Monday, September 29, 2014
So this week was an absolutely crazy emotional roller coaster and I cannot begin to describe how hard it was... and I honestly don't have the emotional energy right now to go through all the details but I'll try to get you the overview.
So this whole week was dedicated to preparing Maria for baptism and we went over often. Once we brought Sora Piper and they got along well. On Tuesday she said she only smoked 4 cigarettes that day and she was planning to be off on Wednesday. Well, she opens up completely and tells us about her husband in jail and we ask if she would be okay with us going out to see him and she thought he'd be so happy to see us and tell him we were baptizing his wife. So we talked to a friend to have him help us get into the jail to visit her husband, and he needs to ask her some info to get us in. So he calls and talks to her and it ends up she isn't able to contact her husband so we decide to leave it to next week.
Well, we go to see Maria on Thursday and suddenly her whole disposition has changed and obviously something is wrong. She tells us that the person who was helping us get into the jail said to her over the phone, "We don't want to give the government the wrong idea. Do you believe you are getting baptized into an American Church and that you'll receive a monthly packet or money by being baptized?"
She was very upset by that. We talked to her a bit and she said she still wants to get baptized, but she doesn't want to do it with that pain in her heart. We understood and we tried to help her understand that he is not a member and we have only love to offer her and the church is still true. We called the Elders over to give her a blessing and Elder Boydstun ends up interviewing her for baptism and she passes. We give her time to think over whether going through with her baptism for Saturday or not is the right thing to do. It was a very emotional night.
Friday she said she was going to her son's grave, so it was perfect chance to let the spirit testify to her. She said she'd call us after, but she never did. It turns out she went to her niece's and wasn't at the grave very long.
Saturday morning we go to see her, still holding onto a little hope the baptism will still happen, but ready to make last minute changes. She basically tells us all is lost, she won't come to church anymore. There is now a hostile environment and a complete 180 from the light and love that we used to get from her.
I have never seen or heard of any story like this before, and I still can't believe it. We bore solid testimony, tried resolving the conflicts in her heart, and did everything we could, but in the end God's answer was that this is just not her time, and she's going through a really painful and dark period right now. It was so hard, I never thought a mission was anything like this.
We canceled the baptism, but worried about some members showing up without being able to get word. We put on an activity (without the help of the Elders and all we wanted to do was go home and forget it.) It was a really difficult weekend and I cannot begin to describe the difficulty and emotions that came out of it.
I've dealt with a lot of really hard things on my mission, I'd say this is definitely in the top three hardest weeks if not the hardest. Forget everything else I've gone through, the pain of seeing her fall so hard is enough alone to make me want to give up. Now, of course I'm never going to give up. And especially not with Maria. But by the end of this week, I was ready to run away and forget it all.
I do know it's all in the Lord's plan, and I do know that all things are for the greater good, and I do know that no effort is wasted. But this weekend I had to allow myself to grieve for the events that led up to now. Never losing faith or hope, however to be honest my courage suffered a bit.
This next week will be a rocky pickup for me, but if anything all of this has given me a fiery determination to prove everyone wrong. Maria, the Elders, Satan. He thinks he's won. I've been reading in the war chapters of Alma and I feel very much in the heart of a very serious and vicious kind of war. Of course, we win in the end but there are still many scars that come out of it. Maria's suffered a pretty serious battle wound and it'll take a lot of time to heal. But I never knew how much something like that would affect me so much, as well.
I'm sorry this email is much different than any other I've ever sent, but man I've learned a lot this week and feel I've come a very long way down a road that I never knew existed or imagined that I'd ever have to cross. And it's not very beautiful. I've learned a lot about the world, darkness, evil and Satan. And with all of this is the contrast how much heaven, light, love and Christ make up for it in measures incomprehensible.
In less words, it was all very bittersweet.
I do hope and pray everyone has a good week and success in their endeavors, even if the success is unseen in the present or even in this life. Because we do know the turnout of this war, despite the wounds and heartaches of the passing into the light provided for us by the everlasting love and mercy of the Son of God.
Sora Nicole Smith
Posted by Aurora at 4:17 PM