I have heard it said that going on a mission you feel the highest of highs and lowest of lows. That definitely applies to this week. I don't know whether I should start with the high or the low first... I'll go high. Well, I am a father! My son is named Elder Richards from Holebrook, Arizona. He is part of the first wave straight out of high school and is 18 years old. It is nice to train now because I remember what it felt like 3 months ago. He is very new, very timid, but he will blossom and be a powerful missionary soon enough. I am working him hard, don't worry. The FIRST thing, before we had even gone to the apartment or dropped off the bags, I took him to eat fufu. He ate it and said he liked it, which is definitely a sign of a good missionary. The oddest thing has been the sudden switch from being a son to a father so quick. Last week, I didn't have to worry about making the big decisions, answering ALL the questions and teaching the WHOLE lesson, but now I do! It has been allll up to me. The biggest thing I am thankful for is the times I went out with the missionaries at home and the time I spent studying and preparing. I have been relying on the examples I knew from back home to know how to teach since it has changed so much from one principle to ALL the principles. The Lord is blessing for sure.
This week with Elder Richards, we invited 3 people to be baptized for September 8th and a few more on the way! Which brings me to the low. Our goal was 4. On Thursday, we planned to go out to an outer village, Bokro, to see one of our sweet investigators, Peter. He was the father of another of my investigators, Evelyn, and was a very smart man. He had a insatiable desire to read the truth and loved the Book of Mormon the day we gave it to him. We had talked about baptism and this next time we were going to see him we were going to invite him to be baptized the same day as his daughter. However, we were unable to get through to his phone and did not make the trip out to see him. Now I really wish I did. Friday morning Evelyn called us that her father, Peter, our friend and investigator had died in a motorcycle accident the night before. I hit me like a tro tro. My investigator is dead. I am flooded by many emotions. Definitely sadness, I will not be able to see him again in this life and teach him the truth, but also, overwhelming joy for the Plan of Salvation that out Father in Heaven has given us. Whereas I will not be the one to finish the job, I paved the way for someone else to finish what I started. Peter's salvation or eternal happiness has not been taken or destroyed, he still has the opportunity to accept the gospel and live with his family forever. That gives me so much joy. Our God is a merciful God. He loves every one of his children. Me, Peter and you as well. God really wanted to teach me that this week because I had to teach the Plan of Salvation nearly 6 or 7 times. I know that Peter is in a better place where he can still accept the gospel.
1 Nephi 11:17-- I don't know the meaning of all things, but I know that God loves us so he will always do what is right for us.
[And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.]