Holy cow. Remember when I said General Conference week was the best week ever? I think this one tops it. I just have to say this email needs to be titled #miracles. So many blessings and so many amazing things happened. Ahhhhh!!!! I am on cloud nine. Words can't express my gratitude and thankfulness to my Heavenly Father for the ways that He blessed us this week. As you all know, we have really been struggling. The work was slow and it seemed that nobody was making progress and we felt like total failures. Our faith and diligence and hard work have led to our heartfelt prayers being answered over and over again and we are now starting to see the miracles. :)
This week we had a surprise baptism!!!! Remember our investigator Karen? Here's her story: We have been teaching her for about 6 weeks. So she is in physical therapy school and was here for 8 weeks on a rotation. She lived with one of the members in our ward. One day while we were in their neighborhood, we really needed to use the restroom and that member that she lived with was the closest member. We didn't know she had someone new living with her. So that is how we met Karen! We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her about it and invited her to learn more. She was really open and said she wanted to learn more but wasn't interested in being converted. So we explained that our purpose is just to invite others to come unto Christ. And so we began teaching her. She really enjoyed the lessons and always had a lot of questions. She began reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. She liked learning and thought it was interesting, but didn't want to be a part of it all. But we didn't give up on her and we kept teaching her! Then on Monday night, we had a lesson that changed everything. We had planned to teach her the last lesson which is the commandments, but as we went in, I told Sister Pohahau that I didn't feel like we should teach the commandments, but I wasn't sure what we should teach. So we prayed and went into the lesson totally relying on the Spirit to help us and guide us to what Heavenly Father wanted us to teach her. I asked her how she was feeling about all of this and kind of where her head was at. She expressed that as she had been learning more and coming to church that she knew there was something different and something right about this church. She said, "I would love to be a part of all of this, but I'm not worthy enough of it. God doesn't care enough. I have felt alone my whole life, why would He care now?" I'm not sure exactly what I said, but I just had an overwhelming impression to simply testify of God's love for her and to tell her that she was NEVER alone. She broke down and started crying. And we all cried together and the Spirit was so strong and it touched each of us. We told her that she was a precious daughter of her Father in Heaven and that He wanted her back. She said, "I have felt the Spirit so strong and I cannot deny it, and I know that the church is true." We invited her to be baptized and she said yes. She wanted to be baptized as soon as possible! So we arranged for a baptismal service on that Wednesday and we made it happen!!
The baptism was such an incredible spiritual experience for her and for everyone there. She was so excited and so happy, you could see the light in her eyes. It was a very simple program, but the spirit was there and it was amazing. She came up out of that water a totally different person with a commitment to follow and to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. I gave her a wet hug and asked her how she felt, and she said, "I feel amazing, I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life. Now I know that I am not alone." She bore her testimony at the end of her baptism and it was incredible. She just cried and bore testimony of God's love for her. She said, " I came to Twin Falls to learn about physical therapy, but I learned so much more. I know that this is the reason I was supposed to come here." Seriously I could not get it together, the Spirit was so strong. She just couldn't wipe the grin off her face and it made us so happy for her. She is so special to me and to our Heavenly Father. I have come to love her so much and the happiness I experienced as she decided to enter the waters of baptism is unlike anything I have ever felt. She has so much against her, her family, and her friends telling her that this is a mistake, but she is one of God's elect and she is incredible. She was confirmed yesterday in Sacrament Meeting and again the Spirit illuminated her. I have never seen the Spirit touch someone so much and seen a change like that in someone so fast. That experience will forever change my mission. And it was an honor to be a part of it all. I KNOW that God's hand is in every part of this work. I KNOW He is leading and guiding us and preparing His children. It just gives me even more of a desire to serve Him and do all I can so we can experience more miracles like this one. Seriously the best. And I am so grateful!!!!
Again I am just so grateful. Blessing after blessing has been coming our way, and I really do believe it is because of our faith and commitment to this work. Thank you so much for all the love and support. I am so happy and I love this work more than anything. This is what a mission is all about. Guaranteed, there have been hard times, times where I was ready to give up. But Heavenly Father has answered my prayers and I finally feel like I know my place here as a missionary. The Gospel is true and life is good. Peace and blessings. Have a great week! I love you all!
Love, Sister Bigelow