Monday, August 25, 2014

Helen's Baptism!

Hey everyone!                                                                                                                   August 25, 2014

I hope you don't mind that I tend to gander rant in my weekly e-mails, but I just get on a roll. ha.
This week was a really busy week, especially since we had to get ready for Helen Liu's baptism, which was stressful, but well worth it! 
Last Monday wasn't anything special. We played Risk for P-Day, and that was a huge mistake, it took up the entire day! However, it was all okay since we had dinner at the Joneses and they made those P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps and some dang good sweet n sour chicken that was so good! We watched the Mormon message "Hope Through God's Light" with them and they really liked it. Then we went and talked with Helen and asked her if she would like her husband, Gordon, to be baptized with her. She said yes, and so we asked Gordon, and he said, "I've already been baptized" and then asked which church we were from. So, a little back story to Gordon. He is 87 and has dementia and has been to church the past three weeks but doesn't remember. Monday was actually his birthday and everyone kept telling him that it was his birthday and he would say "It's my birthday?" It was hilarious! 
Tuesday we went out to Joe Booth's house to mow his lawn for him. Elder Hess wanted to mow the lawn so I got to stay and chat with Joe. He's something... We finished mowing the lawn right as it started to rain. When we finally decided to leave it was pouring rain and I had to be the backer out of Joe's super long driveway, so that was pretty fun. ha. Then we talked with Patty for a while, since Nick wasn't home again... We went to see Helen and made sure she was all ready for her interview. It went well and she is super prepared for her baptism. Then we went to Blake's house. I talked with his son Kyle for a while. He just made the Midland High soccer team, so we had a lot to talk about. :) Tuesday wasn't a super eventful day, but it was still fun. It's really nice to be able to get out and work, it keeps me focused on the work.
Wednesday was a good day. We went on trade-offs, so Elder Finlayson was with me in my area. We had district meeting which was on revelation through church attendance.  We had district lunch at Mancino's. They have the best calzones, I'm a believer in them. I also lost my magnetic tag but I found it on Sunday, it had fallen into my suit pocket... hah. We taught Ben today, and we watched the Restoration video with him, he really liked it, once he quits smoking we can baptize him, but he's struggling. Then we tried to contact some referrals and took a picture by the chrome Jesus at the Messiah Lutheran Church. Then we knocked some doors before our dinner appointment. We had dinner at the DePierro's. They made italian food and even canoles for dessert. Then we taught Curt and Patty and Bonnie Bash. We taught them the Restoration, and it went really good, it was awesome to see Bonnie participate a little bit, since she is really quiet. Then we went and helped Elder Hess and Nielsen since they gandered a piano! The had spent the last hour of the day pushing it like 2 miles, it was nuts. hah. 
Thursday wasn't a super exciting day, but it was still a great day to be a missionary. Elder Finlayson and I went to the Tridge for a little bit and then we switched back and Elder Hess and I were reunited! :) We didn't get to teach any lessons today but we did weekly plan which takes up quite a bit of time. We helped a family from the 1st ward unload a truck with the other elders. We spent quite a bit of time at the Tridge today.
Friday we did some serious work! After studies we went and met with David Clark. We got into a pretty deep discussion, which was pretty fun. We talked about if Jesus was married, and about how the Trinity doesn't make any sense. It was pretty fun getting to talk about some deep doctrine, since we don't ever really get to do that with our investigators. Then we went to Joe's house. We had planned to teach him the Restoration, since he finally got first presidency approval, and so he just needs to meet with Bishop and then we can set a date with him! He just went off about baptism and stuff. Then we knocked doors for a little bit. Then we went on a quick Trade-off. Elder Hess and Finlayson went to Helen's house so Elder Finlayson could interview her while Elder Nielsen and I went out to Dennis's house to help him with roofing. Dennis is the 1st ward sisters' investigator who just got baptized on Saturday. It was super fun. Dennis is a stud. Then we switched back and we had dinner with Sister Anderson, Nyman, and Bro. Sovia. They are all older and single. They are really nice. They got us pizza. :) We then finished the day at the Tridge. We met a lot of cool people and even saw the other elders teaching a lesson. They told us that their entire lesson consisted of the guy pulling up anti-mormon literature right in front of them...
