HEY, GUESS WHAT?!? WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!! Last week we met with Mariah on Tuesday and spent 2 hours teaching the Plan of Salvation and the commandments. At the end of the lesson, Sis. Balmforth goes, "Well, we need to pick a date for you to get baptized." Textbook delivery. She said she hadn't thought about a specific date yet, so we told her we could do any day, usually we do Sundays but if she wanted a Saturday or whatever that would be fine too. She thought about it for a minute, just sat there, and then looked at us and said, "I think I want to do it this Sunday." We were in shock. It was so cool. So, yesterday evening we got to see Mariah's baptism. It was so awesome. I had been hearing forever about how great it is to see one of your own baptisms and how great it feels, and now I understand. While she was getting dressed after she was baptized, I got to give the "10 minute resto" where we talk about the person that just got baptized and share the story of the restoration. It was way cool. I was so nervous, but I'm really glad I got to do it. Mariah was so happy to get baptized. She texted us later that night and told us how happy she was and that when she walked down into the water, it felt like there was a hand on her back guiding her down, and she felt so great. Next week, she will be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. She told us how much we had changed her life, but it doesn't feel like we did much. This was a huge miracle. 4 months and 2 days into my mission, I got to see how the Lord works to prepare people and how important it is for us as missionaries to just be in the right place at the right time. She was so ready for the gospel, and her life is going to be so blessed because of it. As a member of the ward was bearing his testimony about the gospel and baptism, I had a very distinct thought that we are all part of something greater. Our lives are meant for something greater and the work we do here is how we make that possible, it is how the gap is bridged, and how the plan of our Heavenly Father is taken to those who need it. I can't really explain it very well, but that was a very sacred moment for me. It made being a missionary that much more important to me, and it made me so appreciative of the knowledge and opportunities that I have. It is so amazing to me that God allows us to participate in this work. I am so excited to keep doing it.
So that was our really big event this week. I'm still super excited about it, and I'm pretty sure I won't ever really grasp what a huge miracle that was. We got to teach seminary again this week, mostly just playing scripture mastery games with them. And I told them the story about Jezebel's death. It's a good one if you haven't read it. It involves eunuchs, walls, and dogs. Kind of a bummer, a recent convert who is 16 told us this week that he wants to still explore other religions because he's young and doesn't want to commit to anything too soon. It's sad because the reason he probably feels like that is because he hasn't been to church in so long, he forgot what it feel like to have the Spirit constantly in his life. It reminds me of that part in the Book of Mormon where Nephi talks about how the devil can lead us away, sometimes by flattering, other times by convincing us there is nothing wrong. We can't ever be complacent though because if we aren't moving forward, we will for sure start moving back. We are still trying to work really hard to find new people. Tracting is still a big challenge for us though.....We are working on that and at least trying to show that we are willing to work. When we do what we are asked to, like go knock on doors for 2 hours every night, we see things start to happen, regardless of whether or not it comes from knocking doors.
St. Patrick's day was fun, a member from the YSA ward fed us corned beef and cabbage cause she heard Sis. Balmforth wanted it. She served a mission in Lithuania and had some crazy sodas and drinks and stuff for us to try, but she knew we wouldn't like it very much so she gave us some in shot glasses. So, yeah, I did shots on St, Patrick's day....on my mission.....yay. Haha. I promise, it was just soda. Promise. For reals.
I can't really think of everything else, that's the main stuff. It was such a good week. I am so grateful I got to see that miracle. I wanted to see one so bad with Sis. Balmforth, and now I have! There is no other feeling like it. It just makes me really happy to be here and to be able to take part in the work. I love being a missionary!! Every day I get to put a name tag. It has my name on the top and Jesus Christ underneath. That is pretty amazing, and I love every minute of it. Being tired, having sore feet, getting cold and wet, all of it, is so worth the effort. I could keep going forever but I'll end now so you don't get bored :) Alma 26:8,11-12
Love you all!! Have a great week!