Another week has come and gone, they are going too fast. Can't believe it's already July 4th this week, it's so crazy to me. I swear June never happened, and in saying that I feel like the past 16 months never happened. This was an interesting week, we REALLY felt Satan's influence this week in our missionary work, particularly on Tuesday. We went to visit a Less Active member who obviously has some unhappiness and anger in her life, and she took it out completely on us, it was so scary, we literally felt as if Satan himself were yelling at us, it was quite sad to leave, feeling so sad for someone who's heart has been so hardened, we just got in the car and cried, and felt so bad that she won't accept Jesus Christ, that she won't allow him to heal her... It was a rather interesting experience, specifically she said certain things to me and as we left I just looked at her, feeling so sorry for her, and said, "I forgive you." In a sense, I knew that Heavenly Father was there, it was a testimony to me that we truly are walking the saviors path, was he mocked? Yes, was he spit on? Yes, was he cast out by his own people, Yes. After Sister Smith, and I opened the Book of Mormon, and we decided to read together wherever the page stopped, we know that Heavenly Fathers hand intervened because it stopped on 3 Nephi 4, which is the most random thing I have heard of, but we decided to read anyways, and these are a few verses that we came upon, my testimony GREW TREMENDOUSLY that day, have a question, and turn to the Book of Mormon, I promise you will find your answers.
3 Nephi 4:8-10&33
8 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites(missionaries), when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi(enemy), had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
9 And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies.
10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites(the missionaries) did not fear them; but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for protection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them.
33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.
We truly felt all of this, we realized that day when it shares that they thought they had given up so the enemy began to rejoice, how Satan truly thought we could have given up at that moment, but what he doesn't know is that us falling to our knee's and pleading with Heavenly Father isn't a sign of weakness but of strength, it really was such a tender moment to experience, and made my testimony grow heaps. I know Christs mission wasn't easy, I cannot expect mine to be.
We realized later this week though, WHY Satan was working sooo hard on us. We had the opportunity to be asked by the Assistants to the President, if they could video us role playing and use it as they tour the mission on Zone Conferences, it was quite awkward, but it was a great experience, we spent a lot of time with them this week, and it was crazy because it helped us role playing so much. Like I mentioned this area has been dead, WELL this week after our role plays, we went to see our investigator Vicki, and while there we literally said exactly what we had practiced in the role plays, it was so inspired, and the lesson seriously was SO guided by the Holy Ghost, we really don't know what was said, but we do know she felt the spirit, and she and her son have accepted baptism on August 12. It was SUCH an amazing experience, we left knowing that the spirit had taught, that Heavenly Father truly did know her by name, and I will never forget the look on her face as we explained the peace and happiness as she is baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority from God. She really is amazing, and is so sincere.
I read a scripture this week that really changed my life, I want to share it, it's in Hebrews 11:25.
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
I love this scripture, I know that sin and the joy of it is only for a season, but I know as we come to be with the people of God, and learn to suffer with them, we will have happiness for eternity. I feel that on my mission I have come to truly understand and love to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoying sin for a season. This has been the best choice I have made, and it's gone so fast. I am striving to enjoy every single day, and I know that these will be great memories that I will cherish forever. How grateful we are to have a loving Father in Heaven who allows us to suffer affliction, so that we may have eternal JOY! I love and miss you all, hope it's a wonderful week, HAPPY JULY 4TH AMERICA, and SEE YOU IN 2 MONTHS!!!!!!!
Sister Maddie DeLoach