This email was sent a few weeks ago... Carly's a young lady with a big heart and having to face some of the hard realities of life. She's a trooper, though! Half-way done and not anywhere near ready to come home!!
March 2, 2015
Dear Family and Friends
This week has been good!!!! Opposition is real but its okay!!!!!! All four of our baptisms fell through. Two aren’t going to make it and the other two didn’t make it to Church so that sets them back awhile. It is okay though. It’s all part of mission and I still love being a missionary. We also found out that the family we’ve been teaching and who were preparing for baptism are getting divorced so their baptisms will be delayed, too. I just hope one day they'll join the church. And, I hope that we will be able to continue to find success in our area. We need to find families to teach! Life will move forward as long as I know I am doing my best. It’s stressful though because I want to contribute to the mission goal of 750 baptisms. I guess I need to be a better missionary and work harder so we can find more success.
I am not really sure why, but this week I have been very emotional about some of the investigators and people I’ve come across. I can't believe the things people do and the things people have to go through. It’s just so sad. I don't always understand why and need to trust the Lord more. I found out that one of the ladies we were teaching in my old area was a prostitute. She was married to a drunk and turned to this for income so she could feed her kids and pay their school fees. It’s so sad--the world we live in. I wonder where she finds her happiness, her self worth and everything. When I hear stories like this, I realize I have nothing to complain about. Its so sad that someone I know so well and love so much has this in her past. It’s so sad that the state of poverty that I am around leads people to do almost anything for money. One of the problems we have here is that many join the church for money. You look around at the people’s homes and how they live and think that would be hard but then you realize all the other things that poverty causes people to do. People become desperate for money and do what they think they need to in order to survive. I know when I return home, it’s going to feel like I live in the nicest place in the world. Even my visit to Zambia where the mission home is, is SO nice compared to Malawi.
One of the hardest things about being a missionary is that we have the perfect solution for them—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—and so often they don't accept the solution and go back to the worldly things. Sometimes I don't really blame them. I put myself in their shoes and I don't know how I would handle it. I wish sometimes that I could just take away the poverty that surrounds me. It’s so sad and is something I think about a lot. You just have to trust in the Lord and know that He really loves each of them and He has a plan for them. I love the Plan of Salvation. It’s perfect. The Lord knows each of us and loves us more than we could ever know. I used to say before my mission that communication is the key to life I’ve learned that LOVE is the key to life. If you love someone you can accept their weaknesses and shortcomings because WE all have them. LOVE is the KEY. Communication is the ANSWER. That’s my new quote.
I am grateful to be a missionary. I am happy that I am here learning and experiencing the life that exists here in Malawi. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And I don't want to wish away one day of my mission. I know I’m at nine months and half way done. So crazy!! But I am not ready to come home and I know in nine months I won't be ready to come home. I am going to give the last nine months all I’ve got because I know five years down the road I am going to want this back. And I know that even when days get hard five years down the road, I am going to want to go back to even the hardest of times on my mission. It’s the best thing I have ever done in my life and I am very grateful for every moment, even the hard ones.With love,