OH, HAPPY WEEK! Mercedes Davis entered the waters of baptism! She was so ready and so excited! The night before her baptism, we all knelt down to pray and she said it because that's tradition. In her prayer, as she was telling Heavenly Father how excited and ready she was, she had tears in her eyes. It was such a tender moment! It was such a great service and so many members of our ward came! From day one, Mercedes always said she wanted to sing at her baptism. So, Sis. Rackham, Emily, Hannah, Mercedes and I sang "Nearer My God to Thee" a Capella and it actually sounded pretty good.
At the end of the service, Mercedes was invited to go up and bear her testimony. She shared her conversion story, about how she was born into a home where both of her parents were Baptist preachers, but that the spirit in the home was always so "cold"( how she described it). She talked about moving in with the Emmett's (the family in our ward) about a year and a half ago and immediately feeling such a strong spirit there and feeling so loved. She was so funny, she said she got in an argument with one of her friends the other day when she told him she was getting baptized and he said, "You know you're black, right?" and she was like, so.....then he said, "Black people aren't Mormon, they're Baptist!" She said she had never gotten so worked up about defending something before like she did then. It was cute! On a more serious note though, she ended her testimony with a few lines that just touched my heart.
"My whole life has been a testimony." (not really sure what that means, but it sounded cool!)
" The things I've wanted have changed into the things I need."
"I've found what I've been looking for and I don't have to search anymore."
"I hope, no, I know, my testimony will keep growing stronger."
Isn't she so awesome?! Anyway, after we went over to the Emmett's for a barbecue with them and some people from our ward and it was so great! It's the closest thing that's felt like Family Dinner in a long time. This ward seriously feels like our ward at home and I love it!
Another wonderful thing that happened this week, is that we found out Lisa Burch has quit smoking! :) I guess it's been about a month since she's quit, she just never told us! But, we were oh so happy! This week we talked to the Burchs about the Plan of Salvation, focusing heavily on the importance of the temple, but before we could even talk about the temple, Lisa brought it up. We were talking about the spirit world and Lisa started talking about how it is there that people wait for their ordinances to be done. She started to list the ordinances and then looked at John when she said sealing. I know she wants this so bad! They have seriously progressed so much. I wish you guys could see it! Like, I know Sister Rackham and I will be going to their sealing one day. We invited them to go to Stake Conference last week and they actually committed to coming. THIS WAS HUGE! They haven't been to church in at least 15 years. We knew they'd feel more comfortable in Stake Conference because then the ward wouldn't surround them and make a project out of them. It was the perfect baby step they needed and then, guess what, they didn't come because the stupid toilet guy could only come during the conference. I know it sounds like an excuse, but I think this one was kinda legit because they were really sad they couldn't make it and Sister Rackham and I were devastated to say the least. But, looking on the bright side, they are progressing! YAY!
Well, I love you guys mucho and can't wait for you to get here to meet all these people I keep talking about! Someday soon, but until then, let's keep enjoying this precious time! I only get to be Christ's representative (with a name tag at least) for such a short time, but I am so grateful for this opportunity. My testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel has grown so very much. I know that only through living the gospel can we find full joy and happiness. We are so blessed! LOVE YOU! XOXOXO
2. The Book of Mormon Book Club after the baptism. The two girls on the left are leaving on missions soon. How cute is Mercedes in her modest dress! She went and bought it that morning because she wanted to wear something modest!