Well, I am still here. It aches a little bit. Saying good-bye was hard. But I've never had more faith that where I am and what I am doing is right.
Sunday night I felt awful. I won't go into details, but all kinds of awful things were coming out of my body. I skipped the fireside and tried to sleep; I sat in the bathroom and plead with my Heavenly Father to make me better. I know he could do it if He wanted to. I've read the stories; I know miracles happen through the power of God that defies all science and medical ideas. I knew that if he wanted me to get to Italy he would make it happen. I had this feeling, "Lawsy Baby, you're not going to leave on Tuesday."
I felt like I should ask one of the Elders for a priesthood blessing, so that I could still be healed if he wanted. Then I burst into my district classroom and said, "Somebody needs to give me a blessing." They looked up, surprised but also not, because they are used to being surprised. Anziano Barnes gave me a blessing; he said that things would happen on the Lord's time. Then we knelt down and I said the most intense prayer of my life. I promised that I would do what Heavenly Father wanted instead of what I wanted...For once. I told Him how grateful I was for this experience and for the people in my life and for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So by the time I got the news the next morning it wasn't a big deal, because I had already made up my mind.
After we prayed together (my district and the Sorelle) we just sat in a circle and talked about Faith. It's something I've really been trying to work on. It's not tangible. It's this thing that you can't always explain. You feel it and you know it and you go forward, but as soon as you stop to think, "wait, do I have faith?" then it falters a bit and doubt and fear cannot exist in the same place as faith, like light and darkness.
I go in the next day. I sit in the room for about 30 minutes waiting. I came up with the other two songs we needed for our teachers (we wrote them hilarious songs, I will send you the video before I leave) and then Dr. Brown comes in and talks to me a little bit. He was a nice guy. Then he sits on the desk and just looks at me and goes, "This is a hard call to make...I think we need you to stay another week." Then they give me all this diluted Gatorade and we go to lunch and they have my favorite things at the MTC on the menu (taco salad and curly fries) and I just sit there and glare at everyone who gets to eat real food.
I feel like I just explained the story really dramatically. But it was dramatic in a powerful way.
And the doctor was right. I don't feel awful now, but I definitely don't feel like 24 hours of travelling. And they are doing tests so maybe they'll figure out what's wrong. Or maybe it'll go away as soon as it needs to for me to do what I am supposed to.
The point is, even though I've been told and even taught over and over that true prayer is trying to make our will align with the will of our Heavenly Father's, I didn't realize it until I put it into practice. Until I finally gave up everything and said, "Heavenly Father, I honestly believe that you know what I need better than I do. And along with that I actually promise to do what YOU want me to." Because what do I know? I am a little child on this earth and He is the Father who created this all. It's His plan, I am His. He knows.
And the biggest hindrance to missionary work is when we get in the way. Heavenly Father will guide our every footstep if we just stop being stubborn and figure out that He knows better.
President Monson broke ground on the Rome Temple on Saturday. This changes everything. A group of religious leaders all gathered in Europe to discuss the decline of religion in people's lives. People don't think they need God anymore. They don't see why He's important or how he can help. There is one Church that is doing increasingly better all throughout the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't say this to boast, but I say it to promise you that there is something we have. It is something people are looking for. We know that we are all Children of our Heavenly Father. That we can pray directly to Him. That we can repent directly to Him. That our relationship with God is personal. We are His children. He sent us to this earth so that we could learn and grow. But He misses us everyday.
Elder Nelson came and talked to us on Tuesday, he said if people ask what your message is/why you're here/who you are there is one answer:
We follow Jesus Christ
We follow Him and he asked us to feed his sheep. So that's what we as missionaries do. We invite people to follow Christ's example and be baptized. We invite them to know of the fullness of joy that He has planned for His children. That he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth with the priesthood authority to perform miracles in the name of Heavenly Father.
This is no small thing. Every day I realize more and more why I am here. I had no idea when I left. NO idea.
I love you all. And my capacity to love has grown as I have learned more about the love our savior has for us.
And guess what, you have one more week to write me here!
dearelder *hint hint*
Love, Sorella Laws