Saturday was Helen's baptism! After our studies we went out and met with Nick K. He filled us in on all of what's been happening in the world. It's good to be a missionary and be totally oblivious to everything that is going on. :) hah. Then we got into our suits and went to the church for the baptism. It was such an amazing baptism. Helen's niece gave the opening prayer, and she had it all written down so she could say it in English, it was so sweet. I really like that in her pray she prayed for us to always remember to pray and read our scriptures. Then Sister April Millward gave a talk on baptism. It was really cool since she said that her best friend growing up had moved from Taiwan and that is where Helen is from. She gave a really great talk then the actual baptism was amazing! Brother Henson was really nervous because he had to use Helen's real Chinese name, which is Lie Sun Chueng Fang and he messed up saying it the first time and it totally threw him off. So he then said it right but had totally forgotten everything, so he paused for a second and then looked at me, since I was a witness, and I said "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ" and then he remembered it all and baptized her. It was so sweet. Then Juanita Dorlon, brother Henson's mom shared her testimony and it was really sweet. Elder Hess gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost which was also really good. He did a really cool object lesson with it. My favorite part of it all though was when Helen's brother Mark Sun gave the closing prayer. He gave it in Chinese and the entire time he was bawling. He was so happy to finally get to see his sister baptized. The Spirit was so strong.  I loved it so much. :) The rest of the day we tried to visit some potentials and then went to the Tridge.
Sunday was a good day. We got invited to PEC for the first time and we were at the church for 6 hours straight! It was good to finally get to eat afterwards. hah. But church was really good. Brother Henson got to confirm Helen and we got to stand in the circle. It was a really great blessing he gave her. And then after church, we were trying to round up the whole Liu family and we found Gordon outside and we watched as Mark held him back because he was trying to get into the Jenkins mini-van to hold their baby It was hilarious. :) We were waiting for Helen and Gordon to start gospel principles and so we looked out of the room for them,and all I could see was Gordon waiting outside the bathroom for her. It was so cute. After church we talked with Nick's mom, Heather. They finally got a house in Saginaw, so they are out of here. We won't be able to see Nick anymore, but we will get the Saginaw elders to start meeting with him He needs good role models in his life. Then we tried to see some potentials and drove past Jon and Jan Marcou's. We saw Jon outside, so we stopped by. We talked with them for a while, and they had football on the TV. It was so hard for us to get out of there! The Marcou's are so great, though. Then we did church media study. We started watching Legacy, but we both ended up falling asleep.. dang it! We taught Don and Penny McCormick in the evening. It was a really great lesson on the Plan of Salvation. I kept wanting to commit her to baptism but I just couldn't get it out. Then at the end of the lesson she talked about how missionaries in the past had pressured her so I was happy that I didn't try and commit her since I think she would have felt pressured by it. The Spirit is always guiding as we teach. It's so important to be able to recognize it and then listen to it. 
So far today we have played frisbee golf and basketball.
This week was such a great experience for me even though we felt like getting ready for Helen's baptism was a pain, it was all worth it! I'm a little surprised by how happy I am that Helen got to be baptized. It's such a testimony builder getting to see someone make such a big step on their way back to our Heavenly Father. My one challenge to all of you is to really appreciate the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Holland has said that it is the most underused and under appreciated gifts we have. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a foretaste of Eternal Joy. Always live worthy of this amazing gift and look for ways to use it more effectively in your life. I can promise you that as you do you will experience so much more joy and comfort in your life. If you use the chart on page 96-97 in Preach My Gospel, you can better understand how the Holy Ghost works and it can help you better use the gift you have been given. I know that it has blessed my life and I am so thankful that I have been given such an amazing gift. 
I love you all so much and am so thankful for all the prayers and support that you give me.
Moroni 10:5

Elder Chalmers
Chrome Jesus

Matching ties with Elder Finlayson

Helen's baptism

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