I've learned it's all about love. Everything we do in this life should be motivated by our love for other people. When we sincerely love others, we overcome our fears and our doubts and our struggles...and life is so much easier and so much happier!
This week I've really been striving to have true charity for others. I don't know how Christ did it, but His entire life was completely for other people. He did nothing to serve Himself. He taught pure and simple doctrine to help people become better. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I have the responsibility to teach others pure and simple doctrine, encourage them to be better, show faith that they can change, and stay right by their side as they do so. We have been given all the tools we need to do that, and the most important tool is the Spirit. It's amazing!
One of my favorite investigators to teach, I'll call him J, is preparing to be baptized on October 5. We taught him about the Sabbath Day this week, and when I asked him if he would keep the Sabbath Day Holy he held up his copy of the Book of Mormon and said, "Yes I will!" He entertains everyone at the institute with his magic tricks and his jokes--he is one of the funniest people I've ever met.
We had an incredible lesson with a girl we are teaching from China this week. She only had a few minutes to meet, so we talked about prayer. She realized she doesn't always have to pray with other people, but she can pray by herself. She has told her parents about what she's learning, and they don't know much about Christianity but they are pleased that she is learning. We invited her to be baptized, and she really wants it. I asked, "Will you prepare yourself to be baptized on Dec. 21?" She looked down for a minute, looked back up, and said, in her quiet, sweet voice, "Yes." My heart skipped a beat. She truly has a desire to change and knows this is good for her. The spirit was so strong, and it truly leads people to want to change!!
After stake conference yesterday, a young man from Terre Haute came up to us and introduced us to his friend who he met the night before. He had felt inspired to stay at a different hotel than he had originally planned, and he met this woman who was going through some rough things, so he found us at the church and asked if we could teach her a lesson. We sat down with her and helped her see the blessings that can come from the gospel. She doesn't quite understand what everything means, but she knows she wants it, and she wants to be baptized! One of the sisters I went on exchanges with this week told me, "I've realized that the people we teach don't have to understand all the doctrine we teach them, they just have to feel the spirit so that they have a desire to keep the commitments we leave them so they can change!" It is so true, it's all about the spirit!
Well, we continue to see miracles. This area is just booming and I feel so blessed. There are so many people who are prepared to receive the gospel. We just have to be willing to open our mouths. It's scary every time, but it's worth it. The spirit knows best.
Love you all so much. Happy fall!