Monday, we decided to not debate with a preacher. We left on mutual terms of agreeing to disagree. Jan who we finished reading the Book of Mormon with for the 23rd time decided to move :(
Tuesday, I asked a recent convert about her experience of making changes in her life and how we can help other people have the hope and desire to change. Her reply: "People are going to change if they want to. They're not going to if they don't want to but it's not your fault. I didn't want to...but I just decided to because I wanted to be happy. Now look at me! I was a basket case and now I'm a happy mess!" Last night we had a porch lesson with Lawrence. He has trouble praying out loud, even more so in front of people. He's very intelligent and loves God so much and wants nothing more than to do what's right. As we wrapped up he knew we were going to invite him to pray. And we knew he was going to say "maybe next time." What came to my mind was, "If you have a mountain in front of you, leave for a day, or even just take a nap, and then go back the mountain is still going to be there. The fact that you left it alone for a little while will not make the mountain disappear."
On my mission I have found that sincere love has more power to change person than any other force in the universe. What we saw last night was nothing short of a miracle. Instead of asking him up front to pray or tell him it's what he's supposed to do, we asked many questions about how God has helped him do tough things, why the commandments are important to him, and what he's done to overcome other things in his life. Would God want him to pray? Etc. Without telling or even asking him to pray he tells us that we're right, that he needs to pray. He tells us that he needs to start doing that more. He developed his own desire. As much as I want to make people change, to see things the way I do, there is nothing like seeing another individual develop their own deep and abiding desire to follow the Savior in any way. This is the change that will last a lifetime, and it's helped along by our own sincere love for the individual.
On another note, Lawrence tells us (regarding his neighbors): "Them people must be thinking, man he just can't get rid of them sisters!" :)
In looking towards Mothers' Day, I feel it a wonderful opportunity to lovingly exert our influence on those around us to be their best selves, likewise we too can be our best selves. Mothers have a wonderful and unique opportunity to influence their children, but we all have people placed in our lives to lift, to inspire, to share the love of the Savior with. I invite each to open our eyes this week to those opportunities...to see those people.
Love all y'alls!
P.S. I remember writing that letter about no regrets...I don't remember if it was handwritten or emailed. Sorry!
P.P.S. @ Mom and Grandma Happy Mothers' Day!!!! I'm so thankful for y'all and for the influence you've had on me and my life. I love you!