There is a woman we are teaching whom I will refer to in this e-mail as Z. She had met with missionaries before, but didn't feel right and stopped. A month later, she felt like she wanted to continue to learn more and that was around the time that we came into the area. In the short time we have met with her, she has gone from not even feeling comfortable saying prayers to drinking in everything in the Book of Mormon and receiving revelation left and right. It was so cool! As we were answering some questions that she had while she was reading in 2 Nephi, her face literally lit up, and she said, "so... God gave us opposition, so that we would have choices, and not be restricted to just one condition... so I have the freedom to choose. So Adam eating the fruit was not a bad thing." Watching that epiphany dawn on her and take effect to her very being was like watching a falcon discover for the first time that it had wings and fly away majestically into the sunset. Just a little bit like it. Z has been reading the Book of Mormon every day since.
There is also another little family that we have been teaching for a while. Every single family member is pretty awesome already, and humble and open hearted, and this week they said a family prayer together for the first time. They said it was the most wonderful and beautiful thing that had happened.
Ahh!! I love that people let God change them!
However, sometimes there are people who are unwilling -- unwilling to change, unwilling to try, unwilling to see all the answers to their prayers. And sometimes that's frustrating. Sometimes my first instinct is to shake them and go "JUST OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK AT THE WORLD AROUND YOU" One time an investigator literally prayed and said, "if this thing in my life gets fixed, I will believe in you God." Her thing got fixed. She still doesn't think prayers work and God is real. Which is frustrating. But unwillingness is a choice. And like Z taught me this week, this choice is part of God's gift to us on this earth. We have choices so we can grow and know what happiness is. And if in the future, we learn that we made the wrong choice, we all have a chance to change our minds! That is the beauty of this life and God's design of it. Z at one point chose to stop learning. But look at her now! Sometimes we watch people make the suckier choice, but in the end, it will all be okay. We just have to be patient and not be like Sister Takeshige and have these urges to shake people.
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holieness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility." 2 Nephi 2:11