It's a great time to be serving in Cambridge. :)
First of all, all I can say is...one of the highlights of my mission took place this week. :)
After being introduced to the church by her friend, thirty-three years of signs and "coincidental" events followed suit for Andrea, reminding her of what she knew deep in her heart is true. After all these years, she found the courage within herself to refer herself to Sister Jones and I. She was ready for change, ready for her whole devotion to the Lord's will for her, with innumerable blessings following suit.
|Andrea's Baptism! (me, Andrea, Sister Jones)|
After all the lessons, immediate changes, and much anticipation, Andrea's baptism date finally arrived! It was an absolutely remarkable day. Honestly, I don't know how to better describe the day other than there was pure joy felt all around. We could all feel her excitement, with nerves and all, as she couldn't stop beaming. As I observed her while I gave the baptism talk from the pulpit, I couldn't help but feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as I felt their immense love for her. When Andrea entered the waters of baptism, her fears departed, as she was at ease. Good cousin Elder Calvert was still able to attend to baptize her, even though he's now one of the Assistants for President Packard. Before the ordinance, he quietly whispered the instructions to her, giving her assurance. The ordinance was completed the first try, following Andrea's "Thumbs up" :) She continued to shine the rest of the day. Her joy was contagious. She is on her way to receive continued blessings, feeling the joy that comes through living Jesus Christ's gospel. Andrea's story and example has changed my life forever. I am grateful to have been a part in this exciting time of her life. :)
|Elders McJanet and Calvert after Andrea's baptism|
|Elder and Sister Moore, Andrea, Sister Jones, and Sister Roy|
We were going to meet with Tina tonight to continue on with the lessons, but unfortunately she had to reschedule. She is still so excited to meet and emphasized how she wants to see us later this week. We are in the process of figuring out a time to meet with her, most likely with the member who came with us last time, so that a member can be present to help her feel more welcomed in. We also had the sweet opportunity to have a brief lesson with Kyle (his wife is STILL pregnant!!!) Kyle bore witness of how much happier he is with the gospel in his life--how he is changed and turned from his wrong doings in the past. He just wishes everybody could feel how he does now that he has more direction and meaning in his life. His peers are surprised with how he has changed and never going back to his past mistakes. He now understands how much his Redeemer has done for him, enabling him to be forgiven and to become new. We are seeking ways to help support his family at this time of change with the baby coming soon--hopefully very soon--so we haven't been able to meet with him much lately but he is doing well.
We and the Moore's were also able to meet with Al once again at the physical rehab clinic. We are hoping he doesn't have to stay much longer since he hasn't been treated fairly by the nurses and his health is improving. We kept our visit short as we caught up. We asked him if he prayed about being baptized, which he unfortunately did not as he wants to be more stable first. While praying about him that morning, we prayed about what we needed to do for him. Our answer came to be that we needed to show him how much he was cared for and to sing "I know that My Redeemer Lives" to him. I am truly grateful for the powerful spirit that can come through music, as it can uplift and heal spiritual and emotional wounds.
Each day as a servant of the Lord, I'm continually learning of the great importance to rely on Him and His will. There is great power that comes as we seek His help through the thoughts poured from our heart and the questions, ambitions, and hopes that we yearn for while on our knees. As we turn our will to His, He uplifts, strengthens, and enables us to do what we cannot do on our own. Often times we move forward in faith, unsure of where He is guiding us. Yet as we look back, we can see how He was carrying us all along. He is always there.
"Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine...For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand. For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand." Mosiah 26: 18, 23-24)
Hope you all have a great week!