This week was, just like every week, fantastic! Maria was baptized on Saturday and then on Sunday confirmed the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She chose me to baptize her, so I felt honored to perform the ordinance. The service went pretty well, I decided to take a risk by having everyone sing "Whenever I am baptized" from the Primary, but it backfired because nobody knew it, and I just played it on the piano...so that was a little awkward, but it all worked out. As I was changing into dry clothing after the baptism, I pondered about the true miracle that finding, teaching and baptizing someone is! Maria, in a little neighborhood in a tiny city was able to come in contact with true representatives of Jesus Christ, feel the Spirit testify to hear of the truthfulness of the gospel, be baptized, and become a member of the Lords church. I cannot describe in words really the profoundness of the thoughts I had, but they made me feel so happy to thing that the Lord knows all of us and guides us to the truth, we just need to open our hearts and trust in Him.
So I am 21 now, I feel...the same haha. A family gave us some chicken and rice for lunch, and a recent convert prepared me a HUGE bowl full of delicious fruit salad. The members here are so awesome and always look out for us. I am thankful for the great relationship I have with them, and for all they do for the missionaries!
Speaking of that, this last week, ALL of our new investigators this last week came from member referrals! And 3 of them came to church for the first time on Sunday and were accompanied by members! The work in this area has just beyond exploded with tons of people to teach. And the cool part is that many of them have expressed desires to be baptized, even before we invite them! I feel so blessed for being able to be the one to teach them and help them in their own spiritual journies.
Yesterday was a day of many mixed feelings. It was my last Zone Leader Council, and therefore all the Elders going home this change gave what is called their "Final Testimonies." I was there with Elder Colligan, Elder Miner, Elder Richins all from my MTC District. The growth in all of us has been incredible. As I heard Elder Colligan talk about his mission experience, it made me feel so thankful that we were blessed to be here together. He truly has become a powerful, strong, inspiring example of faith, testimony, and love. I love him for all he has done for me. After him I went up and bore my humble testimony. I am not someone with an eloquent, fancy testimony, I simply like to share what I know to be true. I am also not a crier. Therefore, as I started to talk about us and the growth we have seen in ourselves and the love I have for my mission experience, for the people I have been blessed to serve, the changes in the lives of others and my own, I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that I could not hold it back. I want everyone at home to know that I know that God lives. Jesus Christ is the living Son of God, our Savior. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God, President Thomas S. Monson holds the keys to guide us to heaven. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of the Lord on earth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and has become the keystone of my testimony of all of these things. I feel so happy to know that as I have served others, I have also served the Lord. I have never, ever, ever felt more happy in all of my life. The soccer highlights, playing guitar, going to concerts, playing super smash brothers on nintendo 64, all of that is really nothing in comparison to the happiness I have felt here in in my mission. For all of you out there needing to hear this message, whether your testimony is fragile, or you have not decided to serve a mission, or just are confused about anything in life, trust in Moroni's Promise: "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye shall know the truth of all things". Follow the Spirit you have felt and then go forward with faith.
I love you all, and wish you all a great week. I had many other noteworthy events this week, that I will tell you all at home someday. Keep us in your prayers.
Until next week,