Monday, December 1, 2014

The Scars That Never Healed 12/1/14

Dear Family and Friends,
This week has shown that in the midst of miracles, there is always an opposition. Yet, when on the Lord's side, that opposition can be defeated, but nobody said it was ever going to be easy!
Our investigator, Michael chandler, went home for thanksgiving in Jefferson with family and friends. We inoculated michael and told him that Satan knows his weaknesses and will do anything in his power to stop michael from progressing towards baptism. Each time we visit michael we have to inoculate him and strengthen him. Well Michael told us saturday night that he felt so ashamed of himself, and he doesn't know if he'll ever be forgiven because he doesn't know if he can get over this weakness of his. During thanksgiving when he was with family and friends, he had a relapse with some drugs, the first time in several months. He said after he did so, he regretted whole-heartedly his decision, and wanted so badly to be clean again. What broke my heart the most is the sorrow and pain you could see in his face, and he told us that he's been contemplating on suicide, wishing he could just end 49 years of misery. I've had many challenges and heartbreaking times on my mission, but Michael's words broke my heart the most. He explained that his past has left scars in his life that will never be healed. In the meantime, I was an emotional wreck and I was praying fervently with more power than I ever have for what the lord would have us missionaries say and do to help Michael in this very moment. And when he commented on the scars in his life, it hit me like a light-bulb. We all have scars in our life that can never be healed by us, but there is one person who has scars in his hands and feet who has chosen to keep his scars, just to prove and show that ours can be healed through his miraculous atonement. Those weaknesses of our can and will be transformed into strengths through His atonement. It all just depends on our faith in ourselves and Him. I also share with Michael my blessing I received when I was set apart. In it, they said that I would reach out to the lonely and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I know I was sent here for Michael, he is that one who is lonely that I have been called and sent to. I've never seen such a desire from anyone, to be clean from their mistakes and to have a new life, greater than Michael's. There is a reason why we have to visit him daily, and we have to devote alot of time and attention to him, he needs the strength. Those 2 days we didn't see him last week and he wasn't in a safe environment was dangerous for him. I am so grateful for the atonement. At the end of his lesson, it was a transformation in him. He was his normal self, eager and excited for December 13th, and he gained back his determination to stay strong and have faith in himself, and more importantly in his Savior. 
When we got home that night, I broke down again, and explained to sister Ngo that being a disciple of Christ is by far the hardest thing I've done. There is a cost and burden to being a disciple, but I will gladly bear His cross. Because even when we feel that extreme sorrow and that depth of humility, we will have a greater capacity to feel just as much joy and gladness. The atonement is that powerful to transform us. Moments like this on my mission are definitely worth it!
Also, yesterday our ward had sacrament meeting and the third hour combined focus soully on missionary work. We had our ward sustain the new ward mission plan, and you could just feel the spirit of excitement for missionary work! I have loved serving in Monroe and laying the foundations for this great work. It has brought so much joy to see the changes here. I would gladly serve in an area that needs building up again;) Its hard work, and it takes time, but its worth it. And whoever comes here this next transfer can not be a slacker and must be a hard working missionary, because this ward deserves no less! They're getting excited about missionary work, and the missionary needs to be excited too. 
WE had a great thanksgiving too! I almost forgot to mention it haha. We ended up having 4 dinners, but sis ngo and I only ate samples at each meal, we tried to pace ourselves. It didn't work, we were still stuffed. 
I hope ya'll enjoyed your thanksgiving too, now we're transitioning to christmas and i'm so excited! My favorite time of year. Happy holidays and remember who loves you most!
After the Thanksgiving feast

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