December 21, 2009
To the best Family and Friends that a missionary could ever ask for!
I hope that you all have had a great start to the Christmas week. And I hope that you have an even better week and a very happy and merry Christmas! Thanks to all of you for all that you have done in your love and support! I hope that you enjoy the snow and the lights and the fun that comes with Christmas! But more importantly I hope that you enjoy the spirit that comes with this awesome day! How blessed we all are to have a savior in Jesus Christ. And how blessed we are to have a loving Heavenly Father who would send his son to die for us! I love you guys and I hope that you have a merry Christmas!
Thank you dad and mom and grandma and grandpa for the Christmas present! I just opened it right here in the email cafe and it made me feel so warm and happy. Thank you for your love and all that you have done for me. I love you guys so much and I hope that Christmas is awesome!
Anyways, this week was a great week and the best news from this week is that we had a baptism! It was so amazing! It was a little different from the last baptism that I had in the mission but it was still amazing to see Vivian enter the waters of baptism and commit and covenant to become a new person in Christ. On Saturday we had a lot of preparation for the baptism but all went well. We went in the morning to fill the font and get everything else ready and then we came back at 6:00 for the baptismal service which began at 7:00. It was such a neat ceremony. The missionaries from our ward (there are 8 of us here believe it or not) sang a song for the two investigators getting baptized and it brought a really neat spirit into the room.
When Vivian walked into the font she looked at the water and said "Wow! There's a lot of water there" to my companion Elder Bailey. Then she said "I am going to get wet! My whole body is going to get wet isn't it!" I smiled when she said that. But the most amazing feeling in the world is the feeling that comes after the ordinance is performed. Every time you hear that little splash of water the spirit just floods into the room and tears always well up in my eyes! I am so blessed to be in the service of the Lord and to be able to see people make this change in their lives. I will never forget the light that Vivian had in her eyes at the end of the night, and the light that was still in her eyes during the next day.
On Sunday we were to have her confirmation and it was really neat! She came a little late and Elder Bailey and I were really worried. Usually you don't like to baptize people and then wait a week for the confirmation and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost. She showed up during the sacrament portion of the meeting. Up until that point we were just praying over and over that she would show up. Sure enough, she did and she was able to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her blessing was incredible. One thing that I want to share with you that I thought was really cool is that she has had a lot of troubles with her kids. But in the blessing the bishopric member told her that the Lord knows and loves her and that the blessings of the gospel need to be provided to her kids and that she should help them to follow her example. When I heard that I just about fainted. Haha. She has a daughter that is 9 and can get baptized, but she has been really reluctant to have us teach her. I think that this blessing is going to help! We should be having another baptism in 2 weeks and I am just pumped.
I am almost positive that I told you guys about the new family that we found last week, the Wauban family. They are doing great. We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and the mom was a little reluctant to stop some of her habits. Of the 5 things that the Word of Wisdom tells us to avoid, they participate in 4. So it is going to be a huge commitment for them. What was really cool was to see their son and the love in his eyes when he begged his dad and his mom to commit to this so that they would stop smoking and drinking. They eventually said that they would do it and at the end the boy asked whoever was praying to bless his mom and dad with strength to stop smoking. It was a really neat moment, and it was really cool to see how truly inspired the Word of Wisdom is.
I hope that this email doesn't seem overly serious or overly flooded with spiritual experiences. I know that Christmas is this week so again I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And before I go I'll share one more experience from this week.
This week we had a lot of cool experiences with prayer and receiving answers to our prayers. We had a baptismal interview on Friday for Vivian and we needed to get a hold of her so that she could get interviewed and be baptized! All day on Friday our phone was not working. The service wasn't working and at the end of the day our phone died. And then the charger broke! It was incredible to see all of the opposition that was trying to get in the way. Needless to say, we prayed really hard on Thursday that we would be able to set up the interview with Vivian on Friday. Friday morning the phone was still dead. We prayed again and wouldn't you know it the phone turned on for 1 minute and we were able to grab the numbers that we needed so we could get in touch with Vivian. Needless to say all worked out well! Behold the power of prayer! I loved it!
Another cool experience we had was when we were tracting. We had had absolutely zero success and we had barely talked to anyone. Anyways we said a prayer and as we started tracting I looked up into the heavens and I said please just one lesson. Wouldn't you know it, the very next house we knocked on we met Rodney -- an awesome new investigator. Elder Bailey and I just turned to each other and laughed at how awesome it was that the Lord answered our prayers so quickly.
Over and over things happened like that this week and it was totally awesome! I know that the God loves us and that He really does hear our prayers. When we ask with a sincere heart He WILL hear us and He WILL bless us!
Sometimes I worry that it feels like I am being way to serious and I hope that is not the case. I am just too excited to be able to talk to my family this week! I want you all to know how much I love and how much I hope that you have one of the best Christmases ever. Christmas just isn't the same down here. It's 90 degrees and the Christmas lights just don't look good on a desert backdrop. Believe it or not it's really hard to feel the Christmas spirit in the middle of the desert. But it is still the best time of the year and I hope that you are all loving it up back home!
We are going to have a lot of dinners and stuff with the members and other missionaries this week so things shouldn't be too bad. Friday we have a big party with all of the missionaries on the island at the senior missionaries' house so that will be fun. It still won't be the same as waking up on Christmas morning with my family, but I'll get to talk to you guys so I'm still pumped!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas again. I really feel like this email is a little dull for a Christmas email but what the heck we had a baptism this week and that was so awesome!
May your days be merry and bright and all your Christmases be.... crap! I forgot it! hahah! I hope that you all have a great Christmas week and that the spirit of Christmas is strong and alive in your hearts. Merry Christmas! Ya'll don't party too hard!
PS I heard BYU plays Oregon State tomorrow! Go Cougars! They are going to make up for the debacle they had last year! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Gooooooo Cougars!!!!!