Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baptisms/The Atonement

Hello to all!
What another great week it turned out to be. The Lord has blessed us with miracle after miracle, and I am thankful that I have been able to be an instrument in His hands. There were 2 baptisms here from our area.
One day at church this little12 year old girl showed up that I didn't recognize, so I thought maybe it was the friend of a member or something. But then she was wearing a dress, but a really old, humble dress, so I thought she might actually be an inactive member. Church started, and I never got to ask her or talk to her. We left the chapel and I saw the girl walking home and noticed she turned into our area.  That afternoon, we went back to the house. We started teaching them, they had been inactive for a really long time, but the little girl decided one morning to go to church, and no one else wanted to go, so she walked all the way there by herself. Well, long story short, we started teaching them, found out that it was a part member family, and the Spirit of the Lord brought them back to being active, and their daughter  was baptized. They are such a special family to me, and I really love them, and am proud of the big steps they have made back to being active and happy!
The other baptism .... I shared with him about Captain Moroni back then, and encouraged him a lot to get his life together and become the leader that the Lord needs of him here. That story has another good twist to it. He has been active again, and his stepson moved in with the family. We started reteaching the family all the mission lessons, and the whole family has made great changes in their lives. He was recently called as the Ward Mission Leader, and did a great job directing the baptismal services earlier in the week, as if he had been directing for years. Our big goal was to get him ready to baptize his stepson, but he always would say that I was going to do the baptism. After diligence, persistence, and I am sure the Spirit of the Lord, he decided to go ahead and accept his stepson's choice of having him do the baptism. When they came out all in white, I felt such a strong feeling of charity that I could barely hold it. I have been "blessed to be a witness" (Ben Harper song) in some of the biggest changes I have ever seen in one person. The baptism went great, they were all at church on time, and when sacrament meeting came around, he blessed his newborn daughter (his first blessing given) and did great. To top it all off, he went up and bore his testimony during the meeting, and talked about his strong believe in the church, prayer, etc. He finished, concluding with his thoughts about his favorite scripture leader, Captain Moroni, and how he isn't there yet, but is working hard to be like him. I love him so much, and can honestly say that he is a great example to me on the power of the Atonement. It really changes lives, just like it has changed mine. I love the Ferreira Family, and its been a great blessing to help them in their goal towards being an eternal family, soon to be sealed in the temple.
The whole sacrament meeting was incredible. Testimony after testimony of the great members, whose lives have changed so much, along with the changes in our branch. I couldn't hold back, and went up and told them publicly how much I really do love them. Many tears were shed, the fast and testimony meetings here are so incredibly powerful, more powerful than anywhere I have ever been. I have been here for 6 months, and don't know how much longer I will be here, but I know that the Lord sent me here for a reason, and am thankful to have been a part of the big change.
Thanks for your support, love, letters, everything! Keep us here in your prayers. I tried to send pictures, its looking like it is not working, but if they got through, great! If not, I will try again next week.
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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