This is my last Monday in the mission field! I arrive home Tuesday, October 27th, 2015.
-While driving, we felt prompted to go and talk to a lady who was taking out her trash. We drove around to find a place to park and she went back inside her home. We knocked on her door, and she didn't answer. We continue to tract until the very end of her complex (which was about 5-6 doors)... when we got to the last door, a man answered and he was surprised to see us. He told us that he has ran into us three times. Sister Brakey and I didn't remember. He said he had one of our cards that we gave him (The 'Because He Lives' card). He told us, "Hold on a minute," and then he showed us the card in Sister Brakey's handwriting. "Yup, that's my handwriting!" And she told him that since he has ran into us so many times, that God is telling Him that [he needs to meet with us.]. This experience was pretty neat!
Ciara and Skye got baptized! Each baptism was very unique, and I loved being apart of both of them.
Ciara's baptism was precious! I felt bad that the font didn't get filled up all the way, though. We filled it up an hour before and the water was shallow. Luckily, Ciara was able to go down all the way in the water. She was beaming, as well as her mom, and family members. Ciara has set a great example for the rest of her non-member family and siblings. So far, only her mom and her are now members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (I can give more details on this later!).
Skye was my last baptism - it was such a great way to end my mission. Almost the whole ward at sacrament meeting flooded into the Relief Society room. There were so many people, and some were even standing in the hallway. The spirit was strong, and there were so many tears. When we asked Skye if she was baptized, and if she wanted to be baptized, I had no idea how long she had been wanting to be baptized. This meant so much to her family that her grandmother, with her special sewing machine, sewed both sets of Missionaries who have touched sky on a handkerchief; the vision of this handkerchief was for Skye to take this to the Temple when she is [sealed to her husband for all time and eternity] (if I remembered correctly). All sets of missionaries were here: My companion and I with the Goldsboro 2nd Elders , the Goldsboro 1st Elders and Sisters, and the Goldsboro 2nd Hermanas (spanish).
When Skye's Grandpa was there to baptize her, he got so choked up - he has told us before that he felt honored that he got to be the one to do that for her.
My companion and I got to speak on the Baptism. I tried so hard not to cry, but I did when I bore my testimony about the Holy Ghost and how this world is so dangerous that we need this protection
Testimony: There is so much to say, with very little time. I truly know that this is the true church that has been restored on the earth in these latter days. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior; I know that this missionary work is real and I know that it is so important to serve with all heart, mind, might, and strength. I know that even though I have weaknesses, the Lord can make up for what I cannot do on my own. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and I know that he has been called of the Lord. I don't doubt it for a minute. For anyone who is considering if a mission is right for them, it is. Go and submit your papers now. If you have a desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.
I love knowing that in order for us to know how to make right choices, there has to be opposition (2 Nephi 2:11). If we lived only in happy places, or made sure we never have to encounter the world, that would defeat the purpose of why we are here in this life (to grow in strength of our Character and to also show to us and to God that we will follow Him, and his Son Jesus Christ). Although it is good to stand in Holy Places, and to do wholesome activities and be with wholesome friends who can uplift us, without those moments of trial when someone offers us something we shouldn't do, or being around someone who doesn't hold the same standards and we have to make a decision, those moments ARE truly what tests are character. We cannot - ever- check our religion at the door, as Elder Holland has put it many times before. When those trials arise, turning away from Satan is what we need to do.
-When friends/a group invite us to watch a rated R movie, we say no.
-When someone says, "would you like a cigarette?" we say no.
-When someone suggests us to wear immodest clothing, we say no.
-When someone starts swearing, we politely ask them to keep it to themselves, because swear words dull our spirituality and offend our spirit.
. . .
Anyways - I love this work. I love being able to teach people about the gospel, and about Christ. I love watching people grow in the knowledge of the gospel, and how it has truly changed their life for the better. I love watching people change and glow after they have been baptized.
I love being companions with great people.
I love serving.
I love watching myself grow as a better person.
"My dear brothers and sisters, if we look at ourselves only through our mortal eyes, we may not see ourselves as good enough. But our Heavenly Father sees us as who we truly are and who we can become. He sees us as His sons and daughters, as beings of eternal light with everlasting potential and with a divine destiny."
For any of those who have denied the existence of God, Jesus Christ, or any of the LDS beliefs...
have you prayed about it?
With a sincere prayer, God will answer you.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
-Sister A. Marshall