Saturday was busy busy, but the baptisms all were so awesome! The 4 of them also got confirmed yesterday in church. If I have time after I type this email I will send a picture. I didn't know how much we have to do to prepare for a baptism. It all went so beautifully though. The spirit was so strong. I love this. It was so neat to see them enter the water. I especially loved watching Tyesha watch her children Daveon and Ahnya enter. Her hands were over her mouth and she was crying. It was really cute. Tracey's boys were right up with their hands on the glass when she went in. Some funny things occurred. We had told them all to wear white underwear. They all got some (with help from the ward). I LOVE RELIEF SOCIETY WOMEN! But Tracey forgot a white bra! She asked if she could just wear her blue one and I had to tell her no and that she can't wear a bra. I just pretended like it was no big deal to not wear a bra... even though in my head I knew how see through it would be! Tracey is kind of bigger, and she wanted this little guy to baptize her. I knew it could be a problem! When she entered the water (she was the last of the four) she went under and all of a sudden she couldn't get back up. I was praying so hard for him to lift her! No one knew what to do. She opened her eyes under the water and had a frantic look on her face. She also has bad knees and had gone to a knee surgeon the day before because they hurt so bad, she thought she might need surgery. Because of her knees and the lack of strength from Brother Garcia, I looked at Sister Hacking and looked at Brother Lowe, the ward mission leader, and we were all just praying in our hearts. Ha ha. He got her up and then the witnesses said she didn't go all the way under! So she's standing there with a transparent dress, almost had drowned, and had to do it AGAIN. I was just hoping her knees didn't hurt too bad and so she could remember this as an enjoyable experience. They baptized her again and it was the same thing all over again! But she eventually got up and out and a big relief came over me. It's like Satan tries all he can... even when they're in the water. I hate it. But nothing can stop the work from progressing. The baptisms were all completed rightly with the authority. After the baptisms, Sister Hacking and I taught a mini lesson (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) while we were waiting for them to change. When I was talking about Repentance, and how it means "turn" in Hebrew and "change" in greek, Tracey and Tyesha walked back in the room in their clothes. I invited them up and put my arms around them and bore my testimony about change and how they have changed habits to become a member of the church and how I know and can feel that God is so proud of them. They looked beautiful. They were crying too and just so happy. It was such a spirit filled day. After that we had worked on the primary song, "Baptism" with Tracey and Tyesha's kids. So they all came to the front and sang it. It was soooooo cute! I felt like the Primary chorister. I wish I could've recorded the whole baptism. It was just so wonderful. I got a lot of pictures for Sister Stewart. The confirmations were great too. They were done by their home teachers. I took note so that I can write it out for them to remember. Speaking of...mom do you have my setting apart blessing notes? I'd like those if you can find them.
Tyesha called me Sunday morning and asked if she could bear her testimony in Relief Society. I talked to the RS Pres and she said it wouldn't be a problem. Tyesha got up there (holding Taleek because he doesn't like nursery) and bore a beautiful testimony. The ward is amazed with her and so am I. I was sitting there thinking, "We did not teach her well enough for her to bear such a strong testimony." It really reaffirmed to me that this is the Lord's work. When people find his gospel, He changes them and helps them reach their fullest potential.
Tracey's boys, 11 and 9 are now preparing for baptism. We are going to push back their date so that we have time to focus on some progressing branch members as well as them.
Feng (a man from China) has been coming to church with his friend William Shum (who baptized Dan). We set up two appointments for this week and I think he's gaining a testimony. I can't wait to meet with him and see where he is at on his spiritual journey. I love when the branch members do their missionary work!
Well, I have to go! I love you all so much!
P.s. yes I have a new comp and she loves Ithaca!