Sunday, April 17, 2016
April 10th, 2016: Baptism
This week we had our first baptism in this area. First I would like to say that there is a lot that happens behind the scenes that people don't realize to prepare for that. It was especially stressful because at the same time I was trying to prepare for the baptism I also have to continue to see our other investigators and help them work towards baptism. It was definitely a stressful week but it turned out wonderfully. At the beginning of the week I was a little bummed when our investigator chose my companion and I had been praying really hard to have my heart be softened and to feel the joy because we were helping a child of God progress towards Heaven. After a couple of days of me really trying to change and feel the miracles that were happening, God blessed me with another miracle. One of the member families that we teach in Pehleng told us about their daughter, Julia, who had turned 8 but wasn't baptized yet. We told them that we would talk to the Branch President and start working out a baptism. As we continued to talk I started talking to Julia and then we asked who they wanted to do the baptism, out of nowhere Julia chose me. I told her that her father would probably want to baptize her but he even insisted that I do it because they like to have missionaries baptize. Of this I testify, if we show God that we want to change, if we pray to him with a broken heart asking for help he will answer our prayers. I had asked Him to help me soften my heart so I could feel the joy of baptism. He did just that and on top of that He blessed me with my own soul that I could save. I testify that God will always answer our prayers. It may not be the answer that we see with our mortal eyes, it will be the answer God knows will bless us far more than our answer. At the baptism I was stressed because I was in charge of everything, but as soon as I put on the white clothes, that is when my heart broke. When I realized just how truly amazing our Heavenly Father is and the blessing He had given me. Then when I saw Julia it burst open with the Spirit. God blesses us far more than we realize. As I stood in the font, and lifted my arm to the square, I looked up to Heaven and said a quick "thank you". Though I will never be able to repay my Father in Heaven, I can use the blessings that He gives me. Baptisms are supposed to change the person being baptized but I never realized how much they change the person performing the ordinance. I realize now why Lehi said the fruit was desirable above all other things. This Gospel, is that fruit, it is the perfect Love of God and it is perfect and restored to the Earth today. Those of you who have ever stood in water, raised your arm to the square and said, "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ" I ask you are you commissioned today, this hour, this minute. Are you the servant that your Father needs? The father your family needs, the mother your children need? If not, pray for a change of heart, pray for help to know "what lack I yet" and be willing to change. I love this Gospel and all that is included. I hope you all strengthen that sacred bond between yourself and your Heavenly Father. If it is strong, reinforce it, so that no matter what life throws at you it will be strong and unwavering. I love you all. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.