Monday, March 28, 2011

Baptism, Baptism, Baptism, Baptism, Baptism (Yes, five times!)

My heart is full.

Blessings are definitely pouring out all around me right now. L., S., R., B., and B. were all baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was a beautiful baptism. The Stake President and our Mission President were both there and both took a small time to share their testimonies and welcome the new members to the ward. The first convert baptisms in the newly formed Dimond Samoan ward! It's amazing. I still can't believe that it all worked out.

It was all hanging by a thread for each investigator a couple times this last week but I know that all of the prayers are helping.

I know God answers prayers. I have literally had all of my righteous prayers answered on my mission so far, or they are in the process of being answered; C. is preparing to a mission, but most importantly has experienced the power of the atonement. My friend A. is choosing for himself to seek the path that will lead to happiness. I've prayed for both of them daily every day of my mission.  I pray for many people back home and abroad, and I know God has answered my prayers. Many, many people have humbled themselves, prayed, and received an answer from God.

Yesterday at church S. showed up. We had taught her the first 3 lessons previously, but then she just fell off the face of the earth.  Well, apparently she had still remembered to pray and read, and had been doing so! So when she came to church this week, I asked her if she believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and if the church is true, and she said YES!! So we taught a lesson on baptism from Matthew 3:14-17. These verses are marvelous because they show how much of an effort that Christ had to make, by walking the distance from Galilee to Jordan, to be baptized by John the Baptist, because he was the one who held the Aaronic priesthood - giving him the permission and power from Heavenly Father to perform this essential ordinance. These verses also highlight the example of Christ going down into the water, (verse 16 says, "Went up straightway out of the water," implying that he must have been in the water) and being baptized in the water.

This clearly shows that one must be baptized by immersion by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. And finally, we read that Christ is in the water being baptized, the Holy Ghost is descending in the form of a dove, and The Father is speaking from Heaven, saying that this, (Christ) is his beloved Son, and that he is well pleased with his actions. Father, Son, Spirit - three separate individuals fulfilling three parts of the one plan; the wisdom, the embodiment, the testimony.

They are one in Purpose, not in being. And knowing that God is pleased by Christ's baptism - we can know that when we want to please Heavenly Father, we should follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.

When we were done talking about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost we invited her to be baptized. She set a date for April 9th! I have faith that it will work out.

The most important thing for me to do is to have unshakable faith that it will all work out; that Heavenly Father will prepare this person for baptism by that date because He loves them just as much as He loves me.  He wants them to make that commitment and the change in their lives that the ordinance of baptism represents. My epiphany this week as I was stressing and worrying about the baptisms was this: Christ created the world in 6 of his days. I'm sure His Father could prepare someone for baptism in six of ours!

If I don't share the truth with these people then who else will?

If we don't give them the truth then all they will ever be able to accept is lies.

If I don't have faith in the conversion process, then who will?

Every member has the power to change. To change anything. Heavenly Father can change anything.

Ask and ye shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Ask for referrals, and you will receive prepared people; Go tracting, and you will find.

Just put out an honest effort. When you honestly do your best, Heavenly Father will make up that which you lack.

Pray always. And read your stinking scriptures. GO to Church, and stay for all your meetings. It's pretty simple.



Change for the better.

Love Elder Winterrose

P.S. here is the lineup for the big group photo, Left to right.
 Elder Justin W., R. H., Elder Britton Winterrose, B. P., L. H., Sister S. T., S. H., Elder Tyler W., B. P., Brother J. S., Brother B. P.

I baptized L., Elder W. baptized R., Elder W. baptized S., J. baptized L., and B. baptized B.

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