Monday, March 24, 2014

The Real Deal (Bayley)

This week has been QUITE the week.  Seriously.  One of those weeks where Monday comes and you look back and the last Monday seemed approximately 5 hundred years ago.  Ok so actually that is kind of how every week goes out here, but this week especially.  Possibly because of our appointment that ended up being our member calling an ambulance for our investigator who was then rushed to the ER, or maybe because of that one guy we met who told us God spoke to him and renamed him Jesus, or perhaps because of that one day where our innocent plan to try some people ended up with us comforting a hysterical girl who had just gotten thrown out of the car by her (hopefully ex) boyfriend...yeah.  More on those situations in a minute, maybe.  If I'm feeling it.  But first of all, let me tell you about how we had Stake Conference this past weekend, and they had a missionary and youth choir which sang a medley of "True to the Faith," "Army of Helaman," and "Called to Serve."  It was so amazing.  The spirit was so strong and I was grinning like an idiot standing there with my tag on, part of God's army.  And then I thought of how one day - in some far and distant future I am not thinking about - I will have to take that tag off, and I will sing "Called to Serve" without it on, and as soon as that thought came to me...well, I don't want to say I started crying, but I definitely wasn't emotionally sound for the remainder of the meeting.  With that said, I think I'm finally realizing that I'm hitting my hump day (halfway point) this transfer.  No matter how much I've been in denial and telling everyone I've been out for just a month - it's actually coming, and I am not okay with it.  My mission is seriously the best thing ever, and to think of leaving it behind breaks my heart.  So with all the love in my heart to everyone: NO MORE TALKING ABOUT HOW LITTLE TIME I HAVE LEFT ON MY MISSION, OK? Ok.  I'm perfectly content living in denial, so I'm just going to stick with it.  17 more months to go, right? Right.
Anyways - on to the whole ambulance and also crazy girl-thrown-out-of-the-car stories.  Actually, the ambulance one has already mostly been explained - this last week, our investigator Shawna started having some major medical problems and was rushed to the ER.  We visited her there with some of the elders so they could give her a priesthood blessing, and she has since been released and is home.  However she is still far from well, and if you could all keep her in your prayers that would be much appreciated.  Shawna is seriously the most amazing woman in the world, and I know she'll get through this all just fine - but it never hurts to have some extra prayers headed your way.

Now, as for my other crazy story...yeeaaahhh.  So Sister Crump and I were at an apartment complex (basically every day in Pasadena) and we heard this woman screaming hysterically.  And that's bad.  So we went to go see what was going on, which ended up being her boyfriend trying to leave her.  Except here's what it looked like - her screaming and sobbing and grabbing him and trying to get in the car, while he yelled and cussed her out and kept trying to pull her out of the car while she clung to him and yelled and threw things and then he threw things and basically that continued for a little bit until he finally managed to shake her off, lock the car doors, and then that's when she took the knife to the car trying to pry the doors open, but eventually he managed to drive off still yelling really not nice things while she chased him down with a knife still sobbing hysterically.  Yes, yes indeed.  Words don't manage to quite capture the whole thing, but you can try to envision this as you will.  It was so, so, so sad.  We went up to her and sat with her and told her that she was a daughter of God, which made her just cry harder.  We prayed with her and took her inside (after helping collect all the bits and pieces of her phone which were all over the concrete - don't know who threw it, him or her) and left her with our phone number after talking some more about how she has a Heavenly Father who really loves her, and doesn't want her to be treated like that or to feel like she does.  It really broke my heart.  So many people here don't realize who they are - they don't realize that they are children of God, of a loving Heavenly Father who cares about them SO much.  If only people realized that about first themselves, and then about those around them, there would be so much less hurt and sadness in this world.  That is something I've seen a lot on my mission - people who are facing such sadness and such pain that I really have no idea what it feels like.  Sometimes I ask myself how I can POSSIBLY help these people, but the truth is - we can't.  Me, I'm just 21 years old.  Kinda clueless about a lot of things with perhaps the exception of useless British history trivia.  I was blessed to be raised by two parents who love each other and love me and my siblings.  I have brothers and sisters who are certainly punks at times, but who I love and who I know love me.  I grew up knowing I have a Heavenly Father who has a plan for me.  For so many of these people out here - I really cannot at all empathize with their situations or pain or have any idea how to help them through it.  Honestly, most of us missionaries can't at all.  But we're not supposed to be able to.  Because there is someone who can - that is where Jesus Christ comes in.  That is why it is so, SO important that people come unto Him because He and He alone knows EXACTLY what they feel and EXACTLY what they need to do to find healing.  Our purpose as missionaries is not to help these people heal, but to show them to Christ so that *He* can heal them.  Gosh darn it, that's not just the job of full time missionaries - but of EVERYONE who has found Christ - who has a hold of that restored gospel that so many people don't know about.  One of my favorite quotes of the week is from President Thomas S. Monson: "the mantle of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort, but rather a robe of responsibility.  Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God." 
I hope you all realize how serious this work is that we are involved in - not just me with my tag on, but each one of you.  Pray for missionary opportunities.  Be an example of the believers.  Love everyone.  This gospel is real.

Sister Bayley Enright

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