Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Johnny's Batizem

February 3, 2014

I don't have too much to say because I sorta just wrote but Johnny did get baptized on Saturday! It was so good! They only got there a few minutes before it started, we were getting really nervous. Toni even sent us a text that said, "he's not coming". Luckily, we walked outside and saw them getting out of the car and HE sent that text. I don't even know what to say about the baptismal service besides that it was the best. It was so spiritual, the Stake President came and gave the talk on baptism and an older couple came back so the Elder that once taught him could baptize him. Johnny is one of those people that all the way up until the baptism, still does not necessarily want to be baptized, but goes through with it because they know it is what the Lord wants them to do. His biggest fear about it was lying to God, not being good enough, but the Spirit got him to where he needed to be and he is so blessed. His countenance changed from nervous and solemn to happy and peaceful in an instant. After the ordinance his step-son and another little boy from the ward sang, "I Love to See the Temple", it was adorable. I have never been to a baptism SO centered on the temple but that is the next step for their family, and a big reason he decided to get baptized sooner than he planned. The next day the confirmation was perfect. His step son got up a whole lot of courage and bore the shortest, simplest, but BEST testimony, he said, "I know the church is true, I know it was a hard decision for Johnny to get baptized but I know Heavenly Father helped him." (He's the 8 year old who's baptism I spoke at a few months ago.) It was a whole lot of miracles and a huge change of heart.
Other than that we have one new investigator who is progressing really quickly named Mark. He was at first really just looking for company and to be uplifted. The first few visits were long and consisted of us only sharing a small part of our message. He would talk on and on about his recent separation with his wife and how it was making him depressed. But eventually, he started asking questions and catching onto why the differences are important. He really like the second half of the Plan of Salvation, after we taught he gave the most sincere prayer thanking the Lord for being merciful to ALL his children. Then he came to the baptism on Saturday, and church Sunday! The ward was very welcoming, it's been a  while since they've seen a white investigator in church or something? He said he felt really good at both the baptism and church so it is a really good sign! I'm glad we were patient with him and that the Lord sent us at such a perfect window of opportunity.
Did I mention that Alice moved? Yep, the day of her confirmation actually! She moved to the middle of nowhere 40 minutes from the nearest church. Which was really terrible news until a few days ago when the Winnsboro Sisters finally got to go meet her! They said she came to church on Sunday, bore her testimony, and even went with them to teach an investigator after church! So glad the Lord is watching out for her and that she can be a strength to that tiny branch. 
I have a lot of time so I'll add what I learned in my study recently. I was reading in 3 Nephi 11 when the Spirit tells Nephi that the fruit on the tree is the most desirable above all other fruit. It made me think how there may be a lot of ways to be happy, being rich is pretty nice, and having talent is always good... BUT! This gospel is the MOST desirable, and will bring us the MOST joy, the MOST happiness, and help us get the MOST out of our lives. I am so grateful for it.

Thank you for the prayers, couldn't do any of this without them. Hope everyone has a good week!
Sister Stevens

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