|Yifan's baptism (Yifan is on the far right)|
July 22, 2013
Holy cow we had an AMAZING week. We saw so many prayers answered and miracles have continued to happen. And Yifan got baptized! It was the best night ever--he is so happy! Everyone who attended was so touched by the tender spirit there.
But more on that later...
This week was good. We had some lessons and finding opportunities, but we had so many appointments fall through as well. We have found some amazing people who we want to meet with but for one reason or another they haven't been coming to appointments or we can't get a hold of them or whatnot. It has been a bummer, but yesterday we were sincerely praying for help in that area. Our prayers were answered! We called so many people last night and we got so many appointments for this week. We have faith they will come and progress so that was a miracle. We helped a girl in our ward pack up her things this week because she is moving somewhere else. She is blind, so I was really happy we were able to help her out. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for her and she is an inspiration to me! She is so happy all of the time despite her trial. People are so cool. We also had a unique service opportunity this week to help a guy in our ward clean his fish tank. It was awesome. But I way overused the phrase "fishionary work" so I think I need to tone it down a bit.
Mainly this week I had so many times where I was able to see the power of prayer and how God always answers our prayers. Along with the experience mentioned before, so many other distinct times where our prayers were answered in such an amazing way! I lost my nametag a couple weeks ago and I was really sad about it. It was my magnetic one and I still had my other one but I hated poking holes through my shirts with it and the magnetic one is just way more convenient. I was praying so much that I would find it and I had checked EVERYWHERE. Seriously everywhere. Well, anyway, on P-day last week, I was emptying the trash cans and I had a feeling to check in one bin one more time even though I had looked there before. Sure enough, it was in there and I was so happy! The Lord cares about every little detail. We also were teaching a less-active named Silvestro on Friday night. We had multiple appointments that had fallen through on Friday and so all of us were hoping one would work out and we would have an opportunity to teach. Silvestro is usually right on time to appointments. It was like 10 minutes after he was supposed to meet with us and we were losing faith so we decided to kneel and pray he would come. Literally right after we said "amen" he walked in the door. It was a moment straight out of The Best Two Years or something!
The baptism was on Saturday night. It turned out another guy named Nick got baptized as well! Nick is from Jonesville which is like an hour away from East Lansing. He found the church's website randomly one night and just showed up to our ward one day. It was great! The elders in Jonesville have been teaching him but he drives every week to our ward so he can be in the singles ward. He even comes to FHE! He has such devotion--that is so much time to drive. Well, we got to the church building a little later than we hoped to because the member giving us a ride was running late. We got there and it turned out no one had towels so we were stressed. Also, the only people who were there were us, Bruce and Yifan, the elders, Nick, and the elders from Jonesville. We were really worried at how the baptism was going to turn out! We decided to go in a different room and pray and ask that more people would come. Sure enough, we walked out of the room and tons of people were in the room! Also, Sister Hess brought towels so that was such a miracle. We started the baptism and instantly the Spirit came. It was so cool to see the contrast between stress and the peace the Spirit brings. Lyons (a Chinese member) gave a talk about baptism to start and it was amazing. He memorized the whole thing and it was so powerful. He even challenged everyone there to spread the gospel at the end so we were pretty happy :) Then Bruce baptized Yifan! It was honestly the most tender thing I have ever seen. Bruce was so nervous and whenever we looked over at him during Lyons' talk he was reciting the baptismal prayer to himself. So cute--it went well though! Yifan had to be baptized twice because his hand popped up. The whole week, he kept asking us if he could be in the water longer because he wanted to enjoy the feeling longer, so part of me wonders if he did it on purpose haha. It was just so touching. They gave each other a big hug afterwards and I was seriously the happiest I have ever been! Nick got baptized too and there was just a really sweet spirit there! Not going to lie, I was a crybaby and I am usually not a crier but the Spirit was just so strong.
After, Bishop Solomon got up and talked. I don't know if I have said much about him, but he is AMAZING! He is from Hawaii and is a convert to the church. He is really tough and intimidating and he speaks with so much power. At the baptism, though, he was bawling just because the Spirit was sooo strong. It was amazing and everyone who was there came away a little more converted to the gospel of Christ. Yifan bore his testimony afterwards and it was incredible. He also bore it in church and it's just amazing to see the impact he has been having on everyone. These new converts are SO excited about the gospel. It really makes me think about how much I have been taking the knowledge we have for granted! My favorite line Yifan said was, "I believe I will hold firmly to the rod for the rest of my life and say goodbye to those guys in the strange building." We all went and got ice cream after and it was just a perfect night.
I felt so much joy and I know it was from the Holy Ghost! The Holy Ghost is something I have definitely taken for granted and I love studying more about it and learning how it can help us in our lives. In the BD, under the entry earnest it says, "Isn't that cool? The joy I felt during the baptism from the Holy Ghost that was present is only a small part of what we will feel in eternal life. I love the joy we get from being missionaries and bringing more people to Christ! And I am so excited we get to prepare for eternal life now.
Oh and there was a guy at the baptism named Pavel Yurevich. He is interning in Troy for the summer and he is from Russia. It turns out grandpa gave him his patriarchal blessing so that was a really cool connection to make!
As you can see, it was an amazing week and here are some funny things I thought I would share.
-One of our Chinese members named Frank rides his bike everywhere. He needed sunglasses but he didn't have any so instead he found a Darth Vader mask and started wearing that. We DIED the first time we saw him just cruising around East Lansing with the mask on. I am going to have to get a picture!
-Yifan just cracks me up. We were at the institute and he saw a poster about BYU Hawaii. He pointed to it and said "BYU and Hawaii? That sounds like a synonym for paradise." And he kept asking us what the typical amount of time was for someone to be underwater. He seriously wanted to be underneath for like a minute. Also whenever he holds a firefly in his hand he always says, "Thank you Heavenly Father." I honestly wish I could talk like a Chinese person through e-mail because you just have to hear it...they are just so wonderful.
I don't know if I ever told you but Sister Probert has been at MSU her whole mission. This is her 5th transfer here and she feels like it might be her last. We are thinking this will be our last transfer together so we are trying to make every single moment and day count! Well, that's about it from my end. I feel so blessed to be here and I know I am here now for a reason!
Keep up the good work! Love,