I am continually amazed at the miracles our Father in heaven performs in our lives if we have the FAITH necessary to make them happen!
This week, Sister Thomas and I had a lot of failures but also some of our greatest successes. One of the days this week we had almost everything on our schedule not work out. It was rough, and we were both feeling a little frustrated with ourselves. So, that night we determined that the next day would be the best yet and began a fast. We fasted the next day and by the end of the day, we could see all of the blessings that came our way because we sincerely desired to do our best and put that desire into action!
One of the biggest blessings that has happened thus far on my mission happened yesterday. The little 10 year old girl that I have been teaching for the past few months (since I arrived my first week in E-town) was baptized!! It was so humbling to look back and see how the Lord worked in her life as well as her mother's life, so that all of this could happen. Athena is the name of the little girl I was able to teach, and her mother is an amazing woman. She has been through SO much in her life and simply wants more for her daughter. I was able to bear testimony over and over that I KNOW this gospel will help Athena achieve that happiness that her mother desires for her so greatly. Also, because of the openness of their relationship, Athena is able to see the choices her mother has made and been able to recognize that she can be better, that God can help her be better.
The most amazing part about this whole experience with Athena and her mother, is that there is so much working against them. They are moving later this week and just about everything that could go wrong for them in preparation for the move has gone wrong. So, Athena was feeling tense going into yesterday and it was very apparent how nervous she was to be baptized. Sister Thomas and I asked Athena if she would like to pray with us before we head into the Relief Society room for the baptism to start and she said yes please. So, we went into an empty classroom and knelt down to pray. Little Athena felt so nervous that she couldn't collect her thoughts and asked if I would pray for her. I said a simple prayer asking Heavenly Father to give her peace and comfort. Afterwards, I felt prompted to ask her if she would like to say a prayer in addition to mine. She timidly said okay, but asked if I would help her. What I would say, she would repeat. Towards the end of the prayer, instead of giving her a line to repeat, I said, "Now tell Him how you feel," and she said, "I feel scared." Then I continued, "Tell Him how you want to feel..." and she said, "I want to feel not scared about being baptized." We ended the prayer and went into the Relief Society room. As Sister Thomas and I led little Athena back to the steps where she would enter the font, she turned around and gave us a big hug and whined a little, making us very nervous that she was going to decide this wasn't something she wanted to do. But she turned around and took the hand of our bishop and went into the water. When she came up out of the water, she turned around and smiled at us. As soon as we wrapped her up in a towel and led her back into the restroom, she said, "As soon as I got in the water I was totally fine!" Sister Thomas and I just beamed at her and each other. Heavenly Father answered the prayer of that little girl, and helped her feel peace and comfort because that is a decision He wanted her to make. :) That was such a wonderful experience!
I feel so blessed to be serving in the Elizabethtown area. This ward is amazing, it smells like brownies all the time because of the MARS factory 2 miles(ish) from our apartment, everything is green, I have a wonderful companion, and most of all - I know that the Lord wants me here because there are people here who need to learn of Jesus Christ from ME.
I love you all so much!! I need to give a special thanks to my adorable little cousins David, Ammon, Sydney, Katelyn, Seamus, Layla, and Genevieve(sorry I'm not sure how to spell it haha) for sending me those special pictures and letters. They are pasted on my wall above my bed :)
p.s. Pictures: Little Athena and I at her baptism, me posing in a random person's yard one day while tracting because of the random group of ducks waddling around (so goofy but reminds me of the turkeys in MI), and just a goofy picture of Sister Thomas and I one night after planning - I think we were really excited for the next day! haha LOVE YOU!!!!!