“That Felt Amazing!”
Nick (Dad) and Ashley (daughter) got baptized this week! The baptismal service was on Saturday at 5pm. Nick, Ashley, Nick’s wife, and their friend Leslie all came. As Nick came up out of the water it was apparent that he was feeling the Spirit very strongly. The best way I can describe what then happened is that he exclaimed, “That felt amazing!” It wasn’t in a disrespectful or irreverent manner, he was just overcome with the Spirit, and his eyes filled up with tears and he started to cry. I had never seen anything like that at a baptismal service, but as he said that and he started to cry, chills shot up and down my body. It was a powerful experience. After the baptism, Nick and Ashley shared their testimonies. Nick said that when he first started coming to church, he would hear people say that they know the church is true, but he didn’t really know what that meant. He said that after how he felt in his baptism, he now knew that the church was true. He said, “I cannot deny what I have felt.” Ashley then shared a simple but strong testimony. She mentioned the fact that she was the one dragging her dad to church at first, and that she knows that it is true. I felt so blessed to be a part of that experience and to be able to help them in their own process of becoming converted. (Elder Wilson)
“They Do Believe in God!”
We also had a really cool experience. We have two investigators from Liberia that are very difficult to understand because of their heavy accents. Their names are Michael and Grace. They are married and must be in their mid-50’s. We have had 2 lessons so far with them and have had to move very slowly though the doctrine. We have been questioning whether they are getting anything out of our visits. We really don’t know how much they understand.
We went to their home with a member on Thursday this week to try once again to help them understand… Things started off pretty rocky, but we kept trying to explain. Suddenly the front door opened and Grace and Micheal’s daughter entered, pushing a stroller which held her baby. Immediately she stared yelling at her parents “What are they doing here?! I do NOT approve of this!!” Grace said “Why? What is the problem?” She continued yelling “Because these Mormons do NOT believe in God!!” She then turned to us and said “You will leave right now!”
We were silent and still.. I was praying that Grace and Micheal would stand up for us.
Grace said, in her heavy accent “These people DO believe in God. They are working for God, and they are teaching us about God. How can you say they don’t believe in God?” She then picked a Book of Mormon up off of the table and held it to her chest, saying “If God speaks, it must be written down. If he spoke to me, I would write a book too! What they are teaching is God’s word, and we will continue to receive them in OUR house. Now, you, please leave until we are done studying.” The daughter was speechless and looked at Michael. He nodded in full agreement and said, with a tear in his eye, “Yes, please go.”
If hugging were allowed, I might have just leaped over the table right then and there and hugged her and him both! The Spirit re-entered the room and they turned to us, apologizing, and said “Please, continue!” I find it hard to believe that Grace and Michael could have testified so boldly of our sacred calling as Christ’s representatives after our 2 1/2 struggles of lessons, unless they had felt the Holy Ghost when we came. It made me cherish living in obedience, and righteousness. Just as Preach My Gospel states, “others ability to receive your message will be influenced by your personal worthiness.” My prayer is that all of us can maintain this example to those around us! (Elder Burnside)
“Well, That Changes Things.”
We were at a members home and we were extending a challenge for them to think of people and to put in down on a list people that they can think about and that they know. It is something that the Ward missionary leader wanted us to do in that ward. At the end we actually said to them that “We will be obedient missionaries, so if you think of anything we need to do to do that, let us know.” and the look on their faces totally changed (they were surprised!) and he said, “Well, that opens some doors.” So I just want to bear testimony, that as I pledged to be more obedient, a member saw that we were being serious, and that changed his attitude. It was a cool experience. (Elder Graves)
“Wait, Wait, Wait!”
We met this amazing family! The Bahena Family. Juan and Yatziri are the little kids and they are just the most amazing miracle I have seen on my mission so far. They are progressing so fast and I just keep praying their Dad’s heart will be softened so they can come to church and then eventually be baptized. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and committed them to read and pray about it. Well we go the next day for a lesson and Juanito who is 11 says the opening prayer and then we start teaching and he goes “WAIT WAIT WAIT! I have to tell you about the dream I had last night. Last night I prayed and I asked for the Holy Ghost to tell me if the Book of Mormon was true. I fell asleep and then that night I had a dream. I dreamed that this man (He flips open the proselyting copy of the Book of Mormon and turns to the picture of Joseph Smith points to him) was writing something on these papers and I knew it was the book. Then I just felt that what he was writing was true, and then I woke up.”
I couldn’t stop the tears. The Lord really does work in amazing ways. Even an 11 year old boy was able to gain a testimony through a dream that the Book of Mormon was true. It was a miracle. We hadn’t ever showed him a picture of Joseph Smith before. We had just given him a copy of the Book of Mormon the day before. He was told by the Spirit in his dream that the man in the picture (Joseph Smith) was the one who translated the Book and it was true. I just melted. It was yet again another tender mercy. Heavenly Father is so aware of his children and he answers their prayers in his own time and in his own ways, but he answered little Juan’s prayer and he knows without a doubt that it is true. That was definitely the miracle from the week. (Sister Argyle)