This week was such a roller coaster ride! Lots of ups and downs!
I was reading in 2 Nephi and I read 33:2-4. It says, "But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught. But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal." I thought a lot about this scripture, and how much Nephi was troubled over the wickedness of men. Then I thought about all of the prophets, and how they felt the same way throughout their lives. Then i thought of the Savior. I thought about how he loves each of us with a perfect love that we cannot even begin to comprehend. My mind then went to the atonement. I can only imagine that part of what made the atonement so painful for Jesus Christ was that he had that perfect love for us as he was atoning for our sins. He thought of each one of us, with all of the love that he has for us, and he felt the pain that we each have felt, do feel and will feel. I thought of those times that I have seen someone I love in pain, and how i wished that I could take that pain from them onto myself, because it was painful to see them go through it. The Savior actually did that for each of us. I am so amazed by that. It was very hard for me to think about, but the love that I have for the people here grew so much because of it.
Rachel was baptized and confirmed yesterday! There was such a strong spirit there. The program all went smoothly. Sister Soriao and I sang "The Olive Tree" for the special musical number. I was shaking like a leaf when I sat down after, but it was a good experience. I'm glad we did it. Rachel was glowing the whole night. I can already see the difference it has made in her life to be a member. She is going to make such an impact on the lives of so many. She is wonderful.
We are working right now with a young couple. The man is a less-active member, and the woman is not a member. They are not married, and they are living together. She has a desire to be baptized, but she has a lot to do before that can happen. Today we talked with them about the law of chastity. We told them that they either needed to get married or he was going to need to move out, before she could be baptized. We asked them to take it to the Lord, so that they could make the best decision. They are young, but seem like they are really taking it seriously. We are praying that they will make the right decision. They are really great people.
Well, that is all I have time for this week. I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all!
Love, Sister Sydney Barber