Over the last month and a half Brandon and I have had the opportunity to work with the missionaries in teaching a young mother about the gospel. The missionaries tracked into Angela one Saturday after we had them over for dinner. Angela lived in our building with her 3 year old daughter and her boyfriend. She was at a crossroads in her life where she was looking for something more and thought religion was the answer. I was lucky enough to tag along to all the discussions. Last Saturday Angela was baptized!! I can't tell you how excited and happy I am for her! I wanted to share a few things I learned through this experience.
I have never been on a mission and have never have had many opportunities to help teach the gospel to an investigator. I was very nervous that I would not know what to say or how to answer her questions. During discussions the missionaries would ask me to bare my testimony. Then as I would be hanging out with Angela she would ask me some pretty tough questions. I was surprised at the words that would just fall into my mouth. I now realize that it is not the person or the words that matter in preaching the gospel. The Holy Ghost is the most powerful teacher and testifer. I will also never forget the spirit I felt as Angela prayed aloud for the first time or when she bore her testimony for the first time.
I also began to really understand how faith is the first princle of the gospel. I grew up in the church and have taken for granted my testimony, beliefs, and how I live my life. As I sat in the discussions I tried to put myself in Angela's shoes. What would I think about faith, prayer, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, prophets, the law of chastity, or the word of wisdom if I was hearing about it for the first time? Would I believe any of it? I was amazed at the giant leaps of faith Angela took as she learned a principle and then would chose to apply it into her life not knowing from previous experience the happiness it brings by living that principle. Things that seemed so simple to me would require her to make huge life changes. I was constantly surprised by Angela's faith despite all the resistance from family and friends.
I also learned a lot about my own faith. The missionaries challenged Angela to be baptized on a certain date. That date came and went with no baptism. There seemed to be too many obstacles standing in her way making baptism seem impossible. The missionaries then challenged her to a new date of May 30. While we were in Cancun, Brandon and I would talk about if we thought Angela would be baptized on that day. I expressed my doubts and we both agreed it probably wouldn't happen. Then to my big surprise I had a message from Elder Livingstone on my phone when we got back. It pretty much said, "A lot has happened while you've been away. Angela wants to be baptized on Saturday and she would like you to give the closing prayer at the service." I called Brandon at work and said, "You will never believe what has happened!" I felt so humbled knowing my doubts had overshadowed my faith. How did I not have enought faith to know that everything would work out? I learned that with God nothing is impossible.
I am so grateful for the joy of missionary work. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ restored church on the earth today. I am so happy to have been able to see a friend come to know of this truth.