Monday, December 23, 2013

No Doubt

I'm so excited to hear about the Childs! They are going to be such a great mission president and wife. Mission presidents has such a big effect on missions, I can't even begin to describe all the wonderful ways President and Sister Holm have helped me and blessed me. It's a huge responsiblity, but they're going to be great.
Speaking of how mission presidents have an impact on their missionaries, President Holm had an interesting revelation this week that's really made our lives exciting the past few days. We had zone conference on Tuesday, which was really fun, as I'm sure you saw with the pictures and skits on Facebook. We also got to watch Ephraim's Rescue, which is an amazing movie. But anyway, on the way back to Columbia after zone conference, President Holm had this impression that every single companionship in the Greenville North Zone had someone they needed to baptize by the end of the year.
So he told the zone leaders and they told us. We found out on Wednesday, which gave us ten days. Since we didn't have anyone on date for the rest of the year, we had 10 days to find someone to put on date and get them baptized. I have to admit, at first I was really skeptical. I thought there was no way we could do this. But then I thought about how much I trust my mission president, and more importantly Heavenly Father, and I decided that I wasn't going to doubt anymore, that I was just going to have faith that this would all work out. And so we went right to work. We looked through all our investigators and former investigators and found all the ones that have been to church at least once and then we went to go see them and invite them to be baptized.
And the first day, we had absolutely no luck. No one was home. The next day we were supposed to have an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders. I woke up not feeling to great and by the end of companion study I had a full blown fever, but was freezing cold. But one of the Sister Training Leaders was also sick, so the two of us went to their apartment and slept all day, while Sister Rowley and Sister Paxman went and tried to contact all these people. They were finally able to talk to some of them, but none of them wanted to be baptized. I still wasn't feeling well on Friday, so we stayed in during the afternoon, but we went to the ward Christmas party that night and I was able to get a blessing there, which was really helpful. Also, while we were at the party one of the former investigators we'd been trying to contact called us and said she'd watched all of general conference, loved it, and wanted us to come over. So we're going to see her tonight.
We've talked with everyone and invited everyone that we possibly could to be baptized on the 28th, but none of them have accepted yet, so we're really praying this meeting tonight goes well. It's been a really crazy week. I don't think I've ever been more stressed on my mission, but I also don't think I've ever worked so hard and been so bold. We just haven't had time to beat around the bush with people. And no one has been offended when we've asked them to be baptized.
That was the thing that concerned us most, was that we would scare some of our investigators off by inviting them to be baptized so fast. But nothing bad has happened yet! I'm just really grateful for this experience, because it's really changed how I feel about inviting people to be baptized. When we left zone conference, I was thinking a lot about that, wondering if I really had the faith to invite people to be baptized, the faith that they would stay strong and active in the church and the faith that the ward would help them and support them. Well, after the past five days, I definitely do have that faith now.
Another funny thing that happened last night. All the missionaries in our district went to downtown Greenville, which is the cutest city ever, to go caroling. We ended up standing across the street from this building with big glass windows. There was a huge tv in there, and you'll never guess what show came on- Larkrise to Candleford! I couldn't believe it. It was a little distracting :)
I'm very excited to talk to some of you soon. Don't worry about Christmas presents, Grandma Terry's is already here, and the zone leaders will be getting the rest to us on Christmas Eve, so as long as it's in South Carolina it will get to me by Christmas. I also got a present from Sister Marsh and Brother Bobby Harris. She told us they'd ordered us Christmas presents before he died, but she hadn't gotten them by the time I was transferred. Getting that present almost made me cry.
Merry Christmas,
Sister Rudy

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