Thought of the week: I'm realizing this week that asking God "why?" doesn't actually help at all. He isn't going to answer those desperate prayers of "why," or rather, we can't hear His answers when we're despairing like that. He'll answer us, but it will take a lot of time, and we usually have to discover those answers over time. I still wonder a lot about why I have to be here, in certain situations, and why my heart has to break as much as it does. But I'm finding those answers. First of all, I think that one of the things I have to offer as a missionary is that I do love a lot, and easily, but the more love in a heart, the more it will hurt for the people it loves, and that's part of why it breaks so much. And it's easier for God to work on a broken heart than on any other, and if He has to compell my heart to be broken in order to save me and seal me His, that's what He'll do, so long as I'm willing.
And I have a lot of things to learn while I'm here. Quite often I wish I didn't have to be here for quite so long, or rather, that I didn't have to be away from you all for quite so long. But I have some new things to learn to love while I'm here: once again, my Savior, His church, His Spirit, and His children. I'm learning to realign my priorities, or rather, I need to realign, and I'm still learning to do it. It's probably a good thing that I still have 14 months to become all I can while I'm here.
This week I had my first baptism - the husband of a part-member, less-active family. We hadn't visited that family for my whole mission, but the wife ran into us on the street one day and asked us to come visit, and we came, and without knowing any of her situation nor why she wanted us there, we put a baptismal date with her husband. Others had tried to teach him before, without success, because he couldn't stop drinking. But when we showed up, independent of our efforts, he had stopped drinking three months before, and was trying to repair the damage he had done to his family. He was ready, and we helped prepare him, and it's amazing to see the changes that are coming into his life and his family thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ. What an amazing power this gospel has when we choose to let it into our lives.
This weekend we did exchanges, and I stayed in my area with Hermana Howell, a sister from Draper. We had a ton of fun telling stories, rapping in English in the house, and making jokes and sharing memories about BYU. And it wasn't quite as horrible as earlier, being on divisions and in charge of my area. But it's still really hard. I'm waiting for this to get easier, but as many people have told me, it doesn't get easier. I just get stronger. Well, I sure hope I can get stronger sometime soon. Funny side note, speaking of strength, the missionary health book tells us to lift bottles of water in lieu of weights, since we can't exactly carry those around through changes and such.
I also, for the first time without Hermana Ayala, brought an investigator to church with us. She stayed for all three hours, which is highly unusual, and brought her two little girls, and she loved it, and wants to come back next week, and wants to come to any activity we have before then. And it's when there are little miracles like that, or big miracles, rather, that I remember that this isn't my work, that everything gets done through grace and not through my ability, and that I am privileged to get to watch the Lord do his work, just like Dad says.
P.S. I completed 4 months yesterday. Woohoo!!