This has been the week of the monster roller coaster. I experienced my highest-highs, and lowest-lows this week. But what I can say. More than anything, my testimony was strengthened.
The first part of the week was kind of a bust. We had to go to Utica for some meetings, then we spent many a day at the Otego County Fair at the Mormon Booth (not a very successful idea I might add). I thought I would throw down this information because we got some lovely photo's that I thought you may enjoy...
The big drop of the roller coaster started Friday night. We went to visit one of our dearest investigators along with the many other members of her family who have been coming to church and have been solid investigators. Anyway, we went to teach her and... basically she had gotten into some pretty bad Anti stuff. Basically every non-true negative thing you can imagine, she threw at us. She told us we were brain washed... She yelled at us and told us Joseph Smith was a false prophet. She called us liars... it was rough. When we left, both Sister Smith and I were bawling. I'm not going to lie, it shook us hard. I honestly felt like my heart was broken. We felt so lost. Our faith had been shaken. We felt terrible that she had allowed Satan to take over, and we felt even more terrible that we couldn't change her mind, that we couldn't answer her questions. I felt inadequate and... lost.
But we kept going. We prayed that we could feel comfort. That we could continue in faith and that we could be strengthened.
The next morning we needed to go to Oneonta to fill up the baptismal font (yay) but we were still feeling pretty down. Our mission leader came to help us. When he came he gave Sister Smith a blessing and talked to us about what had happened. The comfort and peace I felt was overwhelming. I think of the story of Alma the younger where he talks about his serious pain and distress, then he grabs on to the thought of Christ and his joy is full. Is was just like that 180. I really gained a testimony that Heavenly Father gives us trials, not to make things harder or to hurt us, but to give us a chance to grow our faith. Trials are there to strengthen us. I know that because of this experience I will be a better missionary in the future. I also learned that if not for the hard times, we would never appreciate the good.
That night we had the opportunity to see our dearest Grandma Dorothy be baptized. It was the best thing I have ever seen. The spirit was amazing and I really KNEW that this church was true. I KNEW that Grandma Dorothy was following Christ, and that she and her family were being blessed. I can't say I take any credit for her faith and baptism. I still feel inadequate, but I know that through the power of the Holy Ghost and through Christ I can do all things.
I know Heavenly Father is there for us, even in the darkest of times. I know that because of Christ's atonement, because he walked alone and suffered for our sins and pains, we do not have to.
There is so much joy in this gospel. There is so much peace and happiness. I know it.
I love you all!