Hello and Merry Christmas to you all!
Yet another great week down! So many spiritual experiences that I am going to jump right in. First off, I am excited to say that our investigator, who we have set the January 10th baptism date with, is doing super well! We had a really cool lesson with him yesterday! A little background, is that over the past three years he has been losing his strength. He used to be a very active guy his whole life, playing basketball and such. Now, he is reduced to weakness and can't walk or lift his arms so he is always in a wheelchair. He really wants to get baptized and last week he brought up some concerns about his fear of water and he has very weak lungs so he can't hold his breath at all. So we were given a couple of challenges to try and figure out how he could be baptized. We were fasting last Sunday, so we took it to the Lord in prayer and asked God for a solution to help his baptism be comfortable and a positive experience. The answer we received was Alma 15. As we read through this we realized that the Lord wants him to be baptized. We don't know if the Lord wants him to be healed 100% so he can be baptized or if he will help him overcome his fears or what will happen but we received an answer as a companionship that The Lord wanted us to give Stephen a blessing of healing. So yesterday when we had another lesson with him we went fasting again. We studied and thought about the priesthood and blessings and miracles all week and when Sunday came we knew that what we were going to do is what God wanted. We went into the lesson and we shared Alma 15 with him, we talked about miracles and the power of God to be able to do all things. Then we offered to give him a blessing of healing. Now you have to understand that he is very sincere and he has every desire to be baptized. He accepted the blessing and what followed was a miraculous experience for myself and my companion. We proceeded to give him a blessing and the spirit was definitely the one talking. He was blessed to have the strength to accomplish all that God had in store for him. A lot of things were said that I feel are very sacred to him and I will not share all of them but at the end of the blessing he looked at us and said that he felt different. He felt during the blessing a wave of something wash over his entire body. He was so grateful for the blessing from God and he knew that he was making the right decision to work towards being baptized. I have no doubt in my mind that over the next few weeks we will continue to see miracles happen to help him continue to prepare for his baptism.
I want to share with all of you my witness of the power of the priesthood. I know that God is real, I know that Christ lives and through his redeeming power all things are possible. God loves all of his children so much and He is willing to do anything he can to help any of his children on their path back towards Him. I don't know all that God has in store for our investigator but I do know that he is going to have a huge impact on a lot of people and that God has amazing things in store for him.
On another note, we had a Mission Leadership Council (MLC) this week. We got to go down into the mission office with all the other leaders of the mission to council with President Mella. I learned more from this MLC than any of the others that I have been to. Pres. Mella did a great job of presenting topics or ideas and asking all of us for input or things that may help the work and specifically help our individual zones. That is one thing that I love about the church is that the doctrine is the same no matter where you go, but the way the doctrine is applied is open to the leaders in areas to seek revelation as to how it will best bless, lift, and inspire the members of that area. Then once we receive the council from our leaders we can take that and ponder it and see how it applies to us individually. We can all seek our own personal revelation. I love that! This is a very personal relationship between God and each and every one of us. The way we strengthen that connection is through prayer and scripture study. Which I love to do! Its so much fun learning what God has in store for me. I am so very grateful for the habits that I have developed on my mission. I have changed a lot. It is amazing at the things that I have learned that I had no idea I needed to learn! Steve Young also came and spoke to all of us so I attached that picture just for fun. My companion is front left and I am front right!
Everyone have an awesome week! I love you and keep being the best family ever!