Wednesday, January 15, 2014

At Any Cost

Hi y'all!  Hannah's address:
231 Oakview Dr.
Double Oak, Texas 75077
Well, this week was difficult, but a different sort of difficult... looking back on it, I realize that it was a "leveling up" of sorts. It was a different difficult because I needed a different difficult to grow stronger. How many times can Sister Gunson say "difficult?" In more ways than one...

We're dealing with a couple of immense frustrations. We've asked a Part Member to "help us practice teaching" in the hopes that he will be able to listen to the spirit and begin an interest of real intent. So far... he looks forward to it, but he hasn't registered why (it's called the Spirit. Testifying of truth. Just a guess.)... Not only that, but he makes teaching-- even just practicing for the sake of practicing-- a great struggle on patience and charity. As much as we love him, it's a very stop-and-go with him critiquing things that just don't matter, like how the pamphlets are written and why we chose that scripture in particular. Sometimes, no matter how many times we explain that the Book of Mormon is a separate text from the Bible and takes place in the Americas (and tried relentlessly for what must have been 10 minutes straight), he doesn't understand. And then his member wife says everything we said in 2 minutes and he says "oh, I get it now." It's very frustrating... because I want to be humble and accept his advice but I am so agitated by his attitude and what come across to me as pride in his English lit degree that it's very hard to plaster a smile on and say thank you. HUMILTY IS HARD.

It brings up a lot of previous struggles I had in Justin. I wondered there if I would matter to anyone. And sometimes, I feel invisible. Perhaps its just a skewed perception. But Satan can create very powerful illusions.

Nonetheless, we have been EXTREMELY blessed with our newest investigator, Bradley Privette. He's such a humble man. And I know with a surety why Christ spent His precious time with "publicans and harlots." They are the ones who are willing to listen and learn and put in the effort. He spent time in prison and 4 years ago, his baby daughter was killed in a drunk-driver-driving accident. When we taught him the first lesson, we ended up stopping at the Savior's Earthly Ministry. I felt prompted that we needed to go deeper into the Atonement. So I bore testimony of the things I knew the best: Repentance is CHANGE. It's nothing scary. Maybe a little hard, but nothing we can't achieve. His rough past has allowed me to feel the spirit of my own testimony as I saw hope and thirst of the spirit shoot out of his face. I invited him to be baptized and with tears in his eyes, he said "At any cost, I want my relationship with God back. I didn't have a father growing up, God's really the only father I have. I've lost connection with Him and I need it back." We got out of there and I started crying(look out, got a sensitive sister over here). I've never been so touched by any of my investigator's acceptances.

Zach Owens remains, as ever, as "steady as the beating drum." He's going to Youth Conference, he's excited for baptism... Bishop pulled him up during Priesthood and announced his baptism for the 24th!!! WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR HIM!! He and Bradley are in the same boat. I've explained before that Zach has also had a rough upbringing. He deals with a lot of demons... but his head is screwed on straighter than mine. Teaching them both has been one of the finest honors I've been given.

It makes me think of how blessed I am to have grown up with this knowledge and hope. Literal, actual light has been present throughout my life, always within reach of taking. It humbles me to see people do whatever it takes to get what we offer. And so very rewarding. After a long week of people being frustrating... It's nice to know that the work is, in fact, progressing. And it always will.

Have a good week!
Love, Sister Gunson

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