Dear President Sweeney,
This past week has been so crazy. It has probably been one of the most emotional weeks of my entire mission. I seriously feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster! I think I’ve probably felt every single emotion possible this week. It has been really hard, but on the other hand has been so rewarding as I trust God that everything will work out. And it has! Everything has worked out. We witnessed some pretty awesome miracles this past week. And a lot of discouragement…
So on Tuesday, we met with Roderick’s mom for like less than a minute. We had been trying so hard to get ahold of her all week so that she could sign his baptismal paper so he could get baptized. And let me tell you, it has been so stressful! She answered the door half asleep and we asked if we could come back and talk to her about his baptism and have her sign the papers. She agreed and said that we could come on Friday. So we went on Friday and she was sick. We were really worried that it wasn’t going to work out. We had been trying so hard to figure everything out and when that happened we were crushed. Roderick didn’t seem to care and we began to doubt that he even wanted to be baptized. I felt so broken. I wanted more than anything for Roderick to be baptized. I knew he was ready, I knew he had a testimony, but Satan was working so incredibly hard to stop this baptism from happening and I let it get to me. I just kept praying and praying that everything would work out and that this baptism would happen.
On Saturday, we tried again to see his mom because she was feeling better. We went in the afternoon, and she wasn’t home. We talked to Roderick about it and he said we just barely missed her. He didn’t know how long she was going to be gone. He asked if we could move the baptism back again. I was not going to let Satan win though. I knew if we moved it back again, this would keep happening and he would never get baptized. I would hate for it to not happen just because of a signature that would only take a few minutes to sign. So we talked with him to find out if it really is his desire to be baptized tomorrow and if it is, he needs to take a stand and let his mom know how important it is to him. He said, “ok, my mom is going to sign it today. I know she is.” So we left and told him to call us as soon as she was home. It was still so stressful. Everything was depending on his mom’s signature. We did everything we could. We talked to him, prayed, called and texted his mom, stopped by, but it just wasn’t working out. I was so worried it wasn’t going to happen. I began to get really discouraged.
I went into my room, and looked at a picture of Christ and prayed, “Heavenly Father, I will do thy will. Please help me to know what it is and I will do it. Help me to know if Roderick is supposed to be baptized tomorrow.” After the prayer, I felt peace. I felt good about it and I felt like he was supposed to be baptized the next day. As we went about our day, I was still so worried about it. It just seemed like we weren’t going to be able to see her again before the baptism. I continued to worry and doubt. Finally, Sister Hess and I decided that we need to stop worrying about it and get to work! We need to trust God that he will take care of it. So we labored diligently and that’s when we saw miracles. We decided to stop at the park to talk to 2 young adults that we saw. As we approached them, we realized that one of them was Nathan-the guy we talked to in the park a few weeks ago that told us he had tried to commit suicide several times. We had been trying to meet with him, but he wasn’t returning our phone calls. He told us that he lost our number and he wants to meet with us again. He also told us that he started going to a Christian church which is a huge step from when we first met him. His friend that was with him is named Tara. I asked her if she ever wondered what the purpose of this life is and she said, “I wonder that every day.” So I shared Alma 34 with her, “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God…” She said, “I really like that. I might actually read this book!” We told her she could have it. It truly was a miracle.
After that awesome experience, we got back in the car and called Roderick. He told us that his mom was home and she said we could come over right now to sign the paper. We were so excited! We rushed over there as fast as we could. We talked with her and she signed the paper. She told us that she would come to the baptism and she has been interested in learning more about our religion because her son is so interested in it and it has made him so happy. BOOM! Another miracle. We couldn’t believe it! We had so much doubt. We almost cancelled the baptism.
Sister Hess and I realized that God was trying to teach us an important lesson. And that is to trust Hm. We knew it was going to work out, but we let our doubts, fears, and worries get in the way. We stopped working as hard and let ourselves get discouraged and stressed out. The minute we decided to put our trust in God and get back to work, we witnessed miracles. It was amazing. I also learned from this whole experience to be patient. God will allow things to happen in his own timing. I just needed to trust him and be patient that everything would work out.
We also are confident that our zone has been praying for us.🙂 I don’t think we could have done it without them!
On Sunday, we had the most incredible day. Roderick came to the stake center to watch the Sunday morning general conference session with us. After the first session, we had his baptism. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. We had worked so hard and exercised a lot of faith, and now it was all worth it. It was one of the most amazing baptisms I have ever been to. There was so much support from the ward. The room was filled with people that were excited for Roderick and ready to welcome him into the ward family. You could tell that they really wanted to be there for him and support him. His mom came and was so touched by the spirit. Everyone went up to her after the baptism and told her what an amazing son she had raised. She was crying and you could tell that she wanted to be apart of it. The spirit was so strong at his baptism. I don’t think it could have gone any better. Sister Hess and I know that now it is our responsibility to make sure he remains active and faithful in the church. We are going to do everything we can to make sure he doesn’t fall away. I love Roderick like he is my own brother. He is an amazing kid, and the faith that he has as a 15 year old joining the church on his own is incredible. I am just so proud of him and so happy for the decision he made to join the true church. It has been the best week ever!