Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happiness Just Ahead






Saturday was a big day. President interviews and then a baptism. WHOA!! At President interviews, I got an Ipod, and a really big push from President to improve. He is so dang nice, and watching him pray for me and my family was so sweet. It is actually really cool to see the love he has for each and every missionary. As I talked to him, he told me to create opportunities for myself and go for it. To start role playing and take lead in lessons so that I can be ready to train when called upon. Ah, it is amazing how much the mission pushes you to be better. It asks a lot of your soul, but if you work as hard as you can, you are blessed beyond your imagination. It is funny because I swear he just repeated the words out of Dad's (and every coach I've ever had) mouth. I'm really trying to just focus and work harder. Role-plays are my LEAST favorite thing EVER!!! Lets be real, it is so awkward to stare at your companion and pretend that she is an investigator. But, gotta let go of my pride on that one and really just practice teaching. It's the only way to get better. 

And then, 4 o'clock rolled around, and Michael was all dressed in white, ready to be baptized. Man, he is such an honest-hearted guy who was totally ready before we showed up at his door for baptism. Michael and Sherry are the first people I started teaching consistently. I got to see them grow and watch the light change in their eyes and their countenances. I got to see them talk about the Book of Mormon, and how praying out loud was going. I remember the day he came up to me and told me he wanted to be baptized because he had received an answer to his prayer! And the baptismal day actually came. He was there, ready to be baptized. I was lucky enough to say the opening prayer (and conduct the opening song). ha ha And my companion shook the room with her amazing Spirit. When we all entered back into the church, Sister Hargadon, Sherry and I all sung a musical number. It is Joseph Smiths First Prayer to the music of Oh my Father. It was so powerful to see Sherry up there singing Joseph Smiths vision to her husband. Oh my, he LOVED IT!!! The whole thing was just an amazing event. I felt weird, like it wasn't my baptism at all. It was the Lord's and that is all the mattered. 


You know what the real miracle of all of it was? The whole chapel was FULL of people. The whole ward came to support Michael. He literally was welcomed into a family. You could see how much that meant to him, and I have no worries that after I leave this area that he might be forgotten. This ward has connected with him, and will make him feel at home. When he was in the font, 20 little kids were up at the glass watching him, with people spreading all the way to the back of the room. No chairs left open. My mouth was open from shock. And to see him be baptized, I was so grateful I got to witness all of this. His journey. His wife's journey back to the church. And all they want to do is love people!  When we all entered back into the church, Sister Hargadon, Sherry and I all sung a musical number. It is Joseph Smiths First Prayer to the music of Oh my Father. It was so powerful to see Sherry up there singing Joseph Smiths vision to her husband. Oh my, he LOVED IT!!! The whole thing was just an amazing event. I felt weird, like it wasn't my baptism at all. It was the Lord's and that is all the mattered. 

I also had a cool experience on Sunday, with one of our recent converts. She is such a cool lady, and needs some support and help learning all the gospel principles. She feels inferior lots of times at church because she thinks everyone knows everything and she is the only one trying to learn. I just was very real with her and told her how much I am also struggling, and feeling inferior with my knowledge and teaching abilities here. She really appreciated my honesty, and told me that she just needed people to be real with her. Sometimes all it takes is honesty because it's hard to relate when others can't see you struggle. Ah, when she was saying the closing prayer, she started crying as she said,  "strengthen them, I love them. Amen" It really touched my heart to know that somebody here is affected by my service and loves me. I don't know, it is something to think about. I think you can affect people way deeper by who you really are, than by anything you are trying to be. 


Mount Juliet is a special place. The Spirit is working really hard here right now, preparing lots of people for us to teach. I am honestly amazed. We are so busy running around, just trying to get everything done. I hope and pray that I can get over my own issues, so that I might further be able to help others. As a missionary you hold a lot of responsibility, but it's cool because the Lord will qualify those for the work if you give yourself over to him to work with. 


I am so grateful for all of you who read my letters. The fact that it effects you makes everything I do here worth it. Thank you for being a support to me! I love you all.

Family I love you lots!! Zach, I am just over joyed over here telling all my missionary buddies that you have started your mission papers. I can't believe that!! Oh, I just want to cry out of sheer happiness. Love ya,  bro!! 

Pray for me to be able to feel the love my Savior has for me and share it with others. 

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