Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baptisms, temple, testimony of Joseph Smith

Hello to all!
Sometimes when I come to write my emails, I start to try to gather my thoughts and think, "How can I possibly put all my thoughts, events, feelings, and events into one simple email?" This last week was, for lack of better words, one of the best ones of my life, if not the very best one. Let me tell you why.
On Tuesday, we organized a special District Meeting that E. Andreasen and I prepared about the example of the Prophet Joseph Smith, basing our part out of a talk by Pres. Thomas S. Monson. We each shared a scriptures about a Christ-like attribute, shared facts of Josephs life, and then applied it to missionary work. I was so impressed by the life of Joseph Smith, and his love for missionary work. We both at the end bore our strong testimonies of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the priesthood authority that came with it. Then we played a duet of "Praise to the Man", which was very powerful and moving. Then, President Madariaga (Mission President) came prepared to share his thoughts/testimony. He read a great talk to us, titled "Profile of a Prophet" by Hugh B. Brown. After his message, while trying to hold back tears, bore his solemn testimony that he knows that Joseph Smith really was and is the Prophet of the Restoration. The Spirit of the Lord instantly flowed without resistance into each and every one of our open hearts, and strengthened each of our testimonies. President never shows emotion, and he, with much emotion, bore his sure testimony. I will never forget how I felt sitting in the chapel, hearing his humble, but authoritative testimony. I testify that the Prophet Joseph Smith saw God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that he was called of the Lord to restore the truths of the gospel that were lost during the Great Apostasy. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true, sacred record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, that it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel, and that it was translated by power from on high. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is exactly was it declares itself to be: The one and only true Church of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the testimony that I have received, I feel it burning in my heart every time I share it. I feel it touch the hearts of the people that I contact. I love this Church and testify with all that I have, to all within reach of this letter, that it is His divine Church, and that salvation comes only through Christs Atonement, receiving all the ordinances in His church, and obedience to those covenants.
Friday night was an incredible one. Many members came to attend (the baptism) and participate in the service, including President and Hermana Madariaga. We played a special number of "Teach Me to Walk" that everyone absolutely loved, I think it was the first time that anyone there had heard such a great musical number as a duet.  The ward is so excited for them and have welcomed them into the fold with arms wide open and smiles. They love the church, and E. Andreasen and I really love them. They are a special family. I feel privileged to have been here in this special time of their lives, and to have been a part of their conversion process.
Saturday afternoon, Elder Andreasen and I headed to attend the temple with Christian. He received his mission call, and was there to receive the temple endowment. We had a quick lunch, and then while he was talking to the Temple President and getting ready, we were able to help out in the baptistery, where I ran into a couple of temple workers who knew Bruce and Susan (they say hi!), Grandma and Grandpa (they say hi), and another couple. They all were so excited for Christian and for me to be there with him! I was right by his side the whole way through. I couldn't help but feel a profound happiness. Words cannot describe the feeling of being in the temple with someone who, just a year ago, was a lost teenager, without direction in his life. He was looking for the truth, but didn't know where to find it. And, by divine intervention, we were guided to his house and found him. My joy is great. I could not feel more happy for him.  It was another moment that I will never be able to forget.
We have received so many blessings that I feel overwhelmed with the help from the Lord we have had. I love this work, the Church is true. Don't doubt, be believing! Love you all, keep us in your prayers.
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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