Yesterday was temple day. I am so grateful for the temple, and while there I felt so much peace, I felt at home in my Heavenly Father’s house. We were able to have a chapel session with our mission president, the temple presidency, and their wives. I think that was one of my favorite parts. The temple matron talked about how we can use the prayer rolls, even for ourselves. That thought had not occurred to me before, and I definitely feel as if I need extra help at this time. The temple is a place where we can feel peace. I know that. This past week has been anything but peaceful.
I’ve met a lot of people on my mission who like to argue, who have gotten into anti-Mormon-literature, who try to convince us that we are wrong, deceived, or that we are a cult. It is always difficult to be in these situations. This past week, we were invited into two homes that were very hostile towards us. One was a self-proclaimed biblical scholar. The other person basically told us that he didn’t think we would make it to heaven. Sister Kavatoe doesn’t understand English when people begin to talk fast, so I usually end up defending what we believe. I haven’t really been able to shrug off that “sick to my stomach feeling.” I get so frustrated because I can’t answer all the questions. But I know that I have felt the Holy Ghost give me peace, and witnesses of things that are true and sacred and dear. I remember in one of your first letters dad, how it is so important to remember those experiences with the Holy Ghost because they sustain us. I have been praying very hard lately to feel the Holy Ghost more and for renewed testimony. In the temple, I was able to feel peace and to let all of this anxiety settle. I wish I could have stayed longer. Because I feel like I’m back in a den of wolves, and I feel so worn out. I’ve kind of been an emotional wreck this week.
What is right is not always popular. In the temple, I was reminded of the Savior, when the critics accused him of being possessed of a devil, and doing miracles by the power of Beelzebub in Luke 11. I think that must have hurt the Savior immensely. Definitely, the Savior is stronger than I am, but similar accusations have been difficult to bear this week. I am reminded that it is through the Holy Ghost that we can discern goodness. And it IS possible to discern goodness from wickedness. Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and every wicked tree bringeth forth wicked fruit.
Dad, I was so grateful for your letter this week. I’ve read it so much. Thank you. In the midst of trying to be a good missionary, it is important to remember that Heavenly Father wants us to feel happy. He wants us to feel joy! That is the good news of the gospel.
I love you so much. I really can’t wait to come home and hug all of you again. It sounds like things have been difficult at home too. Between family responsibilities and wedding craziness to all the other demands. I guess the take away for me out of all of this, is how much we need to make time to feel the peaceful influence of the Spirit. It is the comforter.
I look at all the concerns our investigators have. The things that weigh heavy on their hearts. It is overwhelming. Truly, the atonement is a miracle. I know that it is a real power. And it is for each of us.
I hope this letter wasn’t too much of a downer. I love you all. Being a missionary is a unique experience. I love what you said mom, about your mission being hard. It is. But you learn a ton.
Have a wonderful week.
Love, Sister Waters
P.S. I get to call you VERY SOON! I am so excited. Weekends are free on the mission’s cell phone plan so I get to call from the privacy of our own apartment! Yay. They are keeping to the white handbook 30-40 minutes. We’ll get home from church probably around 12:30 so I’ll probably call around 1:00 or 2:00 New Mexico time. Depending on if my companion goes first or not.