Monday, October 8, 2012
Our God is a God of Miracles
This has been hands down the best week of my mission so far. I have had so many incredible experiences. I do not know what I did to deserve them, but I thank my Father in heaven every single day that I have been privileged to witness them.
The first part of the week was comparably uneventful. District meeting in Bristol, exchange with Bath, a little bit of finding. Nothing too crazy. This weekend, however was a TOTALLY different story.
Friday we had three major events- Shelby’s baptism, interviews with President Millar, and I got a haircut. I will expand on the first two.
We were told that President would be arriving at the Trowbridge chapel at 4:30 to begin interviews with us and the Bath Elders. As such, we diligently arrived to open the chapel and make preparations for the interview and the baptism at 4. About five minutes after we got there, we received a voicemail from President informing us he would be there at 5:30, just 90 minutes before the baptism was to occur. STRESS.
So, we proceeded to make the baptismal program and… well… wait (waiting and stress became a theme that night.) The Bath Elders arrived, ready for interviews but we had nothing to do… so we messed around on the organ until President got there. When he arrived, interviews commenced immediately. They went very well! He got all of his missionaries a new mini Preach My Gospel (best early Christmas present ever.) He then informed us that he and Sister Millar would be staying for the baptism. NO PRESSURE. We then turned our attention to the baptismal font we had began filling upon our arrival to the chapel. To our surprise, the font was still filling, well over the drain. It had filled to such a height that it was VERY close to flooding over into the bathrooms… uh oh. We had been told that the font filler stops automatically. Eventually, however, it did. For this I am eternally grateful.
Then, the actual baptism began. All went well. Sister Allsworth and I sang I Need Thee Every Hour so that was a blast. Then we all proceeded into the Primary room to see the baptism. Elder Jones (my trainers trainer aka my Grandpa plus he served in Trowbridge and helped begin teaching Shelby) stood as witnesses by the curtains, awaiting the signal to open the curtains so the baptism could happen. This did not happen. It was evident that she was VERY nervous and saying that she wouldn’t be baptized. We stood in the room for an incredibly uncomfortable 10 minutes (keep in mind that we have President and Sister Millar in attendance) until Bishop awkwardly asked us to return to the chapel.
We then sat in the chapel for about 20 minutes, conversing and such. At one point Elder Hanks was asked to play the piano and kept messing up so Bishop asked him “what hymn was that Elder?” It was starting to get a bit irreverent and the whole thing was just not good.
Then the miracle came. Elder Castro went up to the pulpit and silenced everyone and essentially said “Shelby is afraid and needs our prayers.” He then offered one of the most sincere and powerful prayers I have ever heard. Someone who was standing in the hall, monitering the two situations, informed us that she was baptized at the very moment that Elder Castro said amen. What a powerful witness regarding both faith and prayer! I am so grateful to have witnessed and been a part of that experience. I am also grateful that we had so many people there, including our dear President, to experience that with us. We then enjoyed delicious refreshments provided by… well, I am not quite sure who they were provided by. But they were good. We then topped off the night by getting a delicious kebab.
So then… conference. Ummm MISSION AGE CHANGE? Incredible! What an inspired announcement. I am so excited to see how this impacts the mission field. For starters, I think we will get A LOT more sister missionaries. Truly a blessing, because sisters are infinitely better missionaries than us Elders hahaha. Conference in general was great! Unfortunately we have not been able to see the Sunday afternoon and Priesthood session yet, but I am sure we will soon. Charlie was able to go to Priesthood session though! He was also at the baptism, where he unknowingly sat next to President Millar and excitedly told him that he too was being baptized next Saturday! Excitement is abound in Trowbridge.
I received a flood of emails this morning from friends and family regarding the missionary announcement. I am so proud of everyone who has decided to serve a mission and am honored to have been told about it! I also had the pleasure of talking with Harrison and Ariana, who stayed up til 3 AM so they could talk to me for an hour or two! I have the best friends in the world. I’ll send some pictures along later! I love all of you so much. The work will press on. This gospel is true along with the Book of Mormon. Have a phenomenal week!
With all the love I can give,