Happy 4th Everyone!
Hope you like my title for the week :-) I used it because I just heard it in conversation and love the sound of it as well as the definition, and it happens to fit my mood right now. Yesterday I had an incredible Sabbath day and the spirit was strong throughout it, and then this morning I had a great personal study of the gospel which has helped my worries and hardships fade away from my mind, evanescence. Alright, now on to my week, but it will probably be a short one today because I am running short on time:
- We held a beautiful baptism Saturday night for Carmen Chavez. One of the most exciting parts of the baptism was that her dad was able to perform the baptism, and he was by far more nervous then she was. We worked with him for a while before the baptism on the words and he had them down perfect, the hardest part being her name. Her full name is Carmen Monet Paeseva Chavez, which is a part Tongan name because of her mom. They both smiles as they walked into the font and he started the blessing, completely forgetting to say her name at first, so I quickly corrected him and he started over. This time he forgot to say "having been" so I had him start over again. This time he forgot to say her last name, so we had him start one more time. This time he got all the wording right and dipped her down into the water, but she came out without her elbow being submerged so I let him know we need to do it again. He misunderstood that we needed to do the whole thing again and instead just dipped her into the water again without saying the blessing. After several more attempts he completed the baptism, and the entire time Carmen was smiling and letting him know that everything was OK. It was so wonderful to see, and the spirit entered with force as she was baptised. The next day he stood up and bore his testimony of the power of baptism and said that the many attempts that were made before he got it right helped him feel the spirit and realize even more that this was a baptism done with the power of God. It was so beautiful to see everything come together like it did.
- Last night we had to come in at 7pm because of it being the 4th of July. It was a little disappointing because so many members were inviting us over to watch fireworks and enjoy a cookout, but I enjoyed the holiday anyway. We had an assignment to study the Holy Ghost from 7 to 9, and I ended up being very uplifted through that study. Then we went out on our porch and watched fireworks in the distance as they exploded all over Albuquerque. Its hard to compete with actually being close to them, but it was still a beautiful view and a great experience. During all of this my mind kept wondering to times with my family playing with fireworks or watching shows, and I started to miss them a little more then usual, which led to me talking about them even more. As my companion laid to go to sleep I started talking about my family and how blessed I have been and he would give occasional comments until after about 40 minutes I noticed that he was actually crying. As we continued to talk I found that he has grown up in a very different family situation. He said that he loves them very much, and they grew up active in the church, but they are not close at all and some of his older siblings wont even talk to his parents. He talked about how badly he wants his family to be more like mine and we started to discuss why ours are so different if we both grew up active, which led to us discovering the difference between being active and being dedicated. He said that they almost never had FHE, they never did family scripture study, and they had very little time spent as a whole family. Its incredible to see the difference those small things make, and how they really are not that small. I never realized how rare my family is with how close we are and am so thankful that my parents were diligent my whole life with making sure we did what the prophet counselled. Being out here and seeing so many broken families has showed me just how blessed I have been, and given me a greater appreciation for my parents closeness to the spirit and a greater resolve to try to be like them.
I am out of time, but I love you all and pray that you grow closer and closer to the spirit. Being a missionary has helped me realize to a much greater extent the joy and protection that comes from following the commandments as well as the misery that follows disobedience.