From: Joseph Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: February 22, 2015 at 9:16:19 PM MST
I don't feel like I should be emailing you every day, but that's what
it feels like because all last week feels like one day and here I am
again at the library.
This week was a roller coaster of emotions.
Having recommitted ourselves to the fundamentals we began to feel the
spirit hasten the work. Elder Shelton and I feel like we've built our
missionary work foundations on sand. We've over complicated it all and
now it's time to get back to basics.
On wednesday we had a trade offs.
I went with Elder Osmeni from Albania. We had a great day. The
highlight of the day was a lesson taught over the phone. Our
investigator called and left a message saying that she wanted to talk.
We had found her as a potential my second week here and have gone by
consistently once a week to follow up if she had read the book of
Mormon that we left the first time. She finally had last week and we
committed her to pray.
We began speaking on the phone and I asked her
about her prayer. She said it was awkward and that she didn't feel
anything so she quit. I didn't quite know what to say but the spirit
guided me to ask inspired questions. I asked her what she was praying
for? She replied, “For nothing. I just talked and it was weird." She
didn't even ask a question.
I began to ask her how committed she would
be if she got an answer. She replied that she'd follow the answer. I
asked if she would go to church and be baptized. She finally realized
that honestly she didn't want to give anything up to know God. I told
her that this knowledge is worth more than anything else in this world
and it doesn't come cheap. You have to be willing to act. She wanted
what she called "quick and easy”.
I told her you have to do something
extra if you wants something extraordinary. She agreed. I said, “Madaleine,
you know what’s extraordinary? 9am church for three hours."
The spirit spoke without me even thinking I promised, “Madaleine, you
will receive an answer to your prayer if you come to church this Sunday.
Will you come?" The phone was silent. Then eventually she said
“OK, I'll be there." When I hung up I was so pumped! It was an amazing
experience and I couldn't wait for Sunday to come.
On Saturday Elder Bednar came and gave us a conference. He was so
funny and different from how I would have thought. It was astounding. On
our way back we got caught up in Sydney traffic trying to get to the
mission office for some supplies and then later back home. We still
had an hour and a half to go at 9:30 at night. As we were driving I
began to feel sleepy as my companion drove.
I decided to check the
phone and I saw one new message. It was Madaleine. "Hi guys, I've
decided I don't want to go to church to tomorrow and I don't want to
go forward with reading the book or the prayers." Stunned I lay my
head up against the window and starred at the stars in the night sky
in painful agony asking myself over and over again, "Why?". Too
exhausted from the trip to cry and my mind running too quickly for me
to fall asleep I just lay there thinking.
We got home a little after 11 PM and staggered into the flat. I got
ready for bed then I kneeled down to say my prayers in the dark. As I
prayed I began to sob silently so that nobody could hear. Tears fell
from my eyes and dotted the floor. I was encompassed in spiritual
agony that I'd never before felt. "Why?" I thought, “would God let me
feel this way. Punch me, hit me, but don't let me feel this pain.”
Soon the answers came. God feels this way all the time when his
children disappoint him. I'd only met this lady and he has known her
forever. If I felt that bad then how would he feel? But to God, paying
that price is worth it. It was the price he knew he'd have to pay to
give his children all that he had. Our agency or freedom to choose
means that God weeps and soaks his pillow with his tears also. But he
also shouts for joy each time we choose to let him bless us.
The growth I've experience in 20 months is worth more than the entire
world to me. I hope I can give something back. I thank all of you for
the ways that you have touched my life and helped me to grow. So small
and so weak, but still people love me. I've have truly been broken.
Love Elder Weiss