What a week!
This week there were 2 baptisms and zone conference! Zone conference was great. Zone Conference was when I really realized that my mission has truly changed my life... also that I never want to stop being a missionary. I always want to do this. Yes it is hard, but the more I loose myself in the work the more I find myself.. and somehow gradually along the way God is shaping me into a better person. Someone a little more like Christ. I've learned humility.. and I've learned that I really want to love more. And to not see the bad in people, but always look for the good in them. I realized I was more negative than I wanted to be, and I have found things that I can work on and improve my life and hopefully improve the lives around me as well.
Also, as you know, there were 2 baptisms this week! I have to admit that I was a stress case.. probably more than I should have been. Ha ha.. I have never really organized a baptism before so Sister Bothwell got to see a whole new side of me. You know how when I was waiting for a school dance I would get really nervous and start pacing and saying things like "he's not coming..." well.. this was worse haha. It was all worked out so I don't know why I was even stressed. However.. it was another very humbling experience. Nelson went first. His daughter didn't come and it really broke my heart. But he was there.. and he was ready. Before it started I remember him saying "she didn't come, so it's just me alone". As sad as it was, I was so proud of him, to make this step when everyone around him didn't support it. I am so grateful for him, teaching him has changed my life. He is what I hope to be someday.. just so eager to follow God. He wasn't even concerned about what was going on around him, he knew what he needed to do, he had the faith to do it, and his life is changed for the better. He doesn't know a whole lot, but he doesn't care. He wants to share his testimony with the world. We didn't even talk about testimonies before he asked if he could go up and share his. Watching him come out of the water flooded me with a joy that words can't describe. It was a beautiful ceremony! One of the girls that had been teaching him with us gave a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. First of all she is a very "tough" girl, but when she got up there she just sobbed. She thanked him over and over again for his example and for the chance she had to teach him. She expressed that by teaching him, she found her testimony. It is amazing to me that by teaching someone else, it helps me and those who are teaching to really find our own testimony. The humility part came during the song me and Sister Bothwell sang.. lets just say it wasn't very good.. ha ha and that I probably won't be singing at baptisms again lol. But as bad as we both knew it was, one of our investigators who came sobbed.. and I realized that it didn't matter how humiliating it was.. Roy needed to hear that song, and I was happy, and felt good knowing that it touched at least one person.
Eli went next. Everyone loves him so much. He is a lifey for sure. He was at the door greeting everyone, so full of excitement. The Spirit was sooo strong. So many people he loved were there. It was amazing how much love and support was around him. After he was baptized he gave Jon Taylor (yes ironic I know), the guy who baptized him, the biggest hug in the world, and of course I cried. His life is changed, and he is so grateful. I was so grateful for the help of the members with him. His support was awesome, and his friends were the greatest examples to him. I know he wouldn't have gotten baptized if it weren't for that. So just remember.. that example really does matter, and sharing your testimony can change someones life. So never pass up opportunities. His 2 non-member kids came and his son cried.. well I should say sobbed.. it was a bit crazy haha the whole time. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints really is Christs church, because the Spirit confirms it to me and so many people I see time and time again. I don't think it will be long until his kids are baptized as well.
Now that it is over it really confirms to me that that is not the end. That there is so much more and baptism is just a step. Endurance is crucial and will be the thing that will truly change both of their lives and they will look back and think "I wish I would have known about this sooner" and see how much they have grown and how much the gospel has been a blessing in their life.
It was a very spiritual and educational week. I love the Book of Mormon.. It is amazing that I really would put all my money.. all my life.. on the book. I love that I can hand someone a Book of Mormon and with full confidence know that if they put in the effort to read it and prayed to know if it was true that they would know. They would know.. because it is true. I couldn't teach without it, baptisms couldn't happen without it.. I am so grateful for it.
I hope you all have the greatest week, know you are in my prayers and thoughts. I love you!