I'm soooooooo excited to tell you all what just happened this past weekends!!!!!! We had 2 BAPTISMS! Sandra (name changed) got baptized on Saturday, and Ethan (name changed) got baptized on Sunday. Both baptisms were very special and spiritual. President and Sister Choi were able to attend Sandra's baptism, which made it even more special and unforgettable.
Alright, now let me give you more details. Sandra's baptism was expected since we got permission to move her baptismal date up for a week. We were at the Stake Center two hours before the baptism so that we could fill the font and get everything ready. I was so excited when I was watching the font being filled with water. Sandra's brother and his family are members of the Church and of course were at the baptismal service. Her brother was the one who baptized her, and he could barely say the baptism prayer as he was just crying so hard. My companion and I couldn't stop crying either as the Spirit was just so strong. Have I told you all that we now have special rules for all baptismal service? I don't think I have actually. So now at every baptismal service, missionaries are required to perform a musical number and teach the Restoration to everyone during changing time. My companion and I had no clue how to teach the Restoration to the congregation since normally we teach it in a discussion setting, so we invited two Elders that we knew pretty well to do it. And all Sandra's nieces and nephews and us sang I Am A Child Of God for her. The whole baptismal service was just filled with love and the Spirit. And many members of the ward came to support her also. Sandra was confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her brother at Sacrament meeting yesterday. She is now a member of the Church!!! She was so excited and texted us "Guess what?! I'm a Mormon". I can tell that she is very ready to move on and to find greater happiness in her life.
The baptism we had last night was kind of a surprise. Ethan had already been taught all lessons before I came to this area. However, he fell off date many times. Satan was working really hard on him that he would postpone his baptismal date whenever it got close. I definitely have learned a lot about patience by working with him. There were times when I was really frustrated, not with him but the situation. Something bad would happen not too long after we put him back on date. I think we have put him on date for baptism for at least 4 times. Besides his oldest sister, none of his family members are members of the Church, and Ethan really wanted them to be at his baptism, especially his dad. And it wasn't easy to pick a date that everyone would be able to come. My companion and I prayed for him many times each day, and finally he told us that he would get baptized on Sunday. He had never sounded that excited before. He still was very nervous, and his anxiety problem made it even worse, but he expressed to us that he knew baptism was the right thing to do. Since he would feel uncomfortable if lots of people came, we didn't announce his baptism at Church. We just invited 3 families that he was close with to come. Ethan was baptized by his best friend, who is our Ward Mission Leader! And I had to play the piano, teach the Restoration, and perform the musical number. My companion had to lead the music, give a talk on the Holy Ghost, and perform the musical number. We were both very exhausted after the baptism as we really did put a lot of effort on it. One of his sisters now wants to actively learn about the gospel and to prepare for baptism as she saw the change in her younger brother. We went to Ethan's house to have dinner with him and his family after the baptism. And his parents are now more open to talking with us, and they told us a few times how grateful they were for us.
President Choi has asked us to teach the Restoration at every baptism because it is a great opportunity for non-members to hear the restored gospel and be touched by the Spirit. And our goal is to have non-members than members at every baptismal service. I know that we will be blessed as we follow the counsel from our leaders.
My companion and I both agree that we really didn't do a lot. It was all because of the Spirit. There is no way that we can convince people that this Church is true (It's not our responsibility anyways), but we can pray to know how to create spiritual experiences for them that would help them gain a testimony of the restored gospel. Only Heavenly Father can create miracles! I'm so grateful to have witnessed these two miracles. This work truly is the most rewarding work ever, and I'm excited to bring more people into the waters of baptism.
Have a good week! Next P-day is Tuesday, and my companion is going home on that day...
|Isn't Seattle just beautiful?!|
|Sandra's sister in law made this cake for her baptism!|