Monday, September 22, 2014

**Tell Tayson Congratulations for me.  And chastise Dalton and Cayman and Tayson for not emailing me!  haha.

In the middle of the picture of Ken Jones's baptism is Bishop Love (who baptized him)
Ken Jones's baptism

Ken is a Kung Foo Master

These are some crazy looking mushrooms growing outside of the church

At church I let Andy and Jamie's kids draw on my whiteboard and Jamie helped them draw this haha

Elder Sully and I had a fantastic week.  Ken Jones was able to be baptized and Andy Ramirez was able to receive the Priesthood and will be baptizing their son AJ in October.  With Jamie and Andy's problem last week, I was really bugged at why every single time Andy and Jamie take a good step, it seems like they just get knocked down.  While we were at church this Sunday we were able to talk about them with the ward.  The ward has really been able to step in and gain their trust.  They were able to provide them a washer and dryer, and they were also able to help in transportation.  Andy and Jamie have really been able to bond with the ward.  And I realized that these things happened to them, so that they could form relationships with the ward members.  It was a very humbling experience for me and helped me realize that my ways are not greater than God's ways and that as we continue to push forward that we will be shaped and molded into the men that God wants us to be.  Throughout this past week I have been reflecting on my mission.  The ups, the downs and the things I have learned.  I never knew that this is what it would be like, or who I would become.  But, I know that if I hadn't chosen to serve a mission, I would have had to learn these things the hard way and over a long period of time.  I love the Lord and will thank him everyday for him choosing me to be one of his servants. 
  Ken's baptism was fantastic.  While we were filling up the font Ken walked up to me and he said, "I feel like I am about to die."  We were able to talk about baptism a little more deeply and talk about the Apostle Paul's explanation of baptism.  That we we are baptized we die as to our old selves and bury it away and we rise up a new man with Christ.  It was an amazing conversation.  Afterwards we were able to go take the picture y'all saw and we started the program, we had two talks, one on baptism and one on confirmation.  Then, there was a special musical number done by the missionaries and while they were singing I went and changed into whites, because Ken is so big that he needed a spotter in case Bishop wouldn't be able to pull him up.  He was baptized and after the baptism when they shut the curtains or whatever they call them, Ken just stood there and told Bishop and I that it was so easy and he felt wonderful and saved.  Ken's wife was also there (she has never met with us because she hasn't wanted to), but she was touched by the spirit, because she was crying during some of the talks and the hymns.  Hopefully we will be able to teach her and bring her into the fold as well.  But overall the baptism was a definite success.  
  We have still been working with Erika.  She wants to come to church and get baptized so bad, but her parents are totally against it.  She told us this Sunday that her parents rejected her request to come to church again and that she was going to have a discussion with them later that night, so I will fill y'all in on the details with how everything went.  We definitely don't want to go against her parents will though, so we will see what happens.  We were able to teach her the 10 commandments though with all the signs.  It was a good lesson and she continues to progress.
  We have also still been working with Carisil.  Carisil is doing fantastic.  We invited her to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and she had a dream!  She comes to church every Sunday and is keeping all of her commitments.  She was also able to come to Ken Jones's Baptism.  It was a good experience for her.  Elder Sully was with them for most of the time since I was spotting and this is what he told me that she said.  She was just so confused at why the Catholic church had her baptized while she was a baby and she said that she feels like that wasn't even her decision.  She is also excited for her baptismal date which will be for the 12th of October.  
  Elder Sully and I have been really blessed to be able to work with all of these people who continue to progress and want to learn more.  The Lord is truly hastening his work.  This morning in my studies I really wanted to learn a lot.  So, I prayed fervently and asked Heavenly Father to enlighten my mind.   I was able to read Moroni chapters 6 and 7.  Chapter 6 is a powerful chapter where Moroni explains the mode of Baptism and Joining the church and he talks about how the church should be run.  I love how in verse 9 that it says that the meetings should be run by the workings of the spirit.  I also loved Chapter 7 where Moroni writes down the words of Mormon.  Mormon was a powerful teacher.  I love how he explains that if there are no miracles performed then it is because you have no faith and if you have no faith then you're basically in trouble.  I also loved how he explained that If we will have faith then we will have hope, then he tells us what we should have hope in verse 41.  Then, he explained that if you have faith and hope you will be meek and if you are meek then you will have charity and I love how he says that those who are filled with this love are true followers of Jesus Christ.  Let us all be true followers of Christ having faith to perform miracles, filled with Hope of eternal life, having meekness and recognizing who provides all, and having Charity towards all of our Father in Heavens children.  I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Willden

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