Monday, April 1, 2013

Emma got baptized yesterday!

Dear Everyone,

Sister Clayton, Emma, Mery (a ward member
ho has adopted Emma) and I
Emma got baptized yesterday!!! It was so exciting. She was so ready for the gospel, and it was so evident the changes in her as she accepted it. And it was interesting - before her baptism, I had been thinking that none of the baptisms we've had so far were fully 'mine,' as in I'd been there for the whole conversion process. Emma was the first person who's been baptized and had her first missionary experience while I was there. But the most curious thing happened - her baptism doesn't feel like 'mine' at all. I knew in my mind before that the individual missionary isn't all that important. But now I really see how little it had to do with my contributions. Emma got baptized and it was all the Lord's work (and the work of members of the ward, who are now her family). I was just lucky enough to be along for the ride!

The Martinez family sent us home with food
after we shared a message with them.

We've had a great week. There are so many good people here, and I love seeing and contemplating how much the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses their lives. I may have written about this before, but baptism is so important. It is the way that these amazing children of God can really access the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. I love it.

A couple of random things. I'm not sure whether or not I've told you about Rick. He ran up to us on the street and asked us for a pamphlet. He had talked with missionaries in New York years before, and it was a miracle that we met him. We had to pass him to the English sisters to teach, because we just work with people who will be attending the Spanish ward. But on Saturday he got baptized!! Through him I really gained a testimony that everything is in the scriptures for a reason. At the beginning of First Nephi there's a verse that has always puzzled me - it seemed largely irrelevant. 1 Nephi 1:2 says, "Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians." I couldn't understand why that would be in such an important and sacred book as the Book of Mormon, especially at the beginning. But that verse was what gained Rick's interest and kept him reading long enough to gain a testimony for himself of the truthfulness of the message. He loved that it was written in Egyptian, because he is Egyptian and likes to study languages. And now he is baptized and has the gift of the Holy Ghost and has opened the gate! So amazing.

Okay, one awesome thing from the scriptures. I read John 15 yesterday, and loved it. One section that especially touched me was in verse 15, where Christ is giving his definition of friendship. He says, "I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." It made me think about what friendship really is and what is most important in our lives. If I really am a friend to somebody, I'm going to share the gospel with him, because that is what is of the most value in my life, and sharing that is how I really demonstrate my love for my friend.

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really has been restored to the earth, and that it is true. It applies to everybody. Christ "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness... black and white, bond and free, male and female." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the organization that God has established to share this Gospel and power with all the world. I am so excited and grateful to be a part of this great work, and I love seeing how much it blesses everyone. I love you all!!

<3  HH

Sister Clayton and I

A bunch of the sister missionaries!

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