Monday, October 6, 2014
This little black nametag
My heart is soooo full. I am so blessed to wear this nametag that represents the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It gives me the special license and blessing to be apart of so many miracles that I definitely cannot make happen on my own. And it has definitely taught me things that I cannot learn on my own. I know it truly is the Lord who leads this work, and I am so grateful to simply be his servant to perform His will here.
I know for a fact that we that His will was accomplished this past weekend. The Masangkay Family and Lanie Matalog were baptized. Oh man, the rush of emotions that just come to mind just thinking of the whole event is amazing. I keep thinking, why me? Why were Sister Wilson and I chosen to just have this amazing family handed to us to teach the gospel? My jaw just drops when I think of them. We taught them this past week about the priesthood (in preparation for brother), the Book of Mormon (where they each shared with us what they have learned. They are so smart!), and then for our final lesson before their baptism, we invited Sister Mangum to join us where we taught about Christ. What an experience! Sister Mangum brought the absolute sweetest spirit into our lesson. We watched part of Finding Faith in Christ. And they seemed so touched to see the things that Christ did in His life. I think they really felt the desire to take upon His name and be baptized to be reborn from what they felt in that lesson.
As for their baptism, we did some prior work to make invitations to give to all the members and sent a reminder text the night before. Seemed like it was worth the effort because about 70+ people came! The whole relief society room was packed! Bishop said that is was the most that had ever attended a baptism in the ward. We had two short and sweet talks given by the elder's quorum president and a relief society sister, then the primary sang "I like to look for rainbows". Then it was time for the baptismal proper, went well! Except for the youngest daughter, had to baptize her five times!! Something just kept happening, like her hand or foot coming up. hahaha it was funny. Something that President wants us to do is have the missionaries teach doctrine during the time where we while the investigators are changing into their dry clothes. So Sister Wilson and I shared a condensed version of the Restoration of the Gospel. Once we reached the point of the first vision, we showed the clip from the movie. That video sure has an amazing way of bringing the spirit. This was the video that really helped the Masangkay's receive a personal witness, and they walked in right in time to watch it! After it was finished, there was barely a dry eye in the room. We closed our message discussing the blessing we have to be apart of the true church and how it is so exciting to have 6 new members be apart of it! Then the new converts bore their testimonies. So cool because Brother Michael bore his testimony and started it by saying that he was grateful for the first missionaries who talked to him on his tricycle. And then he went on to bear a strong testimony of the truth that has been revealed to him. Sister Nely told her testimony on the word of wisdom and how brother stopped drinking coffee and it was a huge testimony to her. Then Sister Lanie was out of this world. She spoke about of Jacob 5 really helped her understand the love of god.... What investigator understands the olive tree allegory?! WOW. She is so solid. The kids bore strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and how the gospel has already helped their family so much. Then after that, Bishop gave some wonderful closing remarks and we could see how excited he was! He even told the ward to continue to do missionary work so we can reach our goal of having members like those who were baptized that night.
After the baptism, I got to talk to President and Sister Mangum and all the senior couples who came, they were in awe of this family! Also Nely's father attended who is an investigator too but is often working so hasn't progressed like his family. He was talking to Sister Wilson afterwards and even got teary eyed and said that he was should've been baptized with them. He said he was going to figure out his job and wants to be baptized. He is so ready! Man, the church is so true!! The RS even made some pancit for the ward and everyone was excited to eat that up. Sunday they were confirmed and Brother Michael was ordained as a priest very promptly! All is well in Zion! The ward is soooo excited and eager to do missionary work and to fellowship these recent converts. I am just so blessed that I have been able to witness this all. It is making a turn of events in San Pablo Ward 3!
So this week has also had a strange amount of death involved... A member in our ward who is a young mother got news her mother died. We visited her and she just felt this ability to really open up to us. I know it is because I this little black nametag that she felt comfortable sharing such personal things with representatives of Christ. She really opened up about how much her testimony has helped her through this and how it is even being strengthened. But I could see how she was really struggling cause her baby was sick and her other sibling was in the hospital so we offered to do service in her home. We went Saturday morning to clean her and it made me think of how excited I am to be a real visiting teacher! It felt so good, even though their house is made of dirt!
Also met the cousin of a part member family whose one year old baby passed away last week with complications from flem in her chest. Talk about hard. I walked up to her and all she did was stare at me. She had no emotion. I handed her the plan of salvation pamphlet and shared a short message with her and testified that she would see her baby again. Praying that she will read it and feel God's love.
Had Missionary Leadership council this week. Learned about the difference between knowledge, testimony, and conversion. Man amazing stuff right there! Go study that up!
I received letters from the young men and women of the Mountain View Ward! Holla! It was so good to hear from them all! Man, everyone is soooo grown up! Also loving all the awesome postcards I am getting. You are all the best!
Also, the best thing ever, is the CES devotional by D. Todd Christofferson, "Saving Your Life". LIKE INCREDIBLE. Really trying to lose myself with the time that I have left. Sure love this mission and all that it has taught me. I love you all!