This week was so great! Getting to call Christmas morning and then see everyone later on was so fantastic. I'm so grateful for all of the amazing people I have in my life. I am so blessed with incredible family and friends. I felt so loved! THANK YOU!!!!
After I talked to you guys, Sis. Lemmon talked to her family. So some background on Sis. Lemmon. Her mom was a stay at home mom. When Sis. Lemmon started going to high school her mom got a job at the school. Sis. Lemmon has never had a job. She's never done her own laundry. When she went to school she went to Snow College and came home every weekend. She completely and totally has relied on her mother for everything her entire life. And she knows it. So being on a mission (and having me for a companion...) has been a bit of an adjustment for her. It has been really hard for her. So when she finished talking to her parents she kind of had a breakdown. It wasn't good. So I've been trying to help her through that for the past couple days. then on Saturday morning I'm getting ready for the day. Sis. Lemmon comes up to me and says we need to talk. I'm still really worried about her at this point and I'm not quite sure what is about to happen. She said, "tell me the reasons why I should stay on a mission." My heart broke. But then I felt the spirit. I was reminded of just a few months ago when I found myself asking that same question. I was able to bear my testimony to her. I told her that she needs to stay because she is going to find someone who needs what she has. She is going to be the one to help someone walk into the waters of baptism, and when you are sitting there watching someone that you have worked so hard with to get them to that point every disappointing, heartbreaking thing that has ever happened on your mission is worth it. All of it is worth it for that one small, short moment. As I was saying these things I was reminded of some Book of Mormon scriptures that outline our baptismal covenants in Mosiah 18. Mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity to bear testimony and to keep my baptismal covenants and be there when Sis. Lemmon needed me. That morning in my personal study I re-read Elder Holland's conference talk, "The First Great Commandment" (everyone please go re-read this!!!!!) and it was something that Sis. Lemmon needed to hear. The Apostles wanted to go back to their old life after Christ's death, but when Christ came back He told them no! He told them that He had called them to His work, and that they could never turn back, that call was supposed to have changed their lives forever. Christ needs disciple and He needs them forever! Our devoted discipleship and service to Him is how we show our love for Him and our gratitude for what He has done for us. As we discussed that article the spirit was so strong. It was an unforgettable experience. I told her that she should call President Vellinga, that he could counsel with her and help her make a decision. So she did. I am so grateful for that man. He is phenomenal! She ended the phone call by telling him that if she ever called him again saying she wanted to go home that he had to tell her no. She is so awesome! She rededicated herself to this work and decided to not give up. She is so strong! I can't even imagine how hard this transition must be for her. But I know she has been called here by a prophet of God for a reason. I know we all have been. And I'm so grateful that we were able to go through this together, it strengthened my testimony and helped me have a stronger desire to do this work.
So after all of that on Saturday we went to work and were blessed so much! We found a new investigator and were able to contact some great potentials! We definitely saw the hand of the Lord that day! It was grand. A day I will forever be grateful for.
Sunday we had a great church service. Sis. Lemmon and I taught the 5th Sunday lesson in 3rd hour. It went really well. We had a good discussion about the truths that we have because of the restoration of the gospel and how our lives would be different if we didn't have them. We then compared that to the lives of our family and friends who don't have the knowledge of the gospel and how we should want to share it with everyone because of the difference these truths have made in our lives. It went well. I can never tell how these members receive things like that. Hopefully they like it too... But I loved preparing the lesson. It gave me a chance to think about how my life would be different if I didn't know things like: God is my loving Heavenly Father, the true nature of the Godhead, the priesthood has been restored and I can receive blessings, and have ordinances performed so that I can return to live with God, what my eternal potential is, that families can be together forever, that I have the Holy Ghost that can help me receive personal revelation, that there is continuing revelation today with modern prophets, that God has a plan for me, that Jesus Christ came to the earth and suffered and died for me so that I can be forgiven of sins - HOW FREEING IS THAT? - and so many more things. How blessed is my life because I know these truths that are of eternal importance. The gospel gives our lives structure and purpose. I think that my life without these things would be sad and would feel pointless. I NEVER WANT TO LIVE A LIFE WITHOUT KNOWING THESE THINGS!!!! I love being a missionary and getting to help people receive this knowledge and getting to see how it changes their lives. I can not wait to come home and be a member missionary and help the missionaries back home with this! More than anything else on my mission I have learned what it means to truly be a member of this church and what kind of responsibilities we have as covenant people of Jesus Christ! (you guys need to read the First Presidency message from the December Ensign!) anyway... After church sis. Lemmon got pretty sick and we were stuck in our apartment the rest of the day...
But things are going really well. It was a rewarding week. I love those weeks that you can look back on and smile. This was definitely one of those weeks.
I AM SO FLIPPING EXCITED FOR REX TO GO TO THE MTC IN BRAZIL!!!!! I was reading an Ensign and there was an article of MTC's around the world and it showed a pic of the one in Brazil that Rex will be going to and I completely lost it! I could see him there with his suit on and that name tag on his heart and just knew that he was going to be changing lives, his most of all. I am so proud of him and what he is doing! I have heard from a lot of people that he was a total stud giving his fairwell talk! I BELIEVE IT! He is totally prepared.
EVERYONE WRITE HIM AN EMAIL BEFORE HE GETS TO BRAZIL SO THAT WHEN HE HAS HIS FIRST PREPARATION DAY HE HAS TONS OF EMAILS AND FEELS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY LOVED BY EVERY HUMAN BEING IN THE WORLD! seriously. do it.
I love you and all and am so grateful for all of you!!!! - Sister Chapman