March 31, 2014
Isaboth was baptized! Elder Holt did the baptism (2 times. Forgot the word "yo" the first time). I did the confirmation the next day. I`ve never confirmed anyone before. Neat :)
There were a lot of members of Isaboth`s extended family who came, which is really awesome :) I have photos for next week. I was pretty stressed out about the whole thing because of all the preparation during the day to get the font filled (it takes well over 5 hours to fill). We forgot about the papers that we needed to fill out so the Zone leaders were filling out the form with Isaboth. The branch president and I had a miscommunication and we each thought that the other was going to organize the program (no one had been assigned to speak and the hymns hadn`t be selected). Lots of people trickled in late and with all this chaos, we started the meeting about 40 minutes late.
But everything went well. Isaboth and her family were completely calm the whole time while I was a bit stressed. Isaboth was beaming the whole time :) She`s excited for the branch temple trip in June or July. We visited their house after the baptism and we got to answer some questions that family members had. They`re a really nice family. When Isaboth asked about all her female ancestors for whom she could be baptized, Sandra`s sister was really confused and I was so grateful that I knew how to answer. I`m so grateful for the scripture guides in back that told me exactly where Paul talked about baptism for the dead and I`m so grateful that the spirit reminded me the whole context of the scripture (Paul was using baptisms for the dead to teach about the resurrection. The people already accepted baptisms for the dead but didn`t believe that everyone would resurrect). I`m so excited to see more progress in the family.
I`m so ridiculously excited for General Conference!!! I think conference in itself is a miracle that people are willing to watch 10 hours of conference every 6 months. It`s so awesome!!! Miriam and Sandra both said they want to attend and Sandra invited her sister :D
We`ve met lots of interesting people this week. One I think was a mason (based on the painting of a pyramid with an eye in his house and the way he explained the symbol). He is really smart, but then he said that we needed to be our own savior and that God doesn`t have a body of flesh and bone. Sure, we can`t be saved if we don`t do our part, but it`s only by and through Christ that repentance and salvation is possible. One was a very friendly Jehovah`s Witness who spoke English, and a taxi driver who understood dispensations, the Godhead, priesthood (it was he who mentioned Melquizidec (I think I butchered the spelling on that one)), and the need of a restoration from apostasy, but he didn`t accept the Book of Mormon simply because it calls the Savior by the name Jesus Christ instead of Yhachua. (I studied that a bit more. Yhachua is the same name as Joshua, which is Jesus in Greek). He was so smart, so I was frustrated that he didn`t accept the invitation to pray about the Book of Mormon.
I`m amazed how much the Lord has prepared me with such a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and in His true church that these smart people didn`t faze me. I understood where they each came from with their opinions, but I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ`s church. I know that this was restored through Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God and I know that the book he translated, the Book of Mormon, is the most correct book on the face of the Earth. It is only through the Atonement of Christ that we can be saved.
The whole thing made me think of what Elder Ballard said, "I`m grateful that it`s a loving and merciful Heavenly Father who will decide who will or will not be admitted to His kingdom." I may have misquoted that. You can check me on that (from "Our Search for Happiness")
Well.... that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. I guess my letter to President Rappleye will be very short to day.
I love you all so much :D Keep being charitable to one another. :D Make sure you know that the Book of Mormon is true.
-Elder Connor Christopherson