Our mission welcomed a brand new mission president and mom on Saturday! They came to the VC right after they got here, so we got to be some of the first to meet him! He and his wife are so wonderful :) very different from the Keyes', but awesome. It's going to be kind of weird because he'll give me my exit interview, but I'll only have known him for about a month. This is how you know the Lord is in charge of this work :) We're going over to help his wife move in so they can be ready for a leadership meeting tomorrow morning. Good use of a pday, if I do say so myself :)
This weekend Amy and Cameron were baptized! It was SO great. (I also went to the temple with Abby Morgan and did a session that morning! So, last weekend, I played a part in three of the Saving Ordinances. It was a pretty cool feeling!) Their whole family came - even Frank, Doris's husband! Frank told her that he wouldn't go into a church because he was worried it would fall down around him. Aside from the fact that he walked into the women's restroom right after he came into the church, it went without a hitch! He's seriously the coolest guy - as soon as he gives up smoking and drinking, he's going to be baptized. I can feel it.
I once heard a sister complain about the way her companion handled bad door approaches. She told me that every time they had a door slammed in their faces, her companion would say, "They'll join the church, I know it." This sister was discouraged and frankly a little bitter, and at the time I agreed with her assertion that her companion was crazy.
Now, I look back on little baby missionary Sister Rogers and shake my head, because I didn't understand what that sister's seasoned companion meant.
I have not seen every person I taught join the church, and I do not believe in taking peoples' agency in order to force them to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I do know that what we have to offer is what everyone needs. I've talked to a lot of people in the past year and a half, and I have never met anyone who a.) did not need the gospel, and b.) was beyond saving.
I've taught schizophrenics, criminals, convicts, drug addicts, pastors, anti-mormons, jews, methodists, catholics, Restorationists - God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), and neither is this Gospel.
This is when we celebrate our country's freedom - I LOVE the 4th of July. Swimming, fireworks, popsicles - what's not to love? But I hope that we can celebrate a little every day when we ponder the beauty of the Atonement and the Eternal Liberation we may achieve by accepting it.
I know that through Jesus Christ, our souls are free from sin, and through the blood of many a brave brother and sister, our country is free of oppression. Let us remember the battles that have been fought to acheive this Independence, and the battle we still must fight to achieve salvation is my prayer.
I love you all :)