July 1, 2013
Cute title, eh? We have seen that phrase on a few t-shirts and I think it's pretty clever.
We had a GREAT week. It was seriously so awesome and Bruce's baptism was the coolest experience ever. I was so grateful to be able to take part in it. But I'll get to that later.
Last week we got to spend lots of time with the other missionaries in the Lansing mission. It was so cool and I feel such a spirit of camaraderie. We got together with all of the sisters in our zone last P-day and played basketball which was really fun. It made me feel like a true missionary! We also had half-mission training last Thursday. We got to drive to Mount Pleasant and Sister Christensen, Sister Probert, and I had the amazing opportunity of riding there with President and Sister Hess. I loved hearing stories from them. They told us about the process of getting their callings and I just know it was so inspired. I love learning from them and hearing their wisdom and strong testimonies. President Hess has an amazing testimony of Joseph Smith and it has strengthened mine so much.
The training on Thursday was so good. It made me feel guilty, but the good kind of guilty. Like more of a desire to do better and a hope it is possible. The training gave me a ton of good ideas about different approaches to missionary work and we had some amazing practice teaching. Also I saw an elder there who I had a class with at BYU so that was crazy! He was pretty shocked to see me in Lansing because he knew I was going to Brazil.
Other than that, we just had lessons and finding throughout the week. Our main focus was preparing Bruce for his baptism. The baptism was AMAZING!!! We were just so excited for it all week because it was the first baptism for all of us. We had to ride the bus to his baptism Saturday night and it was crazy because one of our other investigators, Ashwini, was there so we got to meet with him on the way. It's amazing how the Lord puts people in your path! Ashwini ended up coming to the baptism along with one of our other investigators, Ray. The other missionaries in the zone brought lots of investigators too. The Relief Society room was packed. It was about half members and then half investigators and missionaries. People in our ward really came together to help us prepare and I was so grateful for their help. Bruce had been a little nervous for his baptism all week but he texted us Saturday morning and said "I am not nervous anymore I am so excited!" so that was really awesome. He walked into the baptism and we were all shocked because he was wearing a nice suit. He has always worn jeans to church but he said he bought a suit for his baptism and it was just so sweet he did that and none of us even asked him to!
Brother Barnes, a member of the bishopric, baptized Bruce. He came out of the water and looked so happy. It was amazing to see. Other than that, our companionship sang a rendition of “Come, Follow Me” for the musical number and we had some members of the ward give talks. The highlight was definitely Bruce bearing his testimony though! He bore such a strong testimony and I know it touched everyone in the room. I felt the happiest I have ever been in my life! I am just so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be here doing this work. I just have loved seeing Bruce grow closer to Christ. Bruce got confirmed on Sunday by a member named Ben. Ben went to Australia on his mission and spoke Chinese so he did the confirmation in Mandarin.
This week we are trying to put an increased emphasis on working with the members because we really want to help get them motivated. I hope it works because missionary work truly is about getting members and missionaries united! We are excited for the increased emphasis that is being placed on member missionary work. This is such an amazing time to be a missionary.
Here’s a funny story from this week. It was hilarious at the time so if you don't think it's funny I am sorry. Yesterday we were meeting with Bruce in the library of our institute building. They have a ton of books you can check out and use. We were helping Bruce check out a book and Sister Christiansen started busting up laughing. She had checked out Jesus the Christ the week before because she forgot to bring her own copy. Anyway, on the slot where you write the book title, she had written that she checked out "Jesus the Christiansen." It was too good. She had absentmindedly just written her full name!
That's about it from me, though. I am loving it so much and I am grateful for all your support.