Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 38 - THIS is why we have the Church..

This week was hard. 

I feel like I always share the positive, but we grow from the negative as well. 

Lots of things hard things happened and lots of hard things did not go our way. Some of them we learned to laugh at, and some of them we sat in somber reverence and learned from. 

First, I will tell you about the ridiculous things that happened......then I will be more serious.

  • Investigator told us that we overwhelmed her and she would never go to church and tried to drop us
  • The soup kitchen was a ghost town, strangely like nobody came, even some volunteer
  • Our sink got clogged
  • GPS took us to an imaginary hardware store
  • Our dishwasher flooded our apartment

  • Went to this super eerie sketch neighborhood where doors got slammed 

  • Really fun exchange in Georgetown With Sister Bobo and Thai Food

  • Missed calls/voicemails in the middle of the night
  • Dropped Kristen, really nervous to do it
  • Drama in the zone
  • More drama
  • Missing elders who were not in and safe resulting in panicked late night call from zone leaders
  • 2 more missed calls from mystery number (one was a super cool investigator in the middle of the night

  • Freezing rain
  • General auxiliaries who were supposed to come couldn't come
  • Sister McArthur's exit interview got cancelled
  • Nasty note/drop from Rhonda

 .......hahahahahahahha! Wow....Crazy. Sometimes even when you are doing your best hard things happen. Mission life is hard, but that is okay, we learn a lot. 

Okay now. On to more serious things......

On Tuesday morning we got a call from our Ward Mission Leader with some very hard news. Our Relief Society President, Sister Fairchild, who we love dearly, has a 16-yr old son named Jonathan that committed suicide on Monday night....All three of us fell to our knees and hugged each other in shock as we cried. And then prayed for this family we love. The whole ward was shaken and the whole community was shaken as well. But God allowed this tragedy to become a very special experience that I will never every forget.

On Wednesday night the Bishop called for a meeting with all the youth, to talk about grief and suicide. It was a beautiful evening. I have never felt such a strong spirit and such a strong love with people who I don't even know that well. The Bishop explained that Jonathan had some mental illnesses and was not in the right frame of mind when he made those choices. He was very open and spirit led and he read council and statements from the Apostles. We talked about good memories of Jonathan, and in such an amazing natural way everyone testified of our Savior Jesus Christ, of His Atonement, and the Plan of Salvation. People had their arms around each other and the love was so strong.

Then the Fairchild family came in and such a beautiful peace filled the chapel. THEY were comforting OTHERS. It was extraordinary. The love, the pure love of Christ that was there was indescribable. 

THIS is what the Church IS! THIS is fulfilling our baptismal covenants! THIS is why we have an organized religion! THIS IS CHRIST'S CHURCH. 

Christ was there with us on Wednesday night, I felt Him so strongly. And I witnessed the Peace His Gospel brings.

The bishop repeatedly said, that we all need to go through the grieving process. BUT WE DO NOT NEED TO GO THROUGH IT ALONE. Please remember that. We have our brothers and sisters in the church. And most importantly, we have the Savior. 

On Saturday we had Jonathan's memorial service and there was hundreds of people there in our chapel feeling The Spirit - even if they didn't know it was The Spirit. Hermana Wallace, Sister McArthur and I were all very touched by the fact that all three of us have 16 year old brothers. Who we are all very close to....Jackson I love you so much.

When I wrote you all last week, I would have no idea the events that would have occured in one week's time. 

I am a different person after this week. I see WHY we NEED our Savior. And WHY we NEED  His church.

Do not forget how many people are connected to you and how precious your life is. Let Christ go through it with you.

I love you all, and you all mean so much to me. Please remember that: you matter to me. And you matter to Christ.

Sister Jenna Brady

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