Sunday, December 13, 2015

November 22nd, 2015: First Baptism!

This week we got our first Baptism!!!! It was the first baptism in our area in a really really long time. So when we told people that we were getting a baptism they didn't believe us at first. I was writing in my Journal the other night and I was thinking about how much Andero has changed from when we very first met him. He has progressed so much from when we first met him and I can see the light in his eyes now. When he was baptized I finally felt like all this work that I've been doing was worth it. Honestly I would work for 10 years just to get that one person to change their lives enough to be baptized. Because I've been baptized for a long time it never really occurred to me what it would be like to never feel the Spirit, to never know what the warm feeling inside is and what it means. There's no better feeling than watching the spirit just chip away at a person until finally the Spirit breaks through and they finally understand why all of this is so important and why all of the things that we teach can help them. I did another object lesson to describe this the other day. I really try to use things that the locals have and will see a lot, so this week I chose coconuts. I explained how when we first came to this Earth we were all coconuts. We have a hard outer shell that was ugly and undesirable. Throughout our lives we have moments where the Holy Ghost chips away at that hard outer shell. Some experiences might be bigger than others and some might be just a little scuff, but eventually the Spirit breaks through to the pure light of Christ that is in us. If you were to look at a Coconut on the ground and see this ugly brown ball you would just kick it aside and keep walking, but God knows what's inside each and every one of us. Potential. God knows what we can become and He knows what challenges we have to overcome so that we can know that. There is a scripture in Jacob 4:15? , it talks about how God gives us weaknesses so that we can know that we have power to overcome them. I know that Andero had a lot of things that he did wrong but honestly he is one of the strongest members now, not because of his knowledge of the Gospel but because he's been down all the wrong paths until he found the right one. There is a quote that I like that says, the most beautiful lawns are the lawns that took the most weeding. I think that is so true in life. The better we want to be the more we have to work and weed out the bad in our lives. As missionaries we are constantly weeding out the little things and even big things that keep us from being effective missionaries. Even though they might only be a small weed sticking up, to others walking by they stick out like a sore thumb. I know that becoming Christ-like is not a one-time thing but a constant process. All of our investigators get out what they put in. When they finally realize that is when they realize they need help and that through us, God and Jesus Christ can give them that help. I know that missionary work is the most important work second only to the work we do within our families. And we don't have to have a name tag on to help someone out. We are all brothers and sisters and we all need help. So my challenge is for all of you to find 1 person each day and help them in a small way. Even if it is just keeping them in your prayers. Just help others, when you are in the service of your fellow man you are only in the service of your God. The best way to serve God is to serve others! I realize now that this life is to test us on how we treat others. To test us to think outside ourselves and to sacrifice a little of our time to help others. There are so many ways to help other people but the best way is to SMILE!!!!! -Elder Hanson

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