Monday, April 6, 2015

Conference, Baptism, and SPRING!!

Wasn't conference SO GOOD??? Like why do I need to write anything else about this week? It was pretty normal (because normal now means crazy), and it was so great cause Roneld got baptized!!! This whole letter is probably gonna be about yesterday haha. 

Roneld's baptism was sooo special. The culture here is a lot different during meetings. It's really loud. There were a lot of non-members there and every time someone said something good everyone would be like "amen" or "hallelujah" and they would clap after the talks. Sorry but I was dying. It was so funny. It was very good, her family was there to support her even though they aren't members, and they were all crying as she bore her testimony after she was baptized. Her daughter is like 2 and seriously lost it when she went under the water. She was screaming and crying cause she didn't know what was happening to her mommy. That was kinda funny. There were 80 people there and it was seriously ridiculous. We had a potluck after and that was pretty different too. No one brings salads or vegetables just stuff like ox tail and rice and beans and tea (awk haha). As we were watching conference I was seriously staring cause there were so many white people in the conference center. That's something I really love about this Ward in particular. It is so diverse. There are many different ethnicities and personalities (haha but seriously) and it is good practice in trying to understand where people are coming from, figuratively and literally. 

So this past week...I feel like every day of my mission I have has at least one clarifying moment in which a situation I am in testifies to me of the truthfulness of the gospel. Sometimes the situations are very funny. We were on the bus on the way to a lesson and we're trying to share #becausehelives with everyone we possibly could. I shared it with a lady who told me she is a pastor for her church. She seemed more concerned with reciting her resume to me than watching the video. That's okay, we are here to listen to people. She told me of her degrees, her accomplishments, and her qualifications. She casually mentioned that she holds the Melchezedick priesthood. I was like "hold WHAT??" She was like "yeah, I have the priesthood!" I was like "oh really, and who gave it to you?" She proceeded swiftly around the question by telling me about another degree she was getting in humanities. I didn't want to bash, but I really was curious where she got her so-called priesthood from so I asked again. She gave me an awkwardly blank stare and said "this is my stop". That was one of those such moments where I knew that our church is truly God's true church on the earth because we have the priesthood and the power and authority to act in God's name, and although I don't hold that priesthood I am so grateful I benefit from every single blessings it offers. This moment was also a time in which I pondered how people can be so misled when looking for truth. Satan will distract and deceive all he can to lead them away from the truth. If we honestly seek for truth I know we will always find it. 

Let's see, some more highlights were helping our Ward Mission Leader fix his deck and making dinner for their family, service at prospect park again, and sharing the Easter video with everyone we could. We did especially well with it one day. We shared it 10 times on the way to a lesson! That afternoon we went to an elliptical designed to share the video some more. It started off really well, before we even got on the train I shared it with a family of 4!! After that I'm not sure what happened, but we attempted to share it with almost 50 people and every single one of them rejected us. I was so confused, IT'S EASTER!! Why don't people want to see a video about Jesus Christ?? As we went home that night I realized that maybe I was supposed to feel a very small part of what Christ felt as He suffered for us. I have no idea what it was like for Him, but I do know that I am so grateful I can experience a small part of rejection or hardship...we can learn so much from our trials. I am so grateful for the hard things that have happened on this mission, I used to think people were so weird when they prayed for trials, but I understand now why they do so and I have found myself doing the same thing.  

One thing I especially loved from conference was one of the talks from Saturday, the speaker talked about how we must become the masters of our bodies, not the servants. It really reminded me the training we had on our iPads and I had the thought that maybe we were given technology to practice having control over something, and if we can gain control over our use of it we can better gain control over our bodies. I have this weird thing where I like to study words because it helps me understand how they relate to each other. Two I got really interested this week were "disciple" and "discipline." I think it's safe to say that we can't be a true disciple unless we are disciplined in keeping the commandments and following Christ. I feel that the best type of discipline stems from a deep love for our Father and His son, our Savior. Missions are such a blessing in the way that they are the practice round for obeying, committing, and bringing forth the works of true discipleship. Sometimes I wish I could be out here longer because I need more than 18 months of structured practice! But something I've learned is that we should not measure ourselves by how close we are to being perfect. We should measure ourselves by how much we have improved. I love what President Uchtdorf said: "Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience." Our progress depends on how much we rely on the Savior. I'm so grateful we have a living prophet and that we can receive personal revelation today. I love this gospel!!
Thank you for your love and support, I couldn't do this without you.
Sister Wadsworth

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