After an experience this past week, "hastening the work" has become more important to me than ever before.
After English class last week we set up with this exchange student from Mainland China. She's 20 years old, SUPER smart, and super duper awesome. We met with her last Saturday and had a really great lesson. The spirit was there. She said that she didn't believe in God but that she hoped He existed. We boldly invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God for herself. She was super emotional and felt the spirit and even set a baptismal date for next month.
Literally 15 minutes after the lesson we get a call from her. She told us that she asked her parents if she could continuing meeting with us and they told her absolutely not. They told her "our family does not believe in God." They told her to throw away the Book of Mormon, never talk to us again, and that she absolutely could not be baptized. What got me the most though was when she told us, "And they told me I am not allowed to pray."
I don’t know what happened exactly but something in me just snapped. I was sooooo mad. No one has the right to tell her she's not allowed to pray to Heavenly Father. I grabbed the phone and I basically just bore testimony that there is a God and that she should feel free to pray whenever she wants. I hope it made a difference.
We can’t control others; everyone has the right to choose, a God given gift is our agency. But I just think about all the times I ever felt like I needed help: when I was a kid and I was scared when I got lost at the grocery store, in middle school when I felt discouraged from being teased, in high school when I was about to take my drivers test, the few minutes before the Rose Parade when I was nervous out of my mind, in college when I was about to take a test, or every day when I talk to complete strangers on the street in a language I’m still trying to learn...I live off of prayer. I cannot live without prayer.
President Day reminded us recently that we need to teach everyone about prayer. We should always invite people to pray. We should always ask if we can pray for them. Prayer opens up a gate for people. They talk to their Heavenly Father and they feel His influence. I’ve seen it! I’ve been out for 16 months now. Prayer is so simple but it works and I know that at any time and any place we can all stop for a second and tell our Heavenly Father whats going on, what we need, and He will be there for us. He is our Father. We are never, ever alone.