I'm pretty sure the mission can't get any better than it did this week! It was one of those weeks I will look back at for the rest of my life with a very large smile on my face. I know that this gospel is true, and I know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of every single one of us. WELL, lets cut to the point....SHANE IS BAPTIZED!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! It was the most BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, and AMAZING baptism...I really can't even think of words to describe it. Shane is so special, and we know that he is going to be such an example to those around him. The adversary's presence while preparing for this baptism was very apparent, but as always, Heavenly Father's power is greater. Satan did not want Shane being baptized, but I know that it was through Shane's faith and the many prayers that were said in his behalf that paved the way to his special day.
I mentioned last week that contact between us and Shane has been very hard because he does not have a phone. He said that he was going to be baptized, but we still had a couple of lessons to teach him. He said he would try to make it to Laie on Friday, but we had no idea what time he would be coming, and neither did he. Well, about half an hour before Sister Toleafoa and I are supposed to hop on the tram for the PCC, he comes walking through the VC doors!! We were so stinkin happy....but we didn't know what to do because we had to go get on the tram.... but his baptism was the very next morning! Two sisters, Sister McKinney and Sister Petersen, who are absolute angels, took our tram for us while we stayed at the VC to teach Shane. We went through and retaught a couple of the commandments and then teaching the ones we had not yet taught.
The baptism was just PERFECT! Heavenly Father has such a way of showing His love for His children, it really is amazing! Sister Toleafoa and I ran to the BYU-H bookstore to get Shane's name engraved on a set of scriptures we got for him. As we head back out to our car we notice one of Shane's fellowshippers and our Ward Mission Leader playing games in this little field in the front of the school. After saying hello we find out that it was the Japanese club....PERFECT. We asked them if they could announce Shane's baptism for them to come to at the BYU stake center! SO many of them came.There were about 60 people in total at the baptism. We had him look back and look at everyone that was there, for him, he couldn't believe it! The musical number was perfect the speakers were perfect, the ordinance was perfect. Did I mention it was perfect? I will never forget conducting the music and looking at his face and seeing right in front of my eyes the different person that he was. This gospel changes lives.
The next day at church Shane was able to receive the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!!! YAYYY!
The one who gave the Confirmation blessing was Brother Goo. He was a former mission president in Hong Kong a Temple President and is now living in the Laie 4th ward. He is so awesome. In the blessing Shane was blessed to serve a full-time mission and would afterwards find a worthy lady he would be sealed to in the temple. At this point Sister Toleafoa and I both have tears just streaming down our faces. There was nothing like it. He was told that he had a very special place in this church and would be able to do so much good! Bah, it was the neatest experience.
This one is for the Visitor Center. There was this couple who came in from the tram and just sat right down on the chairs in the Christus Room. I could tell they were not happy, and I felt very prompted to talk with them. I sat down on the little table in front of them and introduced myself mentioning I was from Indiana. We talked for a little bit, with them explaining that they did NOT know the tram was going to a Mormon temple. I then asked if they practiced a religion, with the response of Lutheran. I told them that my best friend when I lived in New Jersey was Lutheran...which is when I find out that they were from New Jersey! They really seemed to open up then! After being able to find common ground I asked them how having faith in Jesus Christ has blessed their lives. I knew there was no point in trying to bring up doctrines that we could disagree on, and it seemed to be inspired. We were able to talk about the blessings of Christ in our lives and how I get to teach people every day about Him. The wall they built when they walked into the VC was completely gone. It really touched me when before they left they said, "You know, although our doctrines might be different, it seems that what you are doing is really blessing people. God bless." I love the Visitor Center!! Although we may not be able to see every single person have the desire to learn more about the the restored church of Jesus Christ upon the earth today, I can know that they left that day having a better feeling about our church. Who knows, maybe when the missionaries come knocking on their door they'll let them in this time.
Alright, this letter is getting long enough, sorry! I am just in love with being a missionary and seeing the blessings that this gospel brings into people's lives. A month ago Shane had no belief in God. To him it was as if someone were to come up to you and say, hey, let us tell you about Bob. He is our Father....it sounds strange and perhaps crazy. BUT, God is real. He is there, and as we pray we will get to know Him for ourselves. When Shane prays he knows that He is praying to God and that his prayers will be answered. I am so grateful for blessing I have to witness these miracles every day! I know that as you all search for opportunities to share the gospel with those around you, you too will be able to see a change in people's lives. I love you all SO much! Thank you for your continual prayers!!