Sunday, January 6, 2013

Letter #15: White Christmas!

Okay okay, so technically it's more of a "white New Year's." No, we didn't have any snow...but we did have two baptisms this weekend! Yay! (They're dressed in white...get it...?!)

Yesterday Roger and Brandon got baptized! We have been teaching Roger since November and he actually set his baptismal date himself! Awesome. We met him on his birthday in November and he knew right from the beginning that God sent us to him. Our other baptism was a wonderful, last-minute surprise. We have been working with 18-yr-old Brandon since September...and he was actually supposed to get baptized with his dad back in October. Unfortunately he was still smoking and was a little overwhelmed with the changes he'd have to make in his life. His dad and soon-to-be-mother (they're getting married next month) have been praying for him to just make the decision to get baptized since then but he would never commit to doing it. We tried lots of different approaches with him to help him understand just how baptism could help him, but nothing seemed to work. Anyways, we didn't visit him for about a month until this weekend. We were trying to figure out who else could get baptized before the end of the new year and all month I've just been thinking, "Brandon needs to get baptized. This would be perfect for him...a fresh start right before the new year!" Unfortunately he kept not answering our phone calls and he wasn't showing up to church and we couldn't get a hold of him. Well, he lives in the same apartment complex as Roger and so a week ago when we were stopping by to visit Roger we actually ran into Brandon. I knew that it was definitely divine timing and that the Lord wanted us to make Brandon a priority again. So we told Brandon we would be coming by to visit him the next week. We saw him on Thursday and talked about baptism again with him, but he still didn't feel "ready." He even admitted that there was "nothing stopping him from getting baptized"...but he still would only give us a shaky "yes" for the weekend! Well, that Saturday our district leader came to give Roger his baptismal interview and we asked if he would interview Brandon too. We went to Brandon's apartment and woke him up and had Elder Toeava interview him, the whole time wondering what was happening and what Brandon was going to say. And then they came out and Brandon was grinning and said, "I'm getting baptized tomorrow!" YAY!!! What an exciting moment that was! Of all the people I've helped to get baptized so far, I know it will be most life-changing for Brandon. I'm so happy he finally took the step of baptism! One of the things I'm learned on my mission is that baptism really is what validates our repentance. We can make all the changes in our life that we want, but without that step of baptism, we don't have God's promise that He will forget all of our past transgressions. And that's just one of the many reasons why we focus so much on helping people get baptized.

Well, not too much to say. The baptisms this weekend were definitely the highlight of the week. That and Christmas, of course. :) Christmas was really fun! I had a fabulous day. We ate breakfast with one of the families in the ward (I actually knew their oldest daughter from Provo, so it was super random to see someone from my pre-mission life this week) and it was so fun! They'd even gotten us presents! I got a stocking full of goodies that were perfect! There was a headband, some belts, some stationery, some little socks to wear with flats, etc. Seriously, everything I would have asked for. I also got to call home, which was fun. The siblings didn't have much to say but it was nice to talk to my parents. Then we spent the rest of the day eating dinner/playing music with another family in the ward (and Stella, our Jewish friend, was there!) and delivering presents & goodies to some of the people we're teaching as well as some of the less-active families in the ward.

Oh, and President said no...we couldn't sleep at the church. Just in case you were wondering. That lifelong dream will have to wait until another day...lovelovelove,
sister dougal

No comments:

Post a Comment

Few things make a missionary happier than getting letters! And...comments are kind of like comment away!