Monday, August 4, 2014

Considering Evidence (Bayley)

​So earlier this week we were having a discussion with one of our recent converts about that whole "enduring to the end" thing, and all about the changes he is making in his life.  And he asked us how we felt about clubs, to which we responded tactfully that what really mattered was about how he always needed to have the Spirit with him, and what he should ask was if the Spirit could go into the club with him - to which he responded "He can if he's got an ID."
And that's Humble for you.

I love it here.  The area has had a recent slew of solid convert baptisms - which means we have some wonderful recent converts to work with, but also a pretty dry teaching pool - which means we are busy working hard to fill it up!  So most of days consist largely of awkward street contacts, good ol' Texas heat, and then of course dinner every night - seriously, the members are so good about feeding us here, so props to all you people at home for keeping the missionaries fed there because I'm definitely seeing the direct correlation.

Earlier this week I got to go to Spanishland on exchanges with Hermana Williams - Sister Bolton and I have a whole zone of sisters to work with so we get to go on exchanges every week.  I love Spanishland exchanges, partially because I get to learn Spanish, partially because Spanish contacts are seriously the nicest people ever and even if they have 0 interest whatsoever in the restored gospel they will still give us food and water and say really nice Spanish things (at least I'm pretty sure they're really nice).  The highlight of the exchange may have been the pet cow we saw in a person's front yard lying behind the "Beware of Dog" sign.  True story.  I love Texas.

A major highlight of this week, however, was certainly having our little mini missionary with us - Sister Potter.  And yes, I did insist on saying her name in a Malfoy-voice all week long, though sometimes I preferred to introduce her in a more Snape-like manner: ""  Mini missions are brilliant - and this particular stake does them for a whole week basically.  We picked her up Tuesday evening and she stayed all the way till Sunday evening.  What an amazing opportunity for the youth to truly experience missionary life.  And we were so blessed to have her with us - she had such an incredible excitement about the work and was seriously the funniest person I've ever met.  At one point we were in a lesson with a couple of recent converts and the husband turned to her and was like "I'm sure you've gotten this before, but you remind me a lot of Rebel Wilson" (that may or may not be the right name - mission veil is a real thing) and his wife was like "Who is that?" and he goes "You know, Fat Amy" to which his mortified wife responded "DID YOU SERIOUSLY JUST CALL OUR GUEST FAT AMY?" And in trying to cover it up, the husband turned to Sister Potter and was like "I'm so sorry - I didn't mean that.  And your name isn't Amy, is it?" and she responded "No, and it's not 'Fat' either."  Haha!  It was so funny.  We will certainly miss her here, and know that when the time comes she is going to be such an incredible missionary.

Another highlight of this week was the opportunity I had to return to Pasadena to see CeCe get baptized!  It was so amazing to get to go back and to see her finally enter the waters of baptism.  She has been through a lot to get there, and when she finally was baptized she started crying and, in bearing her testimony after the baptism, told us that there is no was to describe the most wonderful feeling she had coming out of the water.  That, my friend, is the Spirit, and to see people feeling it and recognizing it is truly one of the greatest joys of the mission.  Returning to Pasadena was wonderful too - something my mission has done to me is really just break my heart up into little pieces and leave it scattered around - in Colorado, in Lake Charles, in Pasadena, and now certainly here in Humble.  These places where I have served have become sacred ground to me, and I know that they will forever be, in some way, my home.

Last thing.  One thing I've recently become a bit obsessed with is the notion of "absolute faith" - the kind of faith that is such complete and utter trust in God and in His power that He cannot withhold any miracles or any blessings from you.  The kind of faith that enabled the brother of Jared to see the finger of God, the kind of faith that enabled Nephi to build a boat, the kind of faith that enabled Joseph Smith to be visited by Our Father and Savior, the kind of faith that moves mountains.  How can one possibly develop such faith?  In his talk "Every Missionary Can Baptize," Elder Featherstone discusses how important it is that we take an accounting of the EVIDENCES God has given us - evidence that He is real, evidence that he works miracles.  And when we remember all these evidences and keep them in mind always - our faith is strengthened by our gratitude and acknowledgement of the hand of God.  

So, obviously, I've been thinking about evidences.  And there have been plenty of evidences that I've seen on my mission - Rhoda, Anabelle, Kristy, Eva, Sis Paris, Mary, LaVenia, and CeCe, to name just a few - but I've come to realize that God has shown me evidence long before my mission.  He gave me my family.  He allowed me to grow up in the gospel.  He gave me the friends I have.  He gave me righteous influences.  He gave us all the Book of Mormon, he gave us all the sacrament, the beauties of the earth, he gave us such evidences down to the smallest things like strawberries and sunsets and Colorado mountains.  And what is the purpose of each of these evidences?  Every one, I believe, is evidence of a loving Heavenly Father, and evidence of the Plan of Salvation.  And as we consider the evidence we've been given - as we internalize the evidence and come to realize that those around us and even ourselves are evidence of His perfect knowledge and capacity - *that* is how we can truly begin to develop absolute faith and trust in the person who gave us EVERYTHING to help *us* do all as well.

Love yall,
Sister Bayley Enright

 ​Our mini missionary - Sis Potter, then me and Sis Bolton. vunderful people.

 ​CeCe got baptized!!!

​Me n' Hermana Williams on exchanges

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