|Baptism of Dymin and Chris|
April 21, 2014
Happy Monday everyone!!
We had such an amazing week . . . like crazy good. Dymin's baptism happened on Saturday and then we also found out on Thursday another investigator named Chris wanted to be baptized that day too! He has been to church for a couple of months now and has been taught everything so he was all ready to go. It was a crazy week getting them both ready for baptism and we also went on exchanges twice this week but it all went really well!
Chris started investigating the church last November. He read parts of the Book of Mormon skeptically and would halfheartedly come to church. He came a few times but then decided he wanted to stay with his other Chinese church in Lansing. However, we kept meeting with him once in a while and he would come to the Gardner's institute class every week. Once at institute someone talked about the levels of obedience and mentioned how we can obey because of fear, duty, or LOVE (highest level). Chris realized he was not obeying out of love and he decided to really turn his will over to God. From there, he started reading the Book of Mormon regularly and coming to church again and he really has experienced a mighty change of heart. It was so beautiful to witness his conversion process. He said that whenever he thinks of Christ, he wants to cry because of the gratitude he has and that baptism felt so right. What beautiful things happen to our hearts and our natures when we allow the Book of Mormon and the church to change us!
Dymin was really excited for her baptism. She fasted the day before to make sure she would be spiritually prepared and invited her whole family to come! We had to start the baptism but her family still wasn't there so she was really nervous and anxious. We did all of the talks and musical numbers first to allow time for her family but they still weren't there and I just felt so bad! The last song before the ordinance I saw out of the corner of my eye that Dymin was bowing her head and praying. Right as the song ended and she was walking to the font, her family walked in!!! Dymin turned around to us and said "I was just praying for that! Oh my goodness!!" She was so so so happy. Her family wants to learn more about the gospel too so it is really cool to see how her decisions influence generations!
We also had interviews this week with President Hess. After last Monday, I had a really strong feeling I was leaving so I started crying at the interview. He ended up telling me I got my visa so I will be leaving after this transfer--CRAZY! I still can't believe it. I don't know the exact day I am leaving yet but it really has made for a wild week. Elder Gardner told me it was an absolute miracle my visa came through. Usually it takes 5 weeks from the time it reaches the consulate but mine took 7 DAYS. I am really sad to leave Michigan and sometimes I question if this is the right thing for me to do, but that was a sign to me Heavenly Father really wants me in Brazil right now. So I'll have faith! I haven't told very many people yet because I really want to be super focused for my last few days here. It will be an emotional roller coaster for sure.
Easter was incredible--probably the best Easter I have ever had in my life. It's been really crazy knowing that I am leaving and that my time here will end, so it was reassuring to direct my thoughts to Christ and know that He knows everything I am feeling and that endings don't really have to be endings because of the resurrection. Because of the reality of the resurrection, all of the promises Heavenly Father has given us will come to pass. It was one of the most spiritual church meetings I have ever been to and I am so grateful for my Savior.
It was also crazy because a year ago I was giving my goodbye talk in Highlands Ranch and I remember we sang "God Be with You Till We Meet Again." Bishop Solomon asked me if I would go up and bear my testimony and then we ended up singing that same hymn for the closing song! My thoughts were directed to a year ago and what an absolutely wonderful year it has been. Last time I was preparing to leave for my mission and this year I am preparing to leave the people I love again. It is so comforting to know God will be with me, no matter what happens! After church we had a delicious Mexican Easter dinner provided by one of the members named Christina. It was truly a wonderful day!
On a funnier note . . . one of our members named Zhang is absolutely hilarious and he has a REALLY HARD time waking up for church. He hasn't been for a long time so we met with him and committed him to come Sunday. He wasn't there, so we were really bummed. We dropped by after church and he started apologizing profusely. He told us he woke up on time for church and decided he should shave before he left. He shaved his beard but then noticed his fingers were "fuzzy" so decided to shave all of his fingers and his hands . . . he ended up cutting himself so much and he said by the time he got the blood all cleaned up sacrament meeting was already over. Moral of the story = Leave your hands fuzzy for church...Shave it for later.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!