Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meu Primerio Batismo!

This week I had my first baptism! It was really awesome! Kelly was so excited and her enthusiasm was contagious! The whole ward really welcomed her and is really excited about missionary work because of her overwhelming joy throughout her conversion process. She has been through a lot and she said that 31 people tried to discourage her to join the church (close friends, coworkers, extended family, etc.) but she has been solid through it all. I know that most of her support has come through fellowship and it has increased my testimony of member missionary work. I am so excited to see Kelly go to the temple in a year or so! She is stellar and will be such a great addition to the ward and the church in general. She has such the greatest enthusiasm about the gospel and has no problem standing up for it. She is willing to talk about what she believes and be a missionary- I love it!
Our Book of Mormon study class has continued to go well. One of our ward mission leaders comes faithfully each time and really helps people to feel the spirit of the Book of Mormon! We have had a lot of great discussions with him about the gospel and the work, so that has been a huge blessing. 

Yesterday for p-day we went to Tuba City and played kickball with the elders and then had zone training. We didn't get home until like 9:30 but it was well worth it. My zone is awesome! The Sister Training Leaders were there and they came home with us for exchanges. I am with Sister Maynes who speaks Spanish! so this morning for language study I taught her the Restoration in Portuguese and she said that she could understand me! So that means my conjugations weren't too bad! I was really happy about that and it was a really awesome experience. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I got really excited to speak more Portuguese!  

I love Our Search For Happiness! I would encourage everyone to read it--it isn't very long and it is a fun read. I love what Elder Ballard says at the end about knowing if the Restoration is true. He says:
"You need to know that your Latter-Day Saint friends believe with all of their hearts that what I'm telling you is true. And that's why they do some of the things they do and say some of the things they say. They believe in a religion that is dynamic, based on continuous revelation and eternal progression. Theirs in not a passive belief. It would, after all, be difficult to believe such things and be ambivalent about them. Active Latter-day Saint tend to be very committed to their church and very devoted to their doctrine, not because they think they're any better than anyone else, but because they sincerely believe that they have an important message about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they believe it is a message of great gladness and joy that the Lord expects them to share with the entire world.

When I was a mission president in Toronto I was invited to participate in a popular radio talk show. No, my missionaries didn't set me up for this one--I accepted this invitation on my own. After some initial discussion of the similarities between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the other Christian denominations, the host asked this significant question: "What makes your church differently from other churches?"
"Let me answer your question with another question," I replied. "If Moses were on the earth today, would you be interested in what he had to say?"
'Of course," the talk show host responded. "Everyone would be interested." 
"Well, that's our message to the world," I said. "There is a prophet of God on the earth today who has the same power and authority that Moses had. God directs His Church through His prophet today, just as He did in Moses' day."
And I also love this talk by President Eyring called "This Day." (here are only some parts of it)
"There is a danger in the word someday when what it means is “not this day.” “Someday I will repent.” “Someday I will forgive him.” “Someday I will speak to my friend about the Church.” “Someday I will start to pay tithing.” “Someday I will return to the temple.” “Someday …”
The scriptures make the danger of delay clear. It is that we may discover that we have run out of time. The God who gives us each day as a treasure will require an accounting. We will weep, and He will weep, if we have intended to repent and to serve Him in tomorrows which never came or have dreamt of yesterdays where the opportunity to act was past. This day is a precious gift of God. The thought “Someday I will” can be a thief of the opportunities of time and the blessings of eternity.
Even the Savior, who was without sin, set an example of the need not to procrastinate. He said:
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
 A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day. We can know which task, of all those we might choose, matters most to God and therefore to us.
 For most of us the temptation to delay will come from one or both of two feelings. They are polar opposites: one is to be complacent about what we have already done, and the other is to feel overwhelmed by the need to do more.
It is hard to know when we have done enough for the Atonement to change our natures and so qualify us for eternal life. And we don’t know how many days we will have to give the service necessary for that mighty change to come. 
For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you two promises. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart. Your circumstances may not be improved in all the ways which you desire. But you will have been given new strength to carry your burdens and new confidence that when your burdens become too heavy, the Lord, whom you have served, will carry what you cannot. He knows how. He prepared long ago. He suffered your infirmities and your sorrows when He was in the flesh so that He would know how to succor you.
The other promise I make to you is that by choosing to serve Him this day, you will feel His love and grow to love Him more.
By serving Him this day, you will come to know Him better. You will feel His love and appreciation. You would not want to delay receiving that blessing. And feeling His love will draw you back to His service, wiping away both complacency and discouragement.
 I know that Jesus is the living Christ, the Savior of the world, and that we can choose to feel joy and peace in His service this day. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Okay, so this week was just great all around. I was so happy to be able to be one of Kelly's missionaries. I have been so blessed by the Lord to be involved in this experience! I love her so much and I am so excited to help more people to get baptized and make those steps toward the temple!
I can't think of much else this week except that we are teaching lots of children! They are awesome and it is so much fun because I feel like I am more of a kid than an adult anyway so it all works out. Anyway, I love you all. Keep writing!
Sister Sadie Bledsoe
Erika (Kelly's bestfriend who introduced her to the church), Sam (Erika's husband; this was his first baptism; he was very excited about wearing the 70s-looking polyester jumpsuit to baptize Kelly! it was so funny), KELLY, me, and Sister Askren

We love KELLY!!

Charlie's Angels?.... (Kelly's idea ;)

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