Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baptism... #8!


Well, we had a pretty wonderful week! I guess any week with a baptism is always good! Joe was baptized on Saturday, and it was a great baptismal service. Elder Palfreyman, Elder Walters, Elder Stone and I got to sing “When I Am Baptized.” The members were really supportive, and Joe bore a simple but powerful testimony.

Came down with mycoplasma earlier in the week, but didn’t realize it, so I had a miserable few days, along with some bad headaches, so I did an MRI scan too. Anyhow, we did quite a bit of finding, and had a couple of member appointments, so that was really nice.
We decided to meet up with Kai Xin again to see how she’s doing. We learned that she actually believes in a religion that basically combines the best of five of the world’s largest religions and philosophies, and she’s really having a hard time trying to really figure what is true, along with the fact that her parents are Buddhist. Unfortunately, we had quite a few cancelled appointments towards the end of last week.

On Monday, we finally finished up with the supply inventory in our office. We found some crazy random items that we didn’t know we had, and got rid of a bunch of old stuff.

We met up with Joe in the evening and had a wonderful hour with him. It was his birthday, so we went to a little Chinese restaurant, shared with him a short message about missionary work, and gave him a birthday present of Church material. He said a great closing prayer, just like a long-time Church member! After the appointment, Elder Stone asked Joe how school was, and whether it was stressing him out. His amazing reply was that he used to be stressed by school, but as he joined the Church and learned about his teachings, he has started to look at life more in an eternal and lasting perspective, and not be completely focused just on school.

This baptism has particular significance for me, because it has been a testimony to me that the Lord does indeed place his prepared children in our path as we diligently seek for them. Joe has been in Singapore for only two and a half months, and he only has a couple of weeks left. But, in this time, he has been able to learn and grow, he has become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and he is now a holder of Heavenly Father’s priesthood. It is such an amazing thing to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands, to be able to see the path that he guides his children on, so that they each have the opportunity to hear about the gospel. I can’t wait to see what Joe does for the Church in China. He is going to be an amazing member!
Prayer is something that sometimes we take for granted, I think. But, Elder Stone and I had a wonderful experience with it. We had been contacting for awhile with not much success, then we decided to say a prayer for the remaining time that we had. After we did so, we managed to get four new investigators in about fifteen minutes. Prayer works if we are seeking diligently to do the Lord’s work! We were able to meet up with Velmurugan and continue to help him understand the teachings of the restored gospel, with Brother Kumar as translator. There was so much that he did not understand, and now he is really opening up, which is wonderful, but semi frustrating that he did not earlier.

Anyhow, not a bad week, relatively uneventful, a couple of other appointments. Well, we did meet up with an absolutely crazy guy that Elder Crofts and Elder Pace T. had contacted that was pretty creepy. Missionary work takes you to some strange places sometimes.

We’ll be watching the broadcast of General Conference this Saturday and Sunday, so that is going to be amazing, hearing from the Prophet. Elder Hallstrom, our Area President, is not in the Presidency of the Seventy, so that’s way great! We had the chance to meet him during mission tour earlier this year!

Lastly, read a wonderful article in the Ensign by Elder John A. Widstoe, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He said this about missionary work:

“This Church is not merely for me and for you who are in the Church. I must begin with myself, undoubtedly. My own salvation comes first; but unless I give of my strength to the winning of other souls for God, my own salvation will be incomplete. That applies to all of us. … We have a calling, not merely to build the Church of Christ and to save ourselves therein but also a commission to save the whole world. We are, as it were, set apart, consecrated for that great purpose. All of Israel must remember, every man or woman who enters the waters of baptism must keep in mind, and every child that comes into the Church must be taught that by the ordinance of baptism we accept the great and divine commission to serve the Lord in building His Church. It will then be easy to keep the commandments of God, to lay aside or meet courageously the temptations that face us. To stand alone, saying selfishly, “I have received the gospel; it is good to be a Latter-day Saint” will not be doing our duty; but when we say, “Now, I have received this great blessing. I shall pass it on to others,” there comes the flowering in the hearts of men of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I hope that we will all remember our commission, and spread the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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