Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Michael is Baptized!!!!!! 5/18/15

Alma 31:38: And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.  

I never fully understood what it felt like to have sorrow swallowed up in the joy of Christ until this week. Sadly, Breana and Jerry were not able to be baptized this week, along with some other sad news from this week, but I want to tell you about all the things that ironically made this week one of the happiest of my mission. 

Dominick is a walking miracle. He had some Word of Wisdom struggles, so that is what we taught him this week. As we shared the 5 things we are to not put in our bodies (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, illegal drugs, and other harmful and addictive substances), he put his head down and said, "Really? You mean I have to give all that up? Even tea?" We asked him why God would not want us to use these things, and he basically taught himself. At the end of the lesson, he prayed and said, "The missionaries taught me about these 5 things, and 4 of them I can just forget about, but drinking. You know thats something that I enjoy, but I am going to give it up. For you, and so that I can have the holy ghost." He came to us at church on Sunday and reported that he went to a party the night before, but didn't drink or anything like unto it. So proud of him!! We received a challenge as a ward from the bishop to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days. He gave us a hand out to check our progress, and when Dominick got it, he looked at us and said, "I'm gonna do it in a month!" During the lesson, he asked for a pen, and began circling days to act as bench marks, and on the bottom, wrote, "I will be done in three weeks." His progression over the last 6 weeks is unreal!!

Friday was a crazy day. T-calls are in and we are staying together! Hallelujah! But we picked up 3 awesome investigators named Logan (kid with the awesome dreads from a few weeks ago), Marquell, and Sarah. Marquell is in his 30s and is the roommate of a recent convert from the singles ward. Its been a few weeks in the making to meet with him, but we finally got to. It was an unusual first lesson, but that guy is sharp. His answers and insights are remarkable. We gave him Alma 32 as a reading assignment before our next visit, and he began to read right there. He read the whole thing in about a minute and a half, then explained it all to us, and said "its all true." We asked what it would mean to him if everything we taught him was true and he paused, chuckled, and said, "You know its funny you ask that..." thought for a second and said, "It would mean everything. I feel so calloused after everything that has happened the last few years, and I would finally be excited about something again." It was an awesome lesson and we can't wait to keep teaching. 

Sarah is an awesome story. She is the mother of 7 who grew up in a rough home. She grew up going to church with her Grandma and has always had a very sensitive spiritual side, but became overwhelmed by the number of Christian churches and ended up confused about the truth (Sound familiar?), so she stopped going. She was praying for guidance, and the very next day, we came to her door. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel on her front porch, and before we explained the Joseph Smith story, we invited her to focus on how she felt. Listening her describe how she felt as she struggled to find the words was a more eloquent description than anything I could have come up with. Ultimately, she said multiple times, "I just can't describe it." I have told that story hundreds of times, but I never lose that feeling she had. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. She came to church and had an awesome experience. Afterwards, she texted us, saying "So hi! I just downloaded an app that was suggested by a sister called Gospel Library. I was wondering do you have any good suggestions for me to read?" After a few texts back and forth, all we could say was "You're the greatest!" to which she replied, "Well I would not say that haha but with all of your help I will be a much better Sarah." I love the penitent people of this world. She reminds me so much of Amber from Houghton Lake so much. I swear she's already a member.

Lastly, the best experience of the week. Michael was baptized. Such a sweet experience, he was literally bouncing up and down with excitement. Its funny. At the beginning of the teaching process, I wasn't sure if he was ready for the Gospel, but he has become family to me. We all got to go to Red Robin after (My favorite) and spend some time with his extended family who came and it was a wonderful experience. He asked me to perform his confirmation, which is a huge honor to me. He is a special young man, and my soul loves him.

The words I write do not adequately describe nor convey the feelings associated with these experiences or the love I have for these people. Its something only a missionary can feel. I thank God everyday for my mission, but I find myself never being able to express enough gratitude for all he has done for me. The only way to truly do so is by the way that I serve.

Elder Wheat

Michael's Baptism

Loving life in the mini van #zonesoccermoms

Celebrating another transfer together with a mirror viking/hipster/celebratory brownies selfie

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