Friday, July 22, 2016

Madelene's Baptism

Saturday was Madelene's baptism. She came with her white hair looking nice. We took pictures with her. Madelene also brought her care-taker, Rexine, who is not a member (Rexine came to our lesson with Madelene on Thursday and she seemed very interested...). Many members from the ward attended. I gave a talk on baptism that was very brief. I shared two scriptures (2Nephi 31:5-7 and  Romans 6:1-3). We had 4 non-members from our ward who were there, so I hope they understood what was taught. Elder Palmer baptized Madelene with the assistance of a boy who has a mission call to Ecuador.
Madelene was slightly nervous (she has a hard time getting around because of a back injury), but they put her down slowly into the water and only had to do it once. While we waited for Madelene to change, we passed our paper for the members and non-members to write on to Madelene. She told us on Sunday that she had read all the notes, and she thanked us and others for their words.

Sunday was a day full of miracles. A man named Nicolas came into church with shorts and a purple t-shirt on about 30 minutes before church. He's from New York, but he lives here now. He had attended church before with colleagues of his and he is interested in learning more. We got his number. Our Elder's Quorum President and Ward Mission Leader jumped on it. Nicolas sat with one of them and he looked comfortable! Heavenly Father can do His own work. Madelene got confirmed in sacrament meeting and there were a bunch of non-members there because a guy named Dakota was giving his homecoming talk from his mission. Grace, a 93 year old investigator of ours, also came to listen to her dear friend, Sister Greding, speak. (I'm not sure what it is with us teaching old ladies).

After church we went by a potential investigator who said to come by at 4:30. The potential wasn't there, but a guy named Steve answered. He said he'd be interested in learning more, so we set up a return appointment for Tuesday!

For dinner, we ate with the Galeria family. Their youngest daughter just graduated high school and she's preparing for a mission. She has a boyfriend named Tony who also came for dinner. Those two have been reading the Book of Mormon together and right now they are in Mosiah, I think. We asked if we could share a message. The Galeria's asked if we would teach Tony the restoration. Of course, we accepted. We tried to understand what Tony believes and what level of understanding he has by asking questions. Although Tony didn't understand everything we taught, the Spirit was in that home so strong, especially as Brother Galeria shared his testimony. We asked Tony if he would get baptized if he found that the Book of Mormon was true. He said "yes"! We left the Galeria's filled with the Spirit.

The great day didn't end there. The Fauvers had us over for cake because Sister Fauver's birthday is this week. They also had planned on us teaching one of their daughter's friends, named Kayla. Kayla did not grow up in a very religious home. She knew about or believed in God, but was not familiar with much of the Bible or what the Atonement is. However, she'd been asking her friend, Sofia, a bunch of really sincere questions. Kayla recognized that she felt happy and "pure" (that was how she described the Spirit to us) when she talked with us, when she hangs out at the Fauver's, and when she comes to church (she's been to church twice since I've been here). We taught her who Heavenly Father is, who Jesus Christ is, how the spirit speaks to us, and prayer. She loved the lesson. The feeling of peace and truth that the Spirit brings just wrapped the room up like a warm blanket. Both Sofia and another 16 year old kid from the ward sat in on the lesson and had great input. They testified of the Book of Mormon and modern day prophets. I wish you could have watched Kayla's face light up as we told her that we have a prophet on Earth today!

I'm so happy out here. There are struggles and disappointments, but the thoughts and effects of all the challenges are made sweet when God reveals His hand. The Priesthood is real! The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith saw who he said he saw. Jesus Christ is my savior. We are all beloved sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents. The Holy Ghost has confirmed these things to me. Heavenly Father knows each one of us. We are led today by a prophet called of God.

Follow-up Training Meeting

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