The week ended on high with the Evry Ward seeing 4 baptisms on the same day! After reactivating one of the families in my ward, Elder Cutshall and I had the opportunity during the last 4 weeks, to prepare their second daughter, Alice and her sister, Sarah, who are 10 and 8 respectively, for their baptisms yesterday. It always amazes me how much faith there is in the hearts of children. Children may not yet have the same level of scholastic intelligence as adults do, but their desire to learn and to really know if the gospel is true is truly amazing.
“Faith is a hope for things which are not seen which are true…” (Ether 12:7).
Alice and her sister Sarah were great examples of what it meant to have faith. They gleaned to every word, and when presented with the challenge to read the Book of Mormon for one of the lessons, Alice said that she had read the whole thing once already. Being able to see her desire to be baptized turn into a reality was truly a blessing. They were truly prepared to make their first covenant of baptism with our Heavenly Father.
While the answers may come quickly for some, for others, it might take months and even years of searching. The other 2 people who got baptized had very different backgrounds. One of them was the wife of a member in our ward. For years, she struggled to gain a testimony of the gospel. While she knew that the gospel was true, she could never find the courage to bring herself to take that first step and be baptized. And yesterday, when she was raised out of the water, tears streamed down her face, and there was a joy that shone in her eyes.
The other person who was baptized was Musabah, an Arab man, who had grown up in a muslim community all his life and had walked into the missionaries here a few months ago, asking them to teach him. He had originally planned to be baptized 4 weeks ago, but when opposition came – his daughter was sick and in the hospital in Palestine, and he had not had enough money to pay for her fees there – he decided to wait a little longer. He slowly drifted away from the lessons and avoided the calls of the missionaries, who were concerned with his well-being. Finally, earlier this week, he called the other team of missionaries and told them that he had made the decision to get baptized, no matter what it took. Yesterday, after being immersed in the water, he raised his hands up, and shouted, “I am very very happy.” Just seeing that outward expression of joy brought tears to my eyes. It was incredible how strong the spirit was at that moment, and there was nothing but pure joy and love in the baptismal room.
What a blessing it is to be a missionary, to see the changes in the lives of others, and to witness the joy that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring great happiness and clarity into our lives. I am grateful for the many ways that this knowledge has blessed my life and the lives of family.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only Church with the fulness of the gospel on the earth today.
Till Next Week. Bonne Semaine