Well let me tell you. This week has been quite a crazy amazing whirlwind of events.
I have been waiting for this to happen since there are so many amazing, prepared people getting ready for baptism all this December. I have noticed it’s usually the week before baptism that the opposition hits the hardest and this week was no exception.
As you know, Angie, Lori and Maureen were all preparing to be baptized this coming Saturday.
This weekend, we have completely not been able to get a hold of Lori and Maureen and they didn’t come to church yesterday so their baptism will need to be postponed. We’re concerned and have been praying, calling and stopping by but haven’t heard back.
Now for Angie. She experienced such strong temptation a few days before her baptismal interview, and gave in. It was hard to see how strong the opposition was as we talked with her about it the day after she gave into that temptation. Not going to lie, I felt so discouraged hearing that she took a step back and knowing that satan could have such a great influence on her.
Just about everyone we are teaching hit a similar wall this week so I have definitely been brought to my knees more than usual. I noticed that not only was opposition affecting those we were teaching but it was affecting me. I have rarely felt this challenged.
I was praying one morning about what we can do to keep moving forward.
I was reading about Christ in Luke looking for how He dealt with opposition. I saw that a lot of the opposition Christ was faced with challenged who He was and the power and authority He had. I realized satan was doing that exact same thing with me. He was making me think that I couldn’t help these people. In fact, he was absolutely right. I can’t do any of this alone. I forgot that this is not MY battle, this is the Lord’s. I am His instrument and I have been set apart by His authority to show forth His power. Satan was trying to make me to forget about the Lord’s power and think more about my inadequacies in being able to control what I cannot.
This is the Lord’s battle.
While reading,the thought came to mind “They all need a priesthood blessing”.
Despite opposition, Christ used his power and authority (the priesthood) to perform miracles and to keep moving forward.
So we are making sure to get everyone priesthood blessings and let me tell you we have seen miracles from it.
As Angie talked with us in tears about what she had done, we assured her she can be forgiven and we all make mistakes. We saw how repentant she was about this and truly felt she would make that mistake no more. We called President Dixon and explained her situation and he felt that it was still enough time for her to bounce back so she could be baptized on the 10th. Most importantly, we arranged for a priesthood blessing the next day. Angie was just beaming afterwards and said that the blessing addressed her needs so specifically and has given her strength to live the commandments. We assured her that we never told the man giving the blessing any details about her situation and she said she knew that and that she could tell it was from the Lord.
Also, this last week and a half, Addy seemed to drop off the face of the planet until we finally saw her this weekend and talked with her to identify the opposition she had been facing. She accepted the opportunity to get a priesthood blessing. A brother in he ward gave her one and then we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She texted us after the lesson saying she has never felt so good and is excited to move forward. She came to church yesterday as well! After the priesthood blessing and the lesson, we asked her to be baptized December 24th and she said she felt so good about that. The power of the priesthood.
There are still conflicts to be resolved, Lori and Maureen are still MIA and Grettel texted us saying she wants to explore other churches for a little but this week I have come to really see that God’s power is greater and opposition makes us stronger. I am grateful for opposition. I am grateful it brings me and those we are teaching to our knees. I just know it will all work out and the Spirit has whispered this to me time and time again this week.
I have thought a lot about how I felt… I felt discouraged that these amazing women are/were being thrown in such a whirlwind that felt out of my reach. I was overly stressed and frustrated that satan could have that influence on them.
Then I thought about how satan wants me to feel. Just that. He wants me to feel exactly what I was feeling.
That’s when I realized I need to recognize my opposition when it comes to me just like what I’m asking my investigators to do.
I need to not give satan what he wants and trust that the battle is the Lord’s. It’s so clear to me now. I am grateful this opposition has made these elect women grow in faith and strength and I trust with all my heart that everything will work out. No need to stress, just completely turn to Him and give this to Him.
D+C 123:17 “Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”
I can just cheerfully do all I can! He will perform miracles before us. I love this work and I’m so grateful that He is in control.
I know it will be an amazing week. I am so excited for Angie this Saturday. It has been amazing to teach her, she is such an example. I know the priesthood is really back on the earth and that God is greater than any opposition that will be thrown at us. He might not always take it away but He will carry us through it and help us to become better from it. Opposition always comes before amazing things so I am just excited for the amazing things ahead.
Our cute little Christmas thanks family LOVE YOU
Angie and Jasmin
Addy and cute little Mia
Sister Johnson (Ward mission leader’s wife love her)
Ps Sarah made it to church as well but we didn’t grab a picture with her. Next time.