Great week here in Mint Valley. A lot of opposition, but a lot of great stuff as well.
One of the coolest things is that people who want to be taught are just coming out of the woodwork. We had a training about "the field is white already to harvest" and so we don't need to worry about preparing people, we just need to worry about teaching the people who are prepared. Since that training we have cut our Area book almost in half but the Lord has blessed us with so many people who really want to be taught.
I did my first Exchange into a biking area this week. 21 Months and his was my first time on a bike! It was pretty fun and I even began to be jealous of the biking Elders ...until the rain came. Yeah I'm grateful for a car area.
The highlight of the week was Alex's baptism. We went over to his house the day before to finalize plans and stuff and the coolest thing was just to see how much he had repented and humbled himself. It strengthened my testimony 200% that if you'll just read your scriptures, pray daily, and go to church, the Lord can work a mighty transformation in your heart.
Saturday was a really busy day. It started off with a really sweet breakfast, then the baptism, and a Chuukese party later that night.
Breakfast - We couldn't have dinner with members because of the Chuukese party later that night so we did breakfast instead with the members that signed up for that day! They live like 30 minutes from our house but they live on a hill by themselves with a sweet view of the Columbia river! We woke up at 5:30 to try to get there by sunrise. We just barely made it! Literally two minutes after we made it to their house and started taking pictures, the sun went behind the clouds for the rest of the day and it started to rain! #TenderMercies. We had a killer German pancake breakfast (Almost as good as Dads) and drove down to set up the baptism.
Baptism- Driving down after breakfast we got the text that no missionary wants to get. Alex texted us "Hey guys I can't do it today. Can we reschedule?" Noooo. No no no! We went over to his house to see what was up and learned that his uncle in Seattle couldn't make it down in time. When we told him that his uncle could skype in it made everything go a lot smoother. Unfortunately the person who was doing the musical number and the one giving the talk both cancelled that morning as well so we had to make some Hasty replacements. Some things you just can't plan for ha. The baptism was scheduled for 11, but somebody told the person who was baptizing Alex that it started at 1! They also told him it was at another building lol so at 11:30 the baptism started. But despite everything that went wrong it was really spiritual and Alex looked super happy afterwards. Also really cold - he requested to be baptized in ice cold water!
The last cool thing about the baptism is that it happened on day 40 of my companions and my 40 day fast. Meaning, 40 days ago we decided to write down all the things that we did where we were not as obedient as we could have been and even stuff that is not bad but takes away from the spirit. Our ward has not baptized in over a year and we didn't even realize that Saturday was day 40 until the day before. Obedience brings blessings!
Chuukese Party - If you have seen the district video "Finding through church activities" that's what we had on Saturday but for the whole stake. It was a Chuukese (Micronesian Island) themed luau 1) Because there are a lot of Chuukese in the area that are converting and 2) Dollar tree has a lot of island themed decorations. The party was a huge success for investigators. For Chuukese not so much haha. I'd say probably 300 Mormons and 10 Chuukese people attended. But we had tons of fresh fish and a couple of investigators stay for the church tour, which was cool!
"Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world." —Ezra Taft Benson
"Rather than complaining that life is hard or that our blessings don't seem abundant enough or that there are always thorns among the roses, shouldn't we be grateful that life, however difficult, is precious, that in addition we have the promise of eternal life, that the blessings we have are wonderful and those we will have are more wonderful yet, and that there are roses among the thorns?"
-Jeffrey R. Holland
~Elder Paul Thomas