I am now in the Bountiful East Stake, in Bountiful! We cover 7 wards. I love it. The members are great. My new companion is Elder Smith, from New Zealand! He's been out just over a year. He has type 1 diabetes and has told me that I might end up saving his life once or twice in the next few months!! I don't know how I feel about that! haha. He lived in Texas for his 4 years of high school, so his accent has kind of faded. But some words he says, you can really tell he's a Kiwi!!
Great news! Autumn (the young girl I worked with in my first area) was baptized on Saturday! It was an amazing experience. Her dad has been less-active in the Church for most of his life, but has recently returned in the past year or so. He has become worthy and was able to baptize her!! :) It was seriously the most spiritual baptism I've ever been to. There were so many people there to support her.
Along with spiritual, it was a very on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of baptism. Autumn is an amazing 10-year-old girl with a condition of cerebral palsy. Her biggest concern about baptism was that she didn't want to be dunked underwater. She was terrified. But thankfully she gained the courage to go through with it. As her father said the baptism prayer and put her down into the water, her feet came right out from under her and came out of the water! Oh noooo!! She was almost crying when she came back up and wasn't very happy to hear she had to be dunked again. After about 5 minutes of her and her dad standing in the water, she agreed to do it one more time. Her father proceeded quickly with the prayer and put her under. Her feet came up again!!! From the back, it seemed as if her feet came out of the water, but the 2 witnesses said they didn't! So she was good! Whew, that was a close one!
I am so happy for Autumn and her Dad. I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they can gain maximum happiness in this life, as we all can.
Elder Smith and I were able to speak in one of our sacrament meetings yesterday! I love to be able to feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost as I speak. It is such a blessing to know that it really isn't me speaking. If it was me speaking, I would never be able to get my message across! (2 Nephi 33:1) It's truly amazing, how it works.
During Sacrament Meeting, we sung a certain hymn, and a particular line stood out to me.
"I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day." - I Believe In Christ, Hymn # 134
Let us stand with Christ. Let us build our foundation upon him. When we do this, we don't need to worry. The Lord is on our side! So how do we "build our foundation upon Christ"? Well there is something we teach as missionaries called CPR! Church, Pray, Read! It works, trust me! If you every feel your faith slipping… CPR! Make sure you are doing these things daily, and weekly. I promise you that as you do so, you can come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Recently, some very sad news has been shared with me. I have been informed that a young man in my first area, who was super stoked about going on his mission, has recently returned home early. I took this young man on splits maybe 4 or 5 times. He was on fire. His testimony was amazing. Unfortunately, while on his mission in Hawaii and about 7 months out in the field, he came across someone who shared some Anti-Mormon material with him. It encouraged him doubt his faith. He decided he didn't believe anymore. He says doesn't believe in God, or that he is Agnostic. It breaks my heart. He was so ready to go out in the field, and baptize the world!
Satan is very cunning. He has a lot of experience. I have unfortunately seen a big handful of returned missionaries that have returned home and for some reason or another, decided this Gospel is not for them. I don't understand it. Please keep your faith strong. Please CPR daily and weekly. Please stay active in your church calling. Please do ALL that you can, to stay aware of Satan's temptations! This Gospel is what brings happiness. This Gospel is how we can gain salvation and exaltation. Please pray for this young man that his heart might be softened by the Lord.
My mission has changed my life and strengthened my testimony incredibly. I am so blessed by the Lord with the testimony he has given me. I am so grateful for Him and his infinite atoning sacrifice.
Thanks to everyone for your constant love and support. Hope you are having the time of your life where ever you may be! Love you all!!
My favorite quote this week: "The supreme reward of struggle is strength." - Ralph Parlette
My favorite scripture this week: - Helaman 5:12 - "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."