Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Lord Wins Again 1/20/15

I'll be honest... This was probably one of the toughest weeks of my mission. I realize that most of my emails sound so upbeat and positive, and honestly this one will too because missionary work is that awesome, but this work really is hard. I was called to be a Zone Leader, which means I am in charge of leading, training, and inspiring 40 missionaries to be the best they can be. I remember as a young missionaries, I looked up to the Zone Leaders as the standard of what a missionary should be, and now I am one. I'll be honest, I was horrified... The sense of inadequacy was overwhelming at times. I had never felt this way before, and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I felt completely alone. Honestly, looking back on it, every aspect of the work was going great, except for how I felt.

Questions and doubts have been filling my mind for the last 3 or 4 weeks and it was extremely hard to deal with. My mind reflected again and again about how my dad taught me that God is looking for those that will work when they don't want to, and that's what we did. What I couldn't understand was why I couldn't feel the spirit, especially when this was the hardest I have worked, and the most obedient I have been my whole mission. How could Satan have so much power over me that he could fill my head with these feelings of doubt, guilt and inadequacy when I am doing my best to follow God. While I fully recognize how foolish this experience is, I feel like the lesson applies to everyone. I had a talk one night with Elder Jeppson, who went through a very similar thing at one point in his mission.  At one point of deep discouragement, he went to where he could be alone, knelt down, and cried out, "God where are you?" He said it was the first time he had ever actually heard the spirit speak. Into his mind came the thought, "Elder Jeppson, this is your time to shine." When I heard this story, immediately the story of Job came into my mind. Why did Satan have so much power over him when he was doing everything right? Because Job needed to learn something about Job. It was his time to shine and his time to grow. The Lord wants to see what we will do when we feel like he isn't there, and if we hold out faithful, we will recieve the blessing. 

Will Robinsons baptism was scheduled for this week. He was interviewed and ready to go, but I get a call from Houghton Lake the morning of the baptism to tell me that it wasn't going to happen. That was pretty much the last straw for me. "Are you kidding me???" I thought. This was the 3rd time on my mission that an investigator was within days of baptism, and it cancelled at the last moment. I was seriously about to snap. Apparently, his parents got into a HUGE fight over Will being baptized and ended splitting up. I can only imagine how Elder Johnson must have felt to be 18 years old and be called to solve this kind of major family dilemma. I was very frustrated and angry, and I went into my room and prayed. All I could ask was why. Why is this happening again. Why am I feeling this way. Why does it feel like I am talking to my bed spread. I just remember, (unfortunately) saying, "Father, if you are there, please help this baptism come through. Will needs this in his life. Please don't let this happen again." I calmed down after a little bit, but for the next two hours I was on edge waiting for updates from Elder Johnson, who handled it all like a champ. He called me about 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave that the baptism was still on. Oh what joy and marvelous light did I behold. 

Elder Johnson was able to reconcile the family and save the baptism. What a stud. We arrive right when it starts, only to find out that the font wasn't filling. There was a leak in it or something. To quote Elder Johnson, "Satan is going hard on this one!" We managed to fix it with some wax paper and everything worked out. The service was wonderful and it was so incredible to see Will and is family (members and nonmembers) there to see him make that covenant. It was an incredible experience. I love that young man! He really is a little brother to me! 

The feelings of inadequacy and guilt didn't go away all at once, but on Sunday in sacrament meeting, I felt impressed to go through the week and list out every blessing I had recieved that week. As I did so, I recieved a testimony of the lyrics of a him. "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. The Lord truly was with me all week, though I didn't see it at first. Life is good :) Things aren't perfect still, but honestly, life never has been haha At least now I have the assurance that things will get better if I keep doing what I am doing :) I am thankful the Lord gave me Elder Jeppson. We could not be more different, but all we do is laugh and work. I love the ward, and I love my zone. I love everything about the work, especially because it's hard. It messes with your emotions, but man is it worth it because it always ends in joy!

God bless you all!

Elder Wheat

Wills baptism :)

Elder Jeppson

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