Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"I know I need to live it. I just don't want to"

*Editor's Note: While the story below is true, the investigator's name has been changed.

SAN DIEGO — For today, I just wanted to tell you two things that have been on my mind. The first is about our investigator, *Suzy.  Suzy is an investigator I have been teaching since the summer. We have had a lot of ups and downs together, and let me just say nothing has changed!


February 26, 2012

It is amazing the highs and lows you have as a missionary. I suppose that is just life really. Looking back on my journal, I know that many of these pages are filled with the success and triumphs as well as failures and disappointments while teaching Suzy.

I can still remember the first time I taught her with Sister Nelson, I had no idea what she was saying, and frankly, I don't think she did either. As I fast forward in my mind, I can see the night that Sister Kennington called me as we were on exchanges practically squealing that she had just taught Suzy the Restoration, and all she could say was, "I get it. I get it. I get it!"

I fast forward again and clear as day I can see the light growing brighter in Suzy's countenance as she prays, reads, and agrees to live the commandments.  Then the moment we taught her the Law of Chastity leaps off the pages of my memory — I can still feel the disappointment, and the sadness as Sister Kennington and I realized that she was not willing to change, I can still hear the words, "I know I need to live it, but I just don't want to".

Again, I fast forward to yesterday and there I was, sitting in the teaching room at the Battalion with tears spilling down my face as I recalled the conversation we had just had with Suzy just a few days before about choosing this day whom she would serve. She had made her decision not to follow Heavenly Father, and there I sat staring at the cell phone, knowing that God expected me to account to her for her decision. My heart broke as I dialed her number, as the message machine picked up, and as I had to leave her a message telling her that because she chose not to follow Heavenly Father, there was nothing Sister Kennington and I could teach her that would matter if she wouldn't follow God anyway.

I struggled with myself that night. We had been fasting for Suzy. We had been praying for her. Studying for her. I knew I could not doubt God, for if there is one thing I know without a doubt. HE KNOWS BEST.

This morning came, and I struggled to have high spirits, for the sting of her decision was still weighing on my soul. How could she not choose Heavenly Father? I was in my own mind, thinking about that as we were driving to church as I looked down, and my breath caught. The screen on the cell phone was blinking: incoming call-Suzy. I answered the phone, thank goodness she could not see my face, for both Sis Kennington and I both had mixtures of curiosity, dread, and pure excitement on our faces.

She told us that she was in the church parking lot and wanted to know where we were.

I can't explain entirely the lesson I learned this week. But that does remind me of the second thing I wanted to tell you that I learned this week.  I was watching the church DVD called, "On the Lord's Errand" the other morning. It is a biography of President Thomas S. Monson. There is one comment that President Monson said that has had more impact on my mind than I ever knew could.

I probably won't be able to say it as good as he did, but I will give it a try. He said, " I want to be the kind of person that the Lord can turn to me and say, "I can ask Tommy, he will run my errand."

I have thought about that a lot this week. I think of the people that I can rely on to help me with the things that I need. I also think of those that honestly I wouldn't ever ask, because I know they would let me down. What kind of servant am I? What kind of servant are you?  Are you more focused on doing what you want in the way that you want at the time that you want? Or are you the kind of servant that has given your will to God. A servant that your Heavenly Father can turn to and say, I can ask (so and so), they will run my errand? Think about that. I know I have, and there are some things I need to change in my life.

Prayer is real. God is real. And He can only give us power according to our faith.

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