This was a crazy week and emotional roller-coaster! That is the hard part of missions...all of the emotions.
Sister Wilson and I had a great Halloween. We had Zone Training on Halloween. It was over exact-obedience, the Atonement, and humility. It was very spiritual, and I was able to receive a lot of personal revelation. After, we went to our ward's Chili Cook-Off/ Trunk-or-Treat (surprise, surprise). It was pretty fun! I am still trying to get to know the ward. Albert and Wesley came. The ward has been so great with them! Albert's girlfriend, Thelma, came and her son, Harry. It was Harry's first time to trick-or-treat. It was so cute!! Albert and Wesley felt famous with everyone talking to them. I think it was great for Thelma to warm up to people in the ward. I could see her being baptized one day, especially is her and Albert end up together.
So...Saturday was a crazy night. We show up to Albert's apartment, where we normally teach them. We had this lesson planned all week with them. We were going to teach them the law of tithing. We showed up and no one is there. That has NEVER happened. Because Albert does not work, he is always home. We tried calling him and it said "this user is no longer taking calls." I started FREAKING out. Earlier in the day, I had been telling Sister Wilson how I will not believe they are getting baptized until they are literally in the water because in my last area, "golden" people would just fall off out of no where. I have just been so nervous. I need more faith! So anyways, I am freaking out, like oh my gosh Sister Wilson they are gone...we will never see them again. I was assuming the worst. We finally got a hold of Mohammed and he said he was on his way home. Side note...he got kicked out of his apartment. He was living with his Muslim family friends (he used to be Muslim..as you can tell from his name), but they kicked him out because he is getting baptized. So sad. He is now living with Albert and Thelma on the couch until he gets his own apartment. So, we had a member with us and we all went inside to wait for the others. Wesley shows up, but no Albert. We started talking to Mohammed about how he has been. He seriously has been going through so much lately between working all the time and getting kicked out. He says to us, "I don't know if I can be baptized on Nov 8. I am not going to do it. Things are too crazy, and I don't think I can live how I should after baptism." Alright, I am going to get very personal and let you in because this experience taught me so much. I did not handle it right AT ALL, but I learned a lesson. So, when he said that, my heart sank. I just started crying. I could not think. I could not talk. I just stared at the wall. I have never felt so terrible in my whole life. Here was Mohammed who knows the gospel is true, loves it, and I have been able to see it change his life and he says he cannot be baptized. I was devastated. Sister Wilson and the member tred to talk things out, and I just sat there just crying, not saying a word. He saed to me, "Sister Hickman, please stop crying. When I see other people cry, I cry. I know you think you wasted your time on me, huh? I know you think you could have been doing other things." I said, "No, Mohammed that is not what I think at all. I would never think that." Poor Sister Wilson is trying to hold everything together for us. She explained to him how as missionaries, we put EVERYTHING into them. Our whole life out here revolves around our investigators. She then says, "Mohammed, do you have the faith to find an answer from Heavenly Father?" She then tells him we are going to pray and then he needs to open to a random page in the Book of Mormon and just read it. Another side note: This is how she found out her answer to go on a mission, and I always tell her that the Book of Mormon is not a genie and does not always work like that!! It can, but not always. We cannot control when and how we get answers from Heavenly Father. So, at this point, I am freaking out like, please please open to a verse where he can find answers...
We pray and he opened to Moroni 10. She asked if anything stuck out to him. He read Moroni 10:32...talking about "coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him...." He sat there and thought. He said..."I need to be baptized. Things are so hard, and I do not know how I will do it, but I know this is what He is telling me. I need to follow Christ and be baptized." I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!! THAT WAS A COMPLETE MIRACLE!!! He found his answer in that scripture and was more confident than ever that he needed to be baptized. He said there is no turning back now. The Spirit was so strong. WE all testified and the lesson ended well. As I reflect back, here are a couple things I learned. I am the missionary and my purpose is to HELP...I HAVE TO hold it together. Seriously, if Sister Wilson had not kept it together...Mohammed may not be getting baptized Saturday. Also, as I was crying and trying to pray, I realized I was thinking about selfish things like "Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong?" This is not about ME, but I was thinking those thoughts. Towards the end I was just getting frustrated because I KNEW it was Satan getting to him, trying to convince him and tempt him to not do what he knows is right. I am sorry that was so long, but I wanted to share it because it was a miracle this week. Mohammed and Wesley are getting baptized this coming Saturday and I CANNOT WAIT! We are all so happy. I have never seen them so happy. They announced it in church, they met with the Bishop, and everyone is so excited for them. My Mission President and his wife have been wanting to meet them, so they came to a lesson with us after church. We taught about eternal marriage. It was a neat experience! They are hoping to come to the baptism. Wesley and Mohammed were glowing all day Sunday. I truly have never seen them full of so much joy. Especially Mohammed. He has been struggling with trials being thrown at him, but his faith is growing.
So, Albert in all of this. You have to be living the law of chastity at least a week before baptism, so although he is sleeping on the couch, they are still under the same roof. So, he cannot be baptized til he moves out. He is devastated and is determined that he still is. We told him last night the situation and he kept responding "I will be baptized November 8." We are worried he is just going to go marry Thelma this week. We are praying hard for him. We will see how it all plays out.
|At the Church Halloween party with Thelma, Albert, Wesley, and Harry!|
|Sister Wilson and me on Halloween! It has finally gotten colder here. Tights are my new best friend :)|
I am sorry this is so long, but this week I learned so much. I have to be humble to be able to be an instrument in God's hands. Saturday night, I was just so upset about what was happening. I come off tough, but I seriously have such a tender heart! I'm not kidding!!! My heart is totally in this, and I was just so scared. It was funny because after that experience, Mohammed told me I am no longer "Zoe" (the head) because I cried and was weak hahah. I have been praying a lot for strength for me and for them as they go through this week before their baptism. Satan attacks hard right before baptism. I cannot wait for Saturday to see Wesley and Mohammed enter the waters of baptism and make that covenant with Heavenly Father to follow Christ. I still cannot believe we have had this experience of teaching them. It has all happened so fast, but they were sent to us prepared. They truly are a miracle. And hopefully Albert will be able to be baptized by the end of the year.
I love you all! I am catching up on my writing, but I am a few weeks behind. Thank you for your love and prayers!!!
P.S. Next week I will have BAPTISM pictures!!! EEEKKK!!!!! I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for letting me be apart of their journey into the gospel.