It has been an interesting week. Last week ended on such a great note but this week things kind of took a turn in the other direction. None of our investigators are progressing anymore. No one has been keeping commitments and no one has come to church. It can be kind of sad, and difficult, and frustrating because here you have the greatest thing in the entire world, something that will help them in every way and they aren't progressing. I think that's how Heavenly Father often feels with us. He wants to bless us but when we forget to say our prayers and forget to read our scriptures we don't qualify for those blessings. He is waiting to bless us but he will never force us just like I can't force other people to do anything. When their faith increases then they will have that desire and want to and do it on their own. Until then all we can do is help them and invite them but it will always be their choice. In our mission we are shooting for a goal of one baptism a month. I've been out almost 4 months and haven't had any. I often wonder what I'm doing wrong and in my prayers I feel so bad saying each night I haven't done it yet but I promise I'm trying so what am I doing wrong what can I change. I know though that people do have their agency and I can always repent for not doing more. I'm actually grateful I started my mission off in this affluent area because later on in my mission I will be able to find more humble people that are willing to repent and seek God in their life and I'll know just what to do! It seems like there's been a bit of a missionary success drought here. There's been one convert baptism in this month for the whole year. That's not good at all. I need to step it up and do something about it. For anyone reading this if it's on my blog, it isn't just about converting people and baptizing people or anything like that. It's about inviting people to come unto Christ by making covenants with God to change their lives and grow closer to Him and this happens through the gates of baptism. If we are serious about following him we will follow His example and be baptized just as he was by proper authority by immersion the exact same way. There are so many blessings we receive when we are baptized and we have the influence of the Holy Ghost/ Holy Spirit so much stronger in our life. And THAT'S why it's so important. (3 Nephi 11 and 2 Nephi 31). It is part of Christ's doctrine: faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end. I've been thinking about my purpose here and as a missionary and I haven't been doing such a great job at finding people who are willing to be baptized but I know I have made a good influence in the live's of others through the gifts Heavenly Father has blessed me with to bless His other children through me. (sorry, the syntax on that sentence was awful, but you get the point). I think something I may need to do while I'm here is help the leadership of the wards, help other missionaries, help the mission president, help my investigators and prepare these investigators for some future missionary. And I'm willing to take that sacrifice. If I go my whole mission without a baptism I will feel bad for not bringing others into God's fold but I won't have a thing to regret because I've done all I can do and I always tried to live my purpose at all times by always inviting others to come unto Christ. I'm grateful that I've been compelled to be humble. I get frustrated sometimes that other's aren't humble and won't listen to the message and then I remember that I am guilty of pride and all sorts of other things. I am far from perfect. On my mission I've also been compelled to have charity. And I'm grateful for that as well. I'm not really sure what happens next in the work. We need to find new investigators and help the ward see that they need to get involved in the work and I know that's what I need to do right now. I'm grateful for the Lord answering prayers and for the power of the Holy Ghost in my life. I should be discouraged and disappointed but I'm not. I know that Heavenly Father is always there and that we should always rejoice, through thick and thin we have every reason to be happy because Christ lives and loves us.
I love you all and I'm so grateful for all of your love and support and emails. Thanks for all of your prayers and for thinking about me. Give Christian a hug for me when you get home.
I haven't heard from you yet Christian but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you. I love you and look up to you so much. Let me know if there's ever anything I can do for you.
When you get home would you send me a ward program so I can get the addresses of other missionaries from our ward serving? Thank you.
Also, I met Brett Mackay this week. He's in my ward and he's a year younger than dad and went to highschool with him. He says to tell you hi dad. I think that's it for connections this week. Oh, and his wife grew up here and knew you too. And a lady named Clo Ross or something knows Paul and Courtney.
I love you all, have a wonderful week and a great summer.
Love, Sister Chelsey