The reason for the title is because Nate was baptised this week, and it was one of my favorite parts of my mission so far! Before I get to that though, and wanted to let you know I was freaking out about my girl Clover... Please take care of her, because I am very much expecting her to be waiting for me when I get back :-)
So, now back to Nate. I am not sure how much I have written about his family so I will go ahead and give a quick over view and talk a little about his progress along with his families. We found them because they looked like they might be a part member family according to our ward list, and this mission has a big focus on teaching part member families so that they can because eternal units together. It turns out that Nate's mom had recently decided to start attending church again so she was very welcoming and excited when we asked if we could start giving Nate the lessons. She told us she didn't think he would be ready for baptism any time soon, but it would still help him if he started going to church anyway.
Teaching them was always interesting because her kids are wild. Nate is the oldest, 10, then his siblings are 7, 5, and 3. We had to work really hard to keep their attention for even 5 minutes at a time, but somehow each time we came back and did a review they knew every answer to our questions. As time progressed we got more creative with our teaching methods with them, and in return they began attending church every Sunday as a family, holding FHE weekly, reading the scriptures, and praying daily. After a couple months we asked them to pray about a date for Nate to get baptised, and the next week we came they had the date and said their grandpa is buying a ticket to come down and do the baptism. His grandpa never got the ticket, but he and Nate's uncle actually left at 3am Friday morning so they could make it to the baptism on time :-) We found out that his grandpa had been working on getting Nate baptised since he turned 8, and may be one of the few people that was excited as me about the baptism.
It was finaly Friday night, and everything was working out perfect. We showed up early and got everything set up, Nate's grandpa was present and excited, and all of Nate's family was ready to see him enter the waters of baptism. The only sad part was that with 5 minutes to go that was all the people who were there. I have a great ward here, but Nate's family tends to be quiet and his mom had mentioned to us that she wasn't expecting anyone else to come. Then one of those wonderful daily miracles happened that I wasn't expecting. Just as were were ready to start ward members and their family began flooding in with smiles on their faces, but no one had a bigger smile then Nate's mom. As I was giving my talk on Baptism I looked out and counted more then 40 people stuffed into the little baptismal room, and I saw tears welling up in the moms eyes, the only time I have ever seen her cry. It was such a beautiful baptism, and I knew right then that even if I get transferred out this incredible family will be embraced and taken care of by my ward in Ventana Ranch.
Someone is waiting for the comp so I better wrap this up, even though there is so much more I want to say! Here is some more though:
- We have another baptism coming up on the 4th :-)
- The Chavez family is quickly becoming one the strongest families I know in the gospel. Bro. Chavez is begging to become a home teacher, they attend every baptism, and they volunteer to everything they can. Just last Sunday I made an announcement that a family is moving and we need some boxes for them. They didn't have any, but a couple days later they called and said they went around the neighborhood collecting boxes and have a bunch we can pick up. Isn't it amazing? Just 3 months ago they 'knew' the church was false, now they love it and let it take place in every part of their lives.
- We are having a pancake breakfast for Memorial day
- Today we are going over the stop smoking program with a dad and mom that we are teaching
- My companion is amazing!! I get so blessed with the elders I get to work with
- I'm so proud of my siblings as I hear about all they are doing right now, and half way wish I could just take off and go on the camp out this weekend :-)