping the part member families.
With everything that has been going on, with a branch that´s breaking, and everything else, truly I have come to see the Lord´s hand in everything. I think that before we came to this life, we had an interview with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. They showed us everything that we would go through, sins, heartbreaks, we saw every single tear that we would shed in this life. And then at the end, our Heavenly Father said, "Do you accept this life?" And I hope that I said fearlessly, Absolutely! I will go. I knew that this life wouldn´t be easy, but it was the only way I could have happiness forever with my family.
I honestly do not know why we were called to this branch. No idea. The members don´t seem to be able to believe that they can grow. Some take care of themselves and if someone else goes inactive, it is only because they are weak. I love how President Hinckley taught that we need to care for those who are new or who are weak in this faith, because the gospel is not easy, but like I´ve said before, it is worth it. The hymn of come come ye saints...Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, our God will never us forsake...and the immortal words of Bruce R. McConkie...And while I strive through grief and pain, his words be heard, Ye shall obtain. I believe in Christ, so come what may.
Truly, come what may. Come what may. Give your all, and God will take care of the rest. Everything will be alright in the end, if it´s not alright, well then, it´s not the end. And to end on a totally irreverent thought, always look on the bright side of life.