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Best Day Ever

September 4, 2013
So if you asked me right now to put a date as the best day of my mission, it would be that one. Friday, August 30, 2013.  Ready?
So we had a temple trip planned for the recent converts in our ward for that day.  In connection with their going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, we got to go do a temple session. There weren’t any sessions scheduled close to the time we were going with them for baptisms, so we went to the temple first thing in the morning.  What a way to start a day!  I love the temple.  I feel so close to my Heavenly Father there.  It’s what everybody says, but it’s true–it’s a place of peace.  It’s like getting to be with my Father and have Him tell me that He’s proud of me and that the work I’m doing is acceptable to Him.  And I feel closer to other people.  A few people from our ward were there as well and it was so good to see them!  There’s a couple in our ward who are full-time temple workers pretty much.  They have thousands of family names on file and they do 40 hours of temple work every week.  We saw them there and they invited us to join them for sealing a family with 7 daughters.  That was a beautiful experience.  Things make sense to me more now.  The temple does that.  And, being with Sister Jorgensen is always a joy because I love her a whole lot, so being with her in the temple was extra wonderful.  I’m the luckiest missionary ever, in case anyone was wondering. =)
Themiddle part of our day was uneventful, but then we reunited at the temple with the recent converts and some other members of our ward.  Being with these people I’ve grown to love so much while they could be in the temple was among the most tender experiences of my life.  Ernestine got to witness her son’s baptism.  He died last year and she’s been waiting for this day since her own baptism.  She was crying for joy the whole time and she kept saying, “My baby is free! My baby is free!”  Doctrine and Covenants 128:22.  This is the cause, people! =)
After the temple, we went out for pizza with everyone and it honestly felt like a family dinner.  I could not stop beaming.  Every time anyone looked at me they just laughed because I was grinning the entire time.  That much happy just doesn’t fit on my face!  Best day EVER!!!  Also, ok, this is another fabulous thing–and you thought it couldn’t get any better, huh?  So my beloved companion, Sister Forbush,got to come back up for the temple trip!  I haven’t seen her in so long!  It was so good to see her and talk to her and be with her and have her be proud of me. =)  It helped me see that I’ve grown as a missionary and as a person in the last 7 weeks.  We went on splits and I got to be with companions with her again for a few hours. 
And in those few hours was another of the best experiences of my mission!  Seriously, this day was out of this world.  (Hence my whole “weekly” letter is about this day.)  Background: enter Mercedes.  Mercedes is 18, and the epitome of a sassy black girl.  She’s been living with a family in our ward for about a year.  I’ve known her the whole time I’ve been here, but she hasn’t been deeply interested in the gospel until now.  She’s moving out on her own soon so she’s in that place where she wants to find her anchor.  Her progress this week has been like watching a tree grow in fast-forward.  We started a book club–Book of Mormon Book Club.  The members are: us, Mercedes, her sister Emily Emmett (the oldest in the family she lives with, leaving on her mission the same day as Clayton and Brittany), and Hannah Bruns (one of Mercedes best friends, the RS president’s daughter, just started her mission papers this week.)  We meet a few times a week.  We read a chapter of the Book fo Mormon to prepare for each book club meeting and we teach the lessons of the gospel at each meeting.  This week we’ve taught the first 3.  And Mercedes is so on board!  So, now we can zoom in on Friday’s lesson.
The chapter for Friday’s meeting was 2 Nephi 31, all about the doctrine of Christ.  As we read parts of it again together and talked about it, we talked about the Holy Ghost.  Mercedes said how she’d felt the Spirit in the room, but never in herself personally.  I told her that to get a specific answer, we need to ask a specific question.  I asked her if she would pray to ask if the Book of Mormon was true.  She nodded and started to cry.  Mercedes is sassy and a half and I seriously did a double take–she was weeping.  She said that she thought she already knew the answer.  “I’ve been searching for the truth for so long and it was right in front of me the whole time.”  We asked if she would follow Christ’s example and be baptized on September 21st.  She nodded, still crying.  We had a prayer altogether, the rest of the Emmett family got home, Mercedes shared her news, I got to witness one of the most beautiful mother/daughter moments ever while Sister Emmett bore her testimony to Mercedes, we all hugged and cried, and I kept grinning like I always do in those moments.  Mercedes is getting baptized!!!  She is such a precious soul and I get to be here to help guide to the path that goes home!  This is the coolest thing ever!!!
Meanwhile… so I was with Mercedes and Sister Forbush and Sister Jorgensen was with Sister’s Forbush’s companion, Sister Harward, and they were having a breakthrough lesson with the Burchs!  They will come back to church, I can tell.  John has the LDS library app on his phone and he listens to scriptures all the time.  We get to have a good ol’ Wisconsin meal with them on Wednesday–brats and corn on the cob!  Meeting these people is like getting to go home to Wisconsin in a way.  I love them!
So that’s my epistle about Friday.  So far there are two dates of that kind of caliber on my mission.  And on September 21, 2013, there will be three. =)  This work is true and worth it.  I always knew that, but I know it more now–or that knowledge means more now. 
I love you people!  Thanks for being my people!
Sister Rackham
ps-random thought: one of the senior sisters here always spells my name “Racham” and I’ve realized how much I like the K.  It makes this balanced and have attitude.  I like it.
First is a picture of Sister Jorgensen with a heart shaped cheese curd from Culvers. Random. C’est la vie, no? And then is us in front of the temple. 

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