Ok, so There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that our baptism fell through this week, 20 minutes before it started.... We went to kevin's house to pick him up. We had his clothes and everything. All we needed was his mom's signature on the sedula to let us baptize him. He told us he was good for that day so we assumed he had talked to his mom. He left for a second, came back, no signature....... :/ NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! HIs mom came down and the first words out of her mouth were "I am not going to sign this".... Heart. Dropped. Kevin was devatated and it was heartbreaking as we watched his eyes start to water as he ran back up to the house. His mom started to talk like she wanted to fight: "he's already baptized and confirmed" "we want him to do his first communion (catholic inniciation)" and blah blah blah. ok. understandable. Then she said things I would never have expected. Time for a quick pause. Elders have been visiting that home teaching the family and kids for almost a year, but just read to find out what she told us.... "I don't understand why he needs to be baptized again. I don't even know what you guys are teaching my kids. WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU GUYS EVEN FROM????????!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!!" ummm.... WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Missionaies have been teaching this family for a year and the mom doesn't even know what religion we are from?????? WOOOOOOOWWWWW!!! Ok, so I began to explain our church "we are from the church of Jesus Christ... Maybe you have heard of the mormons?" NO. Ok, well then i explained the importance of a baptism like Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and to recieve the holy ghost. Then I said something that I have never said to anyone in my entire mission. She told me that the only thing that all churches want to do is baptize and confirm. I then said words that I will never forget. "Hermana, that's true, but the only thing that's different about our church, is that it's true. The other churches DO NOT have the authority from God to perform ordinances in the way of God. No other church is the true church of God with that power." I thought by literally telling her that every other church was performing false ordinances would make her feel uncomfortable, maybe angry, but i said what I felt I needed to. She actaully got really calm and actually started to talk to us really nicely. She was smiling and explaining that she just doesn't know lots about our religion. I told her that we would set up an appointment this week to talk to the WHOLE FAMILY! That way everyone knows who we are, what we teach, and what we do. I know that this family needs the gospel, and we are going to do everything possible to help them get it!
We are working with the older son of that same family because he has a problem with the happy green stuff. He came to church this week and we talked about Fasting in gospel principles. It was made for him! The teacher talked about the importance of self mastery and the ability for fasting to help us learn self control and get extra help from god. We also got to explain to him the priesthood because a new convert received it on sunday. After church, michel was really thinking. We told him that we would do a fast with him on whatever day we needed to help him quite smoking and prepare for baptism. He told us Tuesday! We are praying that he will be able to overcome this challenge and grow to become the true man that we know he can be!
So the reason for the title this week is actually some advice from Elder Burt, one of the zone leaders. He told us that on weeks that we don't baptize or don't have lots of success, it's because God is trying to teach us something and help us be better. He knows what we will face in the future (on the mission, in marriage, in school) and he is preparing us for those moments with the moments with live through each and every day. I can truly testify that this Gospel is true. If you want to know how I know, kneel down and ask God. He will answer you! I know that this is the true church of God and like Elder Uchtdorf said "There is a place for you here". God wants all of his children to recieve the ordinances in this life to help us be with him and our families forever after. I would just like to end with a story.
There was a mormon man, and every sunday he would go to church. Every sunday his neighbor was usually outside in the yard doing stuff and always asked the mormon man "where you headed?" The man would alway reply "I'm going to church, have a good one" Well, after some time, the non-member neighbor died, and at the funeral the mormon family was talking to the spouse. They asked her why her husband was always outside early in the morning in a shirt and tie working in the yard. She replied "he was out in the yard in a shirt and tie every sunday morning because he was waiting for you guys to invite him to go to church with you....." There are truly people who want and need this gospel in their lives. We need to be attentive and fearless to reach out and try to help all of them have the happiness and blessings we know we have recieved!
I love you all, and I honestly get SO MUCH motivation and energy from reading your letters. Thank you for being such an awesome support to me! Ok, I have to go, but know that I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Norr