we've had a number of people here that have gotten baptized and then left right away, and it makes it really hard to get them back. But I know that everyone has their agency. that's something that I've really realized lately though, is that EVERYONE has their agency. especially those who choose the right. When we are keeping Heavenly father's commandments, we are free to choose liberty and eternal life, or to choose captivity and death. Agency is also really amazing because we have the privilege to choose to help others come to Christ through our actions. I really love what D&C 28:16 says heavenly father tells that "thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing." heavenly father expect us to share this great news and just like Enos we should "desire for the welfare of my brethren...wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them". those are all things that we must choose to do. Heavenly Father doesn't force us to do anything. but he does expect us to take responsibility for our actions. And I love that, because if we choose to follow him and his commandments, then our faith will begin to be unshaken in the Lord and we "shalle see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto [us]: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father." (Enos)
Sorry, that was a way long tangent :) I know that everyone has agency and that they must choose to come to church. It's super important that they come a few times so that they can really get that conversion. it's happened quite a bit in the past in Knoxville, where someone is baptized and then they fall right off, and that makes it really hard to help them back. Church is great because the spirit is there and as we go looking for answers, we will find them and our concerns will be resolved. and it's the same for investigators. Luckly the Lord has really blessed us with Isaac and taika. they Both love coming to church!!
Unfortunately we weren't able to meet with taika and her parents at all this week, but she still came to church so that was a huge blessing. Her parents told her that they don't want her meeting with us, but they will still allow her to come to church. She thinks that they won't let her get baptized either, but she really wants to. so she said that she'll have to wait until she turns 18, in April. We're praying that her parents hearts will soften and we're going to try and help her to have the courage to go through with it.
Isaac is doing really well too! He loves coming to church and is getting very close to his baptism. His sister who is a member and lives in Idaho, seems to be supportive but not really in his picture. So we might have to work more with that. He is just struggling with recognizing his answers, but he has an outstanding desire to keep looking for them and he really wants to keep learning and growing. When we asked him if he wants to know if God is really there for him, he said yeah!! I really do.
It's a really great week and the Lord has really blessed us! It's amazing how when you work hard and really it's more than just working, but working diligently and faithfully, blessing come and the Lord just opens the way for his children to find him. Last night we were introduced and gave a blessing to a friend of a less active. Her name is Cristiana and is just really going through a ton of hard things. She has awesome faith despite her trials though. And we really hope to meet with her.
thank you so much for everything!! I love you and I'm so grateful for your love, prayers, and support!!
Kajoor ilo Christ
ij iokwe eok!!