September 29, 2014Dear Everyone that I Couldn't do it Without,
Honestly, this has probably been one of the most rewarding weeks of my mission. Louis was baptized!! I won't be able to say enough about him. What an amazing journey. He's on fire. I just know he's going to go out and make an incredible difference for good in the lives of others. I feel lucky to have been one of the missionaries to teach him!
What was amazing was just the feeling of his baptism. But I just want to let you know of some of the back story, because it's amazing. Louis's friend, Ken, was the one to baptize him. Ken was at one point less active. However, when his daughter was young, she asked him if she could be baptized. He then called his very active father to see if he could do it. All his father told him (Ken) was "get it right" and then hung up the phone. Well, Ken discussed it with his wife, and decided to again become active in the church. From that, his wife joined the church, and his family has since been sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. :) Later down the road Louis comes into the picture, and Ken and Louis became good friends. At around a year ago, Louis designated this year as a year of change. It started with his mental health, and from that he has lost over 100 pounds. That began his journey. At this point, I'm not sure too much of the details, but basically Ken invited Louis (who has been to over 20 different churches and had been baptized twice before) to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Louis took him on that offer, and prayed even before he had begun to read. The Spirit told him it was true. :) From that point, he has been reading, and making the amazing changes in his life that the Gospel can bring.
On Saturday he was just glowing. He bore testimony after his baptism of living Prophets, the Book of Mormon, and of the amazing feeling he had after his baptism. Yesterday was amazing as he was confirmed. It was fast and testimony meeting, and afterwards he got up to bear his testimony. He spoke of his feelings of the Gift he had just been given. He told us he knew it was real, and true, and that after 43 years of searching he had found his home. :) He is so grateful for that 43 year long journey. He also let us know that this will not be the last time the congregation would hear from him. I don't doubt that for a second.
Well, there's not much I can say after that. I feel humbled. I can't repeat this enough - The most valuable gift my mission has given me is not the relationships I've gained with others. Rather, it is seeing others gain a greater relationship to a loving, forgiving God. I've seen that with Louis, and I almost envy him for what he has experienced. I'm so grateful I am here. I think God is letting me know more and more of who I really am, and who I can become.
So, switch gears for a moment, while I talk about this first week with Sister Capitan! I love her! Have I ever mentioned she's a convert? She was baptized when she was young, but has no memory of it since her family never took her back. She's only been an active member of the church for a year! Half of that year has been on her mission. I truly admire her courage for doing what she is. It's a breath of fresh air, that's for sure. Sometimes I wish I was a convert too, but I guess we all can be in our own way. :)
Since she's Native American, and I'm distantly related to Pocahontas, we call ourselves the Nephite and the Lamanite.
AND funny moments of the week:
- We were driving home, and I told Sister Capitan to slap me. So she did. And it was much harder than both of us expected. We couldn't stop laughing.
- We were outside of apartments, talking to a couple ladies. One of them used to be a member, and the other is a friend we gave a Book of Mormon to. Both are extremely friendly! In fact, the less-active member wanted to know how to get access to the film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, so I referred her to it on youtube. :) She's going to watch it with her boyfriend who isn't a member, but is interested in our history! We also want to sing a duet at some point. Anyway, I digress. Both were smoking/sharing a cigarette, and at one point our friend held out the cigarette, waiting for Sister Capitan to share it with her! Sister Capitan didn't know what to do, and then suddenly it clicked with our friend what she was doing! She was so embarrassed! Again, we couldn't stop laughing. All of us.
- Sister McClellan is now in a trio, and I'm pretty sure they have WAY too much fun.
- Sister Capitan and I one night during planning decided we would go out...and dance in the rain!! Yes.
- Another night I decided to express how much I passionately dislike Duke. (Well - or I'm just envious of them - because of one memorable basketball game against BYU in which their Austrailian point-guard shot a last second half court shot to win it. Yes, I was in the stands. Yes, that wasn't cool.) Well, Sister Capitan had this strange look on her face, and she pointed toward her lamp. On it was a Duke lanyard. Oops. :P UofU AND Duke fan. Haha! We'll make this work.
I love you all! Take care this week - and remember that you all are awesome in your own ways.
BY THE WAY!
I feel like this is important. General Conference is this week! We got a taste with the Women's Session, and I just can't wait until this next Saturday and Sunday! Have I ever mentioned I look forward to General Conference more than I look forward to Christmas? I definitely invite everyone to watch as much as they can. There always seems to be a message said that is as if they are talking to me personally.
Well, stay out of trouble! Remember who you are and what you stand for!
- Your Sister.
|We cover some FARMS out of Hidden Springs! The incredible view from one of them. :)|
|Characterizes this tri-companionship PERFECTLY. Mysterious. And way too much fun.|
|Louis with all of his Sisters!|
|Louis with Ken and Emily Zundel - the couple that introduced him to the church. :)|
|Louis and his daughter, Emily. :)|
|Sister CAPITAN! Aka the NEPHITE and the LAMANITE.|
|Sister Capitan trying out the U of U gear. Yes, she's a big fan. Yes, we're making this work between us. ;) We were at the Weights. Cody Weight played for U of U. Amazing family.|