First we got a new investigator named Miguel this week. He is 28 years old and he is deaf. We were on exchanges on Thursday when we met him for the first time so Elder Gardner was not there so that put it on me and Elder Domingo to teach him the restoration. I have taught the restoration hundreds of times in English but this was only the second time in ASL. So to answer your question yes I do get lots of opportunities to teach and use sign. Emma, technically when you are signing with someone you are "speaking" with them. It's just using a different language that doesn't require the vibrations of your vocal cords. Anyways the ASL grammar is very different than the normal English that we use. I still have to get used to not using all the filler and connector words that are used in English and the sentences are all arranged differently. Such as... In English we would say "we need to be baptized so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father." In ASL you would sign "we need baptism why, return live with Heavenly Father will". Very different from how we would normally say things in English. But teaching the restoration went very well and we invited him to be baptized and he said yes so he has a date for the 19 of July. Really exciting! He is a super awesome super solid investigator. He is a lot of fun to teach and I'm amazed that he can understand my awful ASL grammar! We are excited to see him continue to progress towards baptism.
We had an amazing baptism this week! The first one of my mission! His name is Vijay and he is from India. A very cool guy. The service was on Saturday night and being Indian the concept of being on time doesn't really exist. We knew this ahead of time so we told him to be at the church at 7 because he is usually about 10 or 15 minutes late, but of course on baptism day he needed to be 25 minutes late. So I was stressing out and super worried that he wasn't going to show up because he didn't get to his own baptism until five minutes before it was supposed to start. But he did show up so I relaxed and everything went smoothly from there. He had asked me to baptize him so I got to do that and it was super cool. First time I have ever baptized anyone. It was such an amazing experience. I know that he partook of saving ordinances on Saturday. I can't describe in word the feeling that I got as we left the font after he was baptized. Such and incredible evening.
Then to top it all off after the baptism another investigator that we handed off to the sisters came up to me after and said that her baptism was going to be in a week and that she would like me to baptize her too. I knew that she was going to get baptized the next weekend but I had no idea that she had even thought of me as the person to baptize her. Although myself and Elder Jensen were the missionaries that found her. Overall, by the end of Saturday night so many wonderful things had happened that I was feeling so good that I ended passing out right when we got home because I was exhausted from everything! Incredible! That is why we invite people to come unto Christ. So they can participate in those saving ordinances. The next morning was Vijay confirmation and he showed up 2 minutes before that one, but all that's important is that he was able to make it. The ordinances have been completed and he can continue on the path towards Heavenly Father.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the true church. I know that Heavenly Father is hastening his work and it is happening all around us! Amazing, it continually blows me away.
Love, Elder Maxwell