Quotes of the week:
1. Old man we stopped on the street (who was not happy at first): "And really, like I said before, you 2 are truly, beautiful women. If I was a young man I'd probably choose to be saved by you. Each of you is really beautiful. If i was young, I'd convert, just hoping for a date."
2. Elder 1: "Is that your girl back home?"
Elder 2: "I've never even kissed a girl!"
Elder 1: "Well kissing is a lot more of a commitment than writing!"
It's been a hard week, but one full of lots of sacrifice and LOTS of laughing... We had to, otherwise I don't think we would've made it through all the stressful situations haha. Sister Thompson and I are SO tired, guys. So tired. But we're not through yet! We have way more to do in our last weeks before we're finished. So much work to be done in the work of salvation!!!:)
MaryAnn*'s baptism is rescheduled. We're crossing our fingers for this Saturday!!! She's almost there!!!!!
This week I've been studying a lot about how the Lord prepares people for the gospel. Alma teaches us how the Lord does it: "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land, and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
I want to point out that despite what the 70-year-old men here think, missionaries are not the angels who are preparing the people for the gospel! When Alma says that angels are doing it, he really means that legions of angels are here on earth preparing His children for the gospel! Do we believe that? Do we believe that thousands of the Lord's angels are getting people ready to accept the gospel?
On my mission I've often felt like I'm doing more than planning, preparing lessons, studying, finding people to teach, and teaching. I feel like a piece in a bigger plan to bring souls unto Christ. I feel like one of Helaman's strippling warriors who "entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty" of the people in Charlottetown... to "protect [them] unto the laying down of their lives," who "would fight in all cases to protect the [people]... from bondage."
And I testify that every member has entered into that exact same covenant: to fight to keep God's children out of bondage from the adversary.
Once we understand that we are in reality fighting a battle, it's important to understand that battles are meant to be DIFFICULT, but that God loves us and is on our side.
In the Old Testament, there is a story that illustrates this principle in 2 Kings. Syria is fighting a battle against Israel, and Israel keeps foreseeing every move Syria makes. Israel wins battle after battle. Discouraged, the king of Syria finally decides one of his men must be a spy for the other side, telling Israel all Syria's battle plans. But the king of Syria's servants tell him there is no spy, but that "Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the King of Israel the words that thou speakest."
The king sends his army to capture the priophet Elisha. "Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by at night, and compassed the city about."
Elisha's young servant then wakes up and sees that "an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots." The young servant says, "Alas, my master! How shall we do?"
Elisha answers, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
The young servant must have thought Elisha was crazy. He saw the king of Syria's great army surrounding the entire city with their horses and with their chariots, and he saw he and Elisha--without even anything to defend themselves. They were hopelessly outnumbered.
But then Elisha prays and says, "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see."
The scripture says: "And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
The entire mountain was in reality covered with the Lord's angels. Because the Lord takes care of His children.
I think of all the times when the Lord has "opened the eyes of the young woman" and helped me to see clearly the big picture. I KNOW that there are legions of angels on our side. I know it. I've felt it.
This week especially, as we've had a RIDICULOUS amount of opposition, there have been several times when I felt like it was time to take a moment and kind of break down... The pressure was so much I thought I'd crack. But I couldn't. The Lord strengthened me. I don't know if you've ever experienced angels strengthening you, but I have on my mission. I don't know everyone who's praying for me back at home, but I sure felt those prayers strongly this week. There's no other way to describe what I've been feeling recently.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned over the past 9 months or so is that the Lord takes care of His children. We have the Almighty God and His angels on our side. I know it.