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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baptisms!

Sent May 23:

"On Thursday we had Zone Conference, where the Mission President, APs, and office elders come and give training to our zone. Elder Macdonald and I also had to give training on planning. That went quite well. Afterwards the twins, Miranda and Marissa, were interviewed by the Mission President because of a special consideration. We decided to push their baptism back a few weeks after that, so as to clear up a few things and have them strengthen their testimony a little more. Sonja and Crystal were interviewed by our Zone Leaders and they were all set for the baptism on Saturday.
Oh, by the way, did you know the world was supposed to end on Saturday? Yeah, there was this "prophet" of a church out here who put out a full-page advertisement in a newspaper how the Bible points to May 21, 2011 as the end of the world. It was supposed to be a global earthquake. I'm kind of disappointed, actually. A global earthquake? That would be cool to see, wouldn't it?
Anyway, back to the baptism. We managed to plan it out well, so it ran really smoothly. It was just Sonja and Crystal, and Angel wasn't there, but everything else went very well. The talks were excellent, the musical numbers were great, and both of the girls only had to go in once. The Bishop baptised one and Brother Voyles baptised the other. No, I didn't baptise either of them, but it's good for them to build relationships with ward members for when we get transferred. Afterwards we went to their house for lasagna. In church yesterday I did get to confirm Crystal and the Bishop confirmed Sonja. We taught a lesson in Gospel Principles about the Sacrament. I'm confident that the whole family will be baptised by the end of July. Next will probably be Melissa, the mom, then Angel, then the rest of the girls. But I've already got two baptisms that I've been with the whole way!"


Sent May 15:
"Yesterday was a pretty good day. All seven of the Gonzalez family came again, along with Andy, a less active member, and Robert, an older man who's going through chemotherapy and radiation for prostate cancer. We've been going to his house every couple days to support him, keep him company, and share a thought or two.

"We taught Gospel Principles with the four Gonzalezes and Andy about sacrifice and fasting, and then I was volunteered to teach the High Priests group about missionary work. Elder Macdonald stayed with Angel Gonzales and went to Elders Quorum. I had almost no notice for teaching the High Priests, but it went really well anyways. I just had to ask a question or two and they would start sharing insights and experiences, and every once in a while I'd just put in my own stuff since I was the actual missionary. It helped me a ton in realizing that I can definitely be led by the Spirit and that I'm actually not too bad at giving a lesson pretty much on the spot. But it's still comforting to plan sometimes.

"On Saturday a pretty interesting thing happened. We were in Bartow on the side of a street trying to get organized and make a simple map of the potential investigators in the area. While we were going through it, a guy in an orange suit carrying a clipboard came up to the car and knocked on the window. I thought we had parked in a restricted area or something. It turned out that he was from Utah, and was an RM. He was out there knocking on doors, probably selling something, maybe even security systems. I didn't really get his name or where in Utah he's from, but it's pretty crazy how small of a world it is."