Darkest week of my life.
I have to start though by saying that Joycley's baptism is still on! We actually moved it to this Sunday the 15th at 6:00PM. She is so ready it is actually insane. We went through all of the lessons this week and formally committed her to live all of the commandments and she not only said yes, but is living them so righteously. On Saturday night we had a movie night and watched the long temple square version of the Joseph Smith movie, she showed up with her grocery stroller because she went shopping on Saturday to keep the Sabbath Day holy. I was so proud. On Sunday it was so fun to watch her go around and invite everyone to her baptism and ask them to give talks. She is going to be SUCH a solid member of this church and the Branch loves her so much. She has been so prepared in her life to live this gospel, and I am so excited to watch her make this covenant Sunday night :)
Oh and she asked us to sing. Why these people keep asking this of me, I have no idea.
That is GREAT, HAPPY news, so I should have just been on cloud nine and skipping down the road singing children's hymns, right?
Wrong, the adversary had to have a go at me first.
Somehow throughout this week A TON of anti-mormon, anti-christian, false doctrine, deep doctrine stuff came up. Things I had never even heard of or thought about or cared to know honestly. It was literally day after day this entire week of bombardment with these kinds of things. And I can promise you we did not go looking for it. It found us.
Needless to say, My faith was shaken up like never ever before. I was so confused, and was walking around the whole week just kind of FREAKING out to be honest that I had ruined my life by going on a mission. Dramatic, je sais. I knew the only intelligent option was to just keep moving forward and working and praying and trying, and that I couldn't just quit. But my heart was so far from everything and I couldn't testify without feeling like a liar. I was three seconds away from making the call to come home. Thankfully, I have had FAR too many prayers answered to EVER deny that we have a loving God who hears us, so I continued praying hard to Him to know what I should do. But nothing happened right away...
Sunday we showed up at Church, and in all seriousness EACH and EVERY one of my questions were 100 percent answered without me asking a SINGLE one of them. One answer came on the bus on the way to church where one of our Elders, who knows way to much about the most random stuff, randomly started talking specifically about the topic that had shaken us up the most. One answer came in an inspired sacrament meeting talk about the Bible. One answer came as we ate dinner with the Motulai Family and Joycley that night and President Motulai gave Joycley advice and counsel that I selfishly felt was directed more towards my struggles. One answer came in a Priesthood session conference talk I read that night. But all of the answers came in the form of heart warming spiritual confirmations that God loves me, Jesus is the living Christ, that the fullness of the Gospel has been restored on the earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and that the Book of Mormon is true.
I cannot tell you enough how RANDOM and seemingly coincidental each of these were. Seriously. I am CONVINCED that there is no such thing as coincidence, just God.
Now, I feel a little (lot) silly that I ever let myself feel so down over these things. It is SO clear that it was the adversary. Stupidly clear. I KNOW that he doesn't want Joycley to be baptized, and I know that he wants to ruin my life. I have been taught all my life that that things like this happen to people who are preparing to take their life to the next level. I don't know why I was surprised that it happened to me. But now I certainly know that I am converted to this Gospel, and I know that I have seen and felt too much to ever walk away from it.
My advice to anyone that has struggled with something like this (in the words of President Motulai), "Don't let something you don't know for sure, get in the way of something you do know for sure." There is always a reasonable way to doubt anything that is faith based. That is the POINT of faith. But seriously, it is always more wise to doubt your doubts, and remember that you cannot always take "logic" at face value either. This church really is filling the earth, as prophesied, and I hate to break it to you, but you walking away, or me walking away, or your family walking away, or my family walking away is not going to stop it.
I can bear you my witness that I know that this is true. Every claim we make, that Joseph Smith saw God the father and Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon is a book of ancient scripture comparable to the Bible, that worthy ordained men have the Priesthood power to baptize, confirm, organize and ordain in Christ's name, and that we have a living Prophet Thomas S. Monson who directs this church according to what the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells Him, is TRUE aka. it ACTUALLY happen/is happening.
It seems too incredible because it IS almost too incredible to comprehend. All I can tell you is that if your not a Mormon you should be, if you are a Mormon, but your sitting on the fence, you should stop lying to yourself and make your choice whether to be in the world or of the world, and if you are a Mormon and have a testimony of these things you better get over yourself and open your mouth and share it.
I know that this experience has made me into 100 times better/ more consecrated of a missionary. It really has changed the way I look at this work. I know that I am doing the right thing. I ONLY feel good. All of the confusion is gone. I seriously wish I could share with each and every one of you the joy that is in my heart. There is no better feeling in the world.
I love you all so much, I hope this helps anyone who is going through hard stuff like this. I also hope that this doesn't encourage anyone to go looking for proof that this is wrong. I can only promise you that by doing that you are asking for a lot of trouble and sorrow. Take my word for it.
I love you all so much!!! Please keep Joycley in your prayers this week, she needs em! We all do. :)
Love love loveeey love,
P.S. Soeur Foster and I totally had one of those "Did we just become best friends?" moments this week. Hahah (TV version, clearly) I'm going to miss her so MUCH!! I can't believe this transfer is almost done.