Monday, November 15, 2010

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."-Matt. 3:17

What a priveledge it is to invite people to come unto Christ and witness them change through repentance and utilizing the Atonement in their lives! I just love this so so much. All week we were anxiously awaiting the baptism on Saturday. These baptisms seem to be like the biggest events of my life, and it has nothing to do with me. It's just like all we do every day and night is prepare people to reach this point; it's so very exciting for us missionaries and for them! So yes, John was baptized on Saturday! It was so so beautiful! I so wish you all could have been there to see John and feel the spirit there. There is such a special spirit at baptisms. I could feel God's love for John very strongly. I know He's so proud of the decision John made to enter into the first covenant of baptism with Him. And this is only the beginning of his journey of becoming more like the Savior through making and keeping covenants. So I'll tell you a little bit about our day Saturday. It was adventurous, let me tell you. About a week ago Sister Despain and I went to the church to check out the font and figure out how to fill it. There were bugs in the font and it definitely needed a cleaning. There hasn't been a baptism in the branch since March. So we decided to go to the church early Saturday a few hours prior to the baptism to clean the font and make sure it was all ready for John's baptism at 1:00. When we got there we put the plug in and turned on the water to give it a good ol' rinse. As we waited we finished our companionship study and in the background heard the beautiful sound of the water filling the font. Loved it! After our study we walked into the room to make sure it was full enough before we drained out the bugs and it looked full enough. Sister Despain said, "Okay let's drain it!" And I gasped! "Guess what I just thought of!" Her hands covered her mouth and she's like, "Oh no!" We burst out laughing and she said, "Who wants to go swimming!?" So there I was, getting in a white baptismal suit, commando! Ha ha. I went into the dirty water with flies and hardened worms floating in it, to pull the plug. It was kind of fun though. I got out quickly and we made sure it was thoroughly rinsed clean before we filled it again for the REAL thing. When it was about 3/4 of the way full I went to feel the water with my foot and it was scorching hot! So hot that my foot turned bright red. As you can tell, neither of us have filled a font before, and no one in the branch knew how! In our last areas, we served in the same ward as our District Leaders and they always told us they'd take care of filling the font, as they lived around the corner from the church. But we're alone up here! We were too afraid to mess with the gages in the box and didn't know which one adjusted the temperature, so we decided to pour cold water in the old fashioned way! We got our pitchers and walked about 20 times from the kitchen sink to the baptismal font. With prayer and effort it reached perfect temperature and we were dry, changed into proselyting clothes, and the font was full by the time John and the other branch members arrived. When John got to the church he kept saying, "Is it hot in here?" He was all nervous! He looked so good when he came out in his white! I think I was smiling my ears off. It almost brought me to tears just to see him finally at this point. He sacrificed so much of his old lifestyle to get here. Before the baptism he was standing in the hallway with his head against his hands and against the wall just crying and we think praying? We didn't really want to interrupt. One of the Palmyra temple Elders (Elder Guthrie) who are on assignment to attend our branch and help us reactivate performed John's baptism. Since the font is small, after the baptismal prayer, John had to kneel and then lye down into the water. It was so cool! Both of the members who we had giving the talks decided they couldn't come participate last minute, and so Sister Despain and I ended up giving them on baptism and the Holy Ghost. The ordinance was just really good and the spirit was present. Sunday, John walked in with his scriptures in Sister Despain's scripture case (which she gave him). Earlier in the week she said, "He just loves his scriptures so much that I want to give him my scripture case." And she did at our last lesson with him before his baptism. As we were saying good bye to him after the lesson he was like, "I'll see you at my baptism, and if I'm not there, you'll know what happened." I said, "What?" And he said, "I died. That's the only way I'm missing it!" Ha ha. In that same meeting he said, "It's going to feel so good to step into the water knowing I've apologized to everyone I've ever hurt." He's really repentant and humble. He's shared a lot with us and the Lord has softened his heart through the weeks. I love seeing people change for the better! Elder Sherwood (another Palmyra temple Elder) confirmed John in sacrament meeting. The branch president and a couple members were in the circle. The blessing was given by the spirit and the words were so fitting. And since it was fast and testimony meeting John got up and bore his testimony! Can you believe it? His first Sunday as a member! He's going to be such a strong priesthood holder in this little branch. We know Heavenly Father answered our prayers and led us to him. He was always so willing to accept any commitment we gave him because he loves the Lord. I just have such a strong testimony of finding through tracting. You hear it's the worst method, but it's one of the only ways to find, and John, someone so strong came out of tracting! We are hoping we can find more like him. I know they're out there. Something he said in his testimony I will never forget was, "I finally feel close to Jesus Christ and I will never turn my back on Him again." I just want him to stay converted forever. Well, I will attach some pictures. We have Zone Conference this Thursday. We are really looking forward to it. The first presidency changed the frequency of Zone Conference and interviews. They are now only held once every other transfer. So it feels like we haven't had one in so long. Sister Despain and I and two Elders are doing a musical number in it. I'll let you know how it goes. I love you! Love, Sister Zwick

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