As my dear friend Sister Wolfgramm said, Im gonna make this short and sweet because I would rather read emails than write them :)
This week was full of great adventures, but the major highlights are:
Candice/Sister LeSueur came to visit!
We have a new teaching method!
And I also watched a cat give birth. And someone gave me a box of Thin Mints. Good times.
Tia's Baptism was one of the best days of my life. I am so blessed that I have been able to be with her since the beginning back in November. We have all been through so much together, and Saturday went absolutely perfectly. Except for when my page of sheet music for the musical number fell down... oops. Otherwise, it was amazing. So many of the ward members came to support Tia - we didn't have enough chairs in the Relief Society room, so people were standing in the back! It was absolutely beautiful. The Spirit was so strong
There is great power in the ordinances and promises, or covenants, that we make when we receive those ordinances. At baptism we promise to take His name upon us, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return, our Heavenly Father promises us that we will always have His Spirit to be with us. What a powerful promise!
We also had the opportunity on Sunday to speak on repentance in Tia's ward. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for His infinite and eternal Atonement. The Atonement makes it possible for us to change. "When we choose to follow Christ, we choose to be changed." -Ezra Taft Benson. I love Sundays because we have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament. I love the weekly reminder of the changing and healing power of the Atonement, and also the opportunity to renew those covenants we have made throughout our lives.
"Try a little harder to be a little better." President Hinckley
Saturday was also a great day because Candice was able to come to the baptism. I am so grateful for all that she has taught me, and I am so thankful for her example. It was just the cherry on top of a miraculous day to be able to talk with her for a bit!!
The other thing I wanted to talk about from this week is our new teaching program. I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but basically, this program is going world wide and is completely revolutionizing the way we missionaries teach. This method allows us to get out of the way and truly lets the Spirit teach and guide the people being taught. We as missionaries are simply guides for the people so they can feel the Spirit touch their hearts and teach them the truth. We use the pamphlets - ask your local missionaries for some Restoration pamphlets and study them. They are an absolutely incredible tool that are one of the most under-utilized tools we have.
The best part of this new method is that we completely focus on the very basics of the gospel. In sixty seconds we can teach the first lesson because we just go over the basics: God is our loving Heavenly Father, the gospel blesses our families, prophets have revealed the gospel throughout time, Jesus Christ organized His Church, we fell into a period of apostasy where the full gospel was not on the earth anymore, Joseph Smith was the first prophet of the modern days and restored the full gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ, and by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon you can come to know that these things are true.
I love the simplicity of the gospel! I love knowing that my Heavenly Father loves me! I love focusing on the basics of praying, reading scriptures, and going to Church. Those three things are what will build and strengthen faith throughout our lives. Read the Articles of Faith. Those are the simple principles of the gospel that are so true.
I know these things to be true. I love being a missionary! The work of the Lord truly is hastening!
Some photos from the Church News photographer-to-be
In front of Joseph Holbrook's Bountiful home
Me and Tia. This woman is one of the most incredible, prepared daughters of God I know. She is part of my family, and I will forever be grateful for the small part I was blessed to have in her life.
Sister Juarez, me, Brother Wilson (who baptized Tia), Tia, and Sister LeSueur/Candice!!! Love them all. Seriously, that day could not have been more perfect.