We had the most incredible week this week. :) I really wish I had time to tell about all of the amazing things that we were able to see happen this week. We celebrate little victories every day. Awesome things are happening in our area. I love it. :) But because of time I think I will just share two experiences we were able to have this week.
This week we had to take our car into the shop to get some repairs done. So all day Wednesday and most of the day Thursday we didn't have a car. :) For most of where we needed to go we were ok to walk and if we couldn't walk we were super blessed with members who were willing to help us out. But Wednesday after mutual we didn't have a ride home.
|After the run home|
We figured out that we lived about 3 miles away from the chapel, and by the time we were able to get out of the church it was about 8:30p.m. Mission rules are that if you aren't teaching a lesson you need to be in your apartment by 9:00. :) We knew that we needed to go decently fast so we could get home on time. So we started running. :) We would run until we couldn't run anymore and the even then we would walk as fast as we could. We were carrying our bags and books that we needed to take home to our apartment and When we got about half way it started raining. Neither Sister Raccuia and I were wearing shoes that were made for running in the rain, so when we got home we both had sores and blisters. The whole time we were running home we sang as loud as we could. :) We found a lot of strength and motivation in some of our very favorite hymns. We sang "I Believe in Christ", "I know my Redeemer lives", "Count your blessings" and "I stand all amazed." It was one of my very favorite moments so far on my mission. :) running down the street bearing my testimony through some of my most favorite songs. We were totally determined to be exactly obedient, and I believe that it was an absolute miracle but we walked in the door to our apartment at EXACTLY 9:00!! Sister Raccuia and I were so unbelievably happy. :) We jumped up and down, soaking wet, sore, beyond excited, and so grateful. It is literally a miracle that we got home at exactly 9:00. We did everything that we could do and tried our absolute hardest to be exactly obedient and I know that Heavenly Father absolutely helped us.
I had another really interesting experience this week that I have thought about a lot. We were teaching a less active member in our ward who is going through a lot of really hard things right now. We felt that for our lesson we should talk about the Book of Mormon and how much we loved it. I bore my testimony about how I have come to know the Book of Mormon is true and how much I absolutely cherish the book.
Sister Raccuia and I both felt the spirit so strong in that lesson and we felt like it was going really well. But as soon as we finished talking she immediately starting bashing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the church as a whole, and then my own personal testimony. She told me many reasons why my testimony was false and why all the things that I love with all my heart are fake. I have never felt so attacked, little and heartbroken in my whole life. But immediately the words from Elder Holland came into my mind "Be strong. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them." So with the biggest smile. I could muster I told her that I respected what she had said and that I loved her, but that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that I had a testimony of my own. We ended the lesson and she left. I was heartbroken for her, but I found comfort in the fact that we had done everything that we possibly could have done.
I feel like the lesson that I have learned this week is that I absolutely beyond any shadow of a doubt KNOW that I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that I WANT to be serving as a missionary. I WANT to run home in the rain, I WANT to go tracting, and I WANT to be a missionary because I love the gospel with all of my heart. I know that these things are true not because I have been told them all my life, but because I have had powerful and real experiences that have solidified my testimony and have helped me come to know these things for myself. I love the gospel and I love my mission. :) I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your prayers and support. :) I appreciate it SO much. I LOVE YOU.
Love, Sister Watts. :)
p.s. fireflies are real