Monday, July 23, 2012

Email: 23 July 2012

Hello family and friends!
Oh boy! I love being a missionary! This is by far the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced in my entire life. Everything that has happened, the good and the bad, in the last 5 1/2 months has all been worth it to get to this weekend. Jeff was baptized on July 21st and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Sunday July 22rd. It was absolutely wonderful!

Friday after District Meeting we cleaned out the font
(Sister Record and Sister Nelson)
[NOTE: Thanks to Jeff for giving permission to post his baptism photo. Congratulations!]
We've been meeting with Jeff for about two months and before we met with him he was meeting with Elders up in the city. He has been through a lot as he has investigated the church. Last Tuesday he had his baptismal interview and passed with flying colors. It was amazing. Two and a half weeks ago Jeff didn't have a desire to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, He didn't know if the church was true and he wasn't sure if God was there. Now here we are and Jeff is a member of the Church and is going to do amazing things in the Lord's kingdom. The Lord really does work miracles as we exercise our faith in him. :) 

So the baptism on Saturday was amazing! There were a ton of people there. There were a total of 15 missionaries at his baptism plus all the members who came to support him. The Spirit was so strong at Jeff's baptism! After the baptism Sister Christensen (who got special permission to come to his baptism) asked Jeff how he felt. Jeff said he just felt happy. I wish you could all see the change that has come over Jeff. I don't know how to even describe it.... miraculous, incredible, fantastic, etc. 

Sister Nelson, Sister Record, Jeff and Sister Christensen before the baptism.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ change somebody you care about so much. We love Jeff so much (or I guess the more appropriate phrase would be that we have "charity" towards him. haha!) and were all so happy to see him take this step in his life towards returning back to his Heavenly Father. Sister Nelson, Christensen and I couldn't hold back the tears of Joy at the baptismal service. 

On Sunday Jeff was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That was an amazing experience as well. As I looked over a few times during sacrament meeting at Jeff I could see a difference in his countenance. He is a happier person and you can see it in his eyes. 

Yesterday was a great day! We took a member out with us to a lesson which fell through. So we went knocking on doors with her. The first door we knocked on a guy from Africa opened the door. We told him we were representative of Christ and that we wanted to pray for his needs. He went and grabbed his buddy who invited us in. There the three of us were talking to 5 guys from Africa. It was so awesome!! :D They were so nice and had a lot of great questions. One of the guys had actually read parts of the Book of Mormon and was answering questions one of his roommates had about Joseph Smith. It was pretty neat. We set up a time to come back and meet with all five of them next Sunday. Tender Mercy from the Lord? Definitely!!! No doubt about it. 

Later that day we had another lesson and took a member out with us. We met this girl, [Name withheld 2], on Friday and prayed with her and then set up a return appointment for Sunday. So we went to the lesson and it was such a great 1st lesson! [Name withheld 2] was so open to the message of the Restoration. We told her the Joseph Smith story in his own words. As Sister Nelson started [Name withheld 2] interrupted and said, "He saw an angel?" we laughed and told her to hold on a second. haha! :D So we finished the Joseph Smith story and asked her who it was that appeared to Joseph. Of course she knew who it was. Then she asked us if we had seen The Work and the Glory. I told her I had. She went off on that for a minute. She told us how much she loved that movie and that every time she watches it she gets emotional. I asked her how she felt when she heard Joseph Smith's story on the movie and when she heard us tell it. She told us she always wonders if she is going to the right church. 

Like I said, it was such a great lesson! The Spirit was guiding Sister Nelson and I and the entire lesson. He was quite literally "giving [us] the words to speak in the very hour [we] needed them." We were able to set a baptismal date with [Name withheld 2]. She is very interested in continuing to learn about the church. One thing I love about President Taylor is that he really stresses inviting people to be baptized on the first lesson unless the Spirit clearly tells us not to. I have found that inviting people to be baptized the first lesson is my favorite thing to do, especially when the member we take out with us isn't expecting it. :D Even if the person we invite to be baptized says no, because we invited them concerns will come out that we wouldn't be able to find out any other way. 

Okay... going back to Jeff. Last Sunday the APs asked us to ask Jeff if he would share his conversion story at the Leadership Training Meeting (LTM) on Tuesday. Jeff is hitting the ground running! I can't wait to hear him speak at the meeting on Tuesday. Sister Nelson and I and some other sisters got special invites to go to the LTM this week. Neither one of us is in a leadership position right now, but I'm so excited for it! It is going to be so good!

Well... I love y'all very very much! You are great! Keep doing great things in good ole' Utah (and wherever you may be). 

Love, Sister Record

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