Happy Day! August 3, 2015
Paul was baptised. Miracles happen. Being a missionary is difficult but the rewards are well worth it.
This week was potentially one of the best weeks of my life. I've said that before but that's just because of how many great things happen! On top of it all Elder Graham and I are getting along well. I really enjoyed my time with Elder Tunnicliffe but there is a culture difference between the English and Americans that can add more challenges to sort through. I think I have learned a lot over the last two months that would have helped me be a better companion earlier in my mission (like not crying over spilled milk). Plus E Graham likes really good music and used to go to concerts at Usana all the time so we never run out of things to talk about. And we went to a breakfast buffet with the Ford family... so good!
We spent a good amount of time this week preparing Paul for his baptism. He was definitely ready to join the church. Being a very quiet person he was nervous to tell his friends at the church he's been going to that he was actually getting baptised into the "Mormon Church." He had been telling some friends about his experiences with us but after we had the baptismal programme all completed and the interview scheduled, he decided that he needed to tell the preacher at his church. The response wasn't the best but we will see if they still want his help with the administrative things he has been helping with.
Paul had a few challenges leading up to the baptism. Right before we partake of the Atonement in amazing ways (tree of life) there are always trials to try to steer you off course (mists of darkness and people mocking). Fortunately prayer is real and he received multiple tender mercies at just the right moments to confirm to him that this is still right. Saturday E Graham baptised him and Sunday I confirmed him. We heard that it only takes an hour to fill the font but I would recommend at least an hour and a half because the font was only mid thigh deep on Paul and just over E Graham's knees. I was wondering if we should postpone it another half an hour but it turned out alright. We had to do it twice but Paul felt the Holy Spirit of Promise confirm that the ordinance was done properly.
Helaman 6:3 reads, "Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the
, which had been established among
them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with
another, and did have great joy." The kingdom of heaven rejoices when
someone repents and comes to Christ, and that is exactly how we've felt this
week. I love helping people come to Christ. church of God
Wednesday our district leader and his companion came over to go on splits the island. Basically like exchanges but we all stayed here because of travel. The two elders that came over were both diligent in speaking with everyone and they got me really excited to be a missionary. Increased diligence and faith led to miracles. I swear every third person Elder Johnson and I spoke to were interested, to some degree, and we were able to teach a few of them.
We made it to a DA about ten minutes early so we knocked on the neighbour's doors. The first guy wasn't interested but then we spoke to a lady who was walking her dog and got her address to deliver a Book of Mormon (and salvation) another day. After dinner we went to the nearby road that we planned to knock. E Graham felt sure that was the right road in planning so I was excited to see miracles. We knock on the first door and a pretty cool looking chap, mid-twenties, opens the door. He's nice enough but he says he's on the phone in the other room (not true, young people use mobiles) so we leave a card. He promised to check out the website and we start to turn away. Before we leave we heard his Mum shouting, "Chris, what do they want?!" I smiled and said, "Cheers Chris!"He opened the door back up and smiled, quickly said thanks and shut the door.
The next door was a bust. As we walked away from it Chris was out on his porch waving us over. "You can come in now." His Mum was just sitting down for tea but they allowed us to share our message as soon as they made sure we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses. We had a proper sit down teach with Chris, his Mum, and his girlfriend. His Mum just recently started going back to church and has been encouraging them too as well. It's difficult to say after one meeting, but I think they are prime for the gospel! I am really excited to see them this week.
The next morning we stopped a guy who had just recently been changing his life and wondering why there are so many different churches. We sat him down on the bench right there and explained in twenty minutes the first message. I have been doing a lot better recently at listening to the Spirit in lessons and adapting the lesson to their needs, which has created an environment that the Spirit is strong in. It seemed to go really well but unfortunately people in this country often don't remember their mobile numbers (11 digits) or carry their phones with them. Then I was a bonehead and scheduled to meet back up in the same spot Saturday morning at half ten. After we left I thought there was something Saturday at 10:30 so I opened my planner to see "PAUL'S BAPTISM! :)" Oops.
Before I forget I met Brother and Sister Pike, here in the IOW ward, who are friends with the Alvey's in our home ward. They stayed at their house one block away from us before!!
I want everyone to know that the church is true. Heavenly Father loves each of his children and knows them individual. The Good Shepherd has his sheep numbered and is gathering the lost ones. I know that I am given tender mercies often to recognise his love. I record them in my journal so I will never forget (see Mormon Message O Remember Remember).
Yeah that happened... The one on my left loved the Book of Mormon musical in Westend and it was a dream come true to meet real Mormons on the Ryde Esplanade. "You are going to love my name than," I smirked. Yeah the main character in the musical is Elder Price. It was actually really cool to be able to explain why we do this and the standards we choose to live by. Younger people are usually most interested in the commandments (why we don't do fun stuff) and so I enjoyed testifying of commandments as Heavenly Father's loving counsel to have a happy life that lasts much longer than the weekend. Plus I like the attention. ;)