The first person I met on my mission was 17-year-old Tracey Lewis. I was so happy to meet her as a new missionary. I was impressed with all the gospel knowledge she had. I felt the Holy Spirit when we would go and teach her. For example, during our missionary lessons, she would reference our lesson ideas to Book of Mormon stories, and she would often teach us. Tracey had referred herself to the missionaries by placing an online order for The Book of Mormon. Since then, she had been having missionaries come and teach her at her home. As a result of these lessons, another person living in this rented house was baptized.
Tracey taught me a lot on my mission. She will always have a special place in my heart because of her courage and faith to move forward. Tracey wanted to feel the blessings of joining the Church, but her family wasn’t supportive. They were very much against the Church and strongly encouraged her not to be baptized. This opposition was a hard trial for Tracey. We tried our best to help her. My mission president’s wife, Sister Clayton, came with us and promised Tracey that she could feel the blessings of the Spirit as she continued to pray, read, and come to church.
It was an exciting day when Tracey had the courage to talk to her Jamaican mother about baptism. Her mother’s heart miraculously was softened, and she said that Tracey could be baptized. Tracey had turned eighteen and set a date to be baptized in July 2016. We were so excited for her upcoming baptism, but then I found out that my missionary companions had been transferred to a new area of the mission. So, I felt the pressure of leading out with a new companion but was excited to help Tracey get baptized.
Finally, the day of Tracey’s baptism came. It turned out to be one of the most discouraging days of my mission. Tracey had a strong desire to be baptized, but she was afraid of family pressure again. She ended up cancelling her baptism. I really felt for Tracey and how unfair it must feel for her. She really wanted to be baptized. I didn’t understand why she would be facing so much opposition to follow Christ. It was very disappointing, and I was feeling very emotional and discouraged.
During this very hard time, I remembered how I first prayed and promised to serve a mission. Back home my older sister was having a hard time having children, so I asked Heavenly Father if he would help my sister have a baby as I served him as a missionary. The following preparation day, my sister told me that she was pregnant! I was so overwhelmed with joy and truly felt of God’s approval of my desires and he answered my prayers. I had faith that my mission would be successful if this happened. And it did. As a result, I knew that God was aware of me and would bless me at a time when I needed comfort the most. This knowledge helped comfort my tears for Tracey.
I was eventually transferred. I had trying times in training a new sister missionary in Simcoe, Ontario. The work was very difficult. One evening, though, the Zone Leaders called me and explained that Tracey was working on setting another goal for baptism. I started to cry again, but this time for joy. The elders were helping Tracey stay strong in her faith. By the end of my second transfer in Simcoe, Tracey let me know that she wanted me to attend her baptism and give a talk on the Holy Ghost. It was a miracle that I was transferred to a nearby area where Tracey was attending the Niagara Young Single Adult branch since she moved there to go to school. I was able to be present at her baptism, and it was the happiest day of my mission. I was able to testify to Tracey that God is so proud of her and that she would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Ward Mission Leader in Brampton came to play the flute, and it was a very spiritual experience to see Tracey baptized. She overcame many things and demonstrated so much courage. To me, it was a miracle that I had been transferred to the same mission zone so that I could be a part of her baptism. God is good.
As I continue to look back at this experience, I am reminded about the love God has for all His children. As the Apostle John taught, “…God is love.” (1 John 4: 8). I know that these things happened with Tracey according to His timing. Our Heavenly Father will allow everyone to have the chance to accept the gospel and be “…judged… according to the desire of their hearts” (Doctrine & Covenants 137: 9). My experiences of being a full-time missionary in the Toronto Canada Mission have strengthened my testimony of our Saviour. I am so grateful that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.