Monday, February 24, 2014

I KNOW why I'm here

I can't even begin to tell you all how much your emails mean to me! I can really feel everyones love! And I could really feel it all this week also! Just know that I love each of you and you are all SO AMAZING!!! I pray for you all constantly and love each of you!!(:

On another note, this week was a REALLY good week! It was one of the needed weeks. It totally reminded me why I was here, why i LOVE being a missionary. And let me just tell you , I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I was talking to some of the missionaries going home and they were talking about their homecoming talks, and I was thinking that I can't believe I am going to reach my 8 month mark his week. I have less than a year already! I am almost half way! Totolo saraga! I can't even tell you how fast it has been. And this week was just a reminder of how fast weeks are and how hard we have to work. So let me start with my... heavenly fathers hand in missionary work... story. The Singh family! Mom, this family is that family that I am here to share the gospel with in Nadi. I have loved them from the beginning. We have been through a lot with them. But after this week, I have really been able to see how much Heavenly Father prepared them for me and Sister Koto. They have been having that problem with Tea drinking. and they have to quit for a week before their baptism. Well we have their baptism planned for about 3 weeks ago now. Tea has been a constant problem. After so much fasting for their family and praying and even some tears to Heavenly Father about what to do, we had one of those lessons that you just can't deny was the spirit. We went with 2 members, who are return missionaries and they have both befriended the kids, monika and Ravi.. (Who by the way is like my little brother that I have never had..) anyways, the lesson was just a normal lesson, but the spirit this time was different. It was so powerful and just had a different feel. It was really good, and we were all able to feel it! But, unfortunately, they still wanted their tea they couldn't do without it. But the moms baptism is this week and she has already given it up. She was able to share with the kids her testimony and after that I knew the kids would be sold. But.... having their Agency... they said they can't fo without tea. You can just imagine our disappointment! But, we were still positive, you have too being a missionary! haha! Anyways, fast forward to yesterday! We had a missionary fireside! It was so good! We watched the restoration and played a little game and had a few speakers. It was a lot of fun and we talked Ravi into staying for it. So he did! And after I was talking to him and a member. He just asked us "Wjen can I get baptized?" We kinda thought about how we should respond and he said the thing that every missionary loves to hear... "I am ready" and of course me jumping up and down inside just had a huge smile on my face and he said "I realized I want to go on a mission, and i can't do that without getting baptized right? So I want to be baptized." I turned to him and said "You'll be baptized on Saturday with your mom and sister and you'll be able to go on a mission!" and then just said ok and that was the end of it! I just wanted to hug him because I was so excited for him! haha So weel after week after week of trying so hard to get them to be baptized, they are finally getting baptized this week. And they are MORE than ready for this gospel in their lives.

Something else I have learned this week is really how much agency sucks as a missionary! Haha. Mom, your email this week was like everything I have been dealing with and all those questions have been things that I have pondered. I read Lehis dream about the tree of life and that is where the whole agency idea came in my mind. And I have decided that Agency is one of those beautiful heartbreaks. It is such an amazing thing but it is also the worst thing. I have come to the point with some of our investigators, less actives and just people we talk too on the street, where I just wish I could give them my testimony. I love these people here so much I feel like Lehi calling out from after partaking of the fruit and the ones he loved in the darkness and still wandering! But something I have learned is that, their choosing to be in the darkness. All that I can do is do what I am doing. And all you can do is keep doing all you guys can to help these people who are choosing to wander. One of our investigators is a religion called Bohai. I am not really sure what it is but she believe in everything and something I learned from teaching her. Was that there are a lot of different churches that have truth in it! I remember going to church with Deanna one time and feeling the spirit. But, as we were teaching about the apostasy I made an analogy about the church.. so here... imagine the gospel of Jesus Christ as a glass cup. and when Jesus, the apostles and the proophets died, no one is there to hold the cup up, all these different people tried to pick it up. All these people would have a little bit of truth to it. But Since it was Jesus' church he was able to restore the "lost" peices. And he was the ONLY one who could. Thats why the Church of Jesus Christ is the only church that has all the pieces. The only church that has all the truths. When I explained that to her, she believe it. And I believe that too! So what I have come to personally believe, is that these other churches aren't wrong. They have truth in it, and Heavenly Father lets them be here so people can be prepared for the fulness of this gospel. And thats why he has missionaries and members. They are able to share that with others, so we can give them the missing pieces to their broken cup. Which them made me think of the atonement and the savior saying.. if it be possible let this cup pass from me... but how can we let him take our cup from us if it has holes in it. Everything just makes sense. Oh, I have no idea if any of that made sense to you, but it did to me this week. And it all goes back to your agency. The choices YOU make. Heavenly Father has a perfect timing for everything. Through our agency we learn. Through our agency we grow. IT is the hardest thing as a missionary to see people not use their agency correctly, but it is such a blessing he has given us... ok i''m done ranting.. haha

Anyways, this week had a lot in it, We had a lot of let downs, but also a lot of good things happen! It was a week that reminded me why I am here and why Heavenly Father needs me to be here! I am not ready to leave Nadi... and I hope I never do! I love this place, and these people! In like 2 weeks I will have been here for 6 months!!! I am praying I don't get transferred! haha

Well I love you all! I LOVE reading your emails! You are all AMAZING! Remember that the missionaries can't do this work without you! SO.. mom i want to challenge you and the family to go and befriend one less active family. Be their friend and I can promise you it will show you how much Heavenly Father loves them just as much as he loves you! Love you SO SO SO SO SO much! Keep being AWESOME!

Au lomani kemundo!
-Sister Courtney Rich

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