Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The miracle of forgiveness and Brittany's first baptism

SAN DIEGO — It sounds like you all have been super busy! I loved the picture of the girlies in their costumes —SO STINKIN CUTE!

I am glad to hear you all had a good Halloween. Halloween as a missionary is different, but as a Battalion sister, it is even more different! We all had to be in by 5:30, but I was working at the Historic Site, and it never closes, so we were there. We had the little kiddos come into the room where we dress people up like soldiers and gave them candy from the haversack. It was super cute.

Later that night, we had a Halloween talent show/party at the Battalion with all the sisters. It was so much fun.
One of the senior couples, Sister Stallings from Twin Falls, made spud nuts! YUMMY! Oh man, it reminded me of the good old days in Grandma Morgan's garage, eating her yummy doughnuts and having "stone soup". 

Mom and Dad, I hope you know, when I have children, you are required to have a Halloween party in the garage, so start preparing! Oh and Mom, I am so happy to hear all of your missionary experiences! I love hearing about them. I want to be that kind of member missionary when I get home. 

Sara said that Juli sent her and I a Halloween package? I want to say thank you in advance! It will probably come today, so thank you Juli! I hope you are getting cozy in your new home! Love you so so so much!

I took a couple from Finland through the tour a few days ago, and those amazing memories at the big blue house flooded back to me! I have been writing down the people I have been able to share my testimony with from other lands and so far I have been able to share it with people from Ukraine, Israel, China, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, England, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Tonga, New Zealand, and Australia. Isn't that so neat how Heavenly Father is spreading the Gospel throughout the world in so many different ways? I love it!

Before I have to head out I want to tell you about H.R.'s baptism! He is the Marine that we have been teaching, and he was baptized on Saturday. He has a friend in the Marines that is Mormon and has been a great example to him. He had missionaries teach him for a while and then he got deployed, but after coming back, he wanted to learn more and so we have been teaching him. I am just going to write down part of my journal entry because it's easier:

October 29, 2011

HR's baptism was today. Sister Nelson and I got to the church early and started filling up the font and setting everything up. I had no idea how stressful setting up a baptism could be! H.R. and his family arrived —HR with a big grin on his face. How could anyone not be happy on such a day!

As we sang an opening song, "Come, Follow Me," I could almost imagine Jesus inviting HR to come into His fold. The spirit was so strong. As HR walked down into the baptismal font, it all hit me: I hope heaven is as happy as today has been, watching one of Heavenly Father's sons return to Him.

As HR came up out of the water, the Spirit hit me so strongly as he paused for a second just looking down at the water. I could almost see the burden this Marine has had on his shoulders being lifted off. I have come to appreciate the Savior's gift of the Atonement more and more as I have seen what it has done and can do for people.

As HR was getting dressed, Sister Nelson and I prepared a message about the Restoration. President Clayton (our mission president) came walking in at that time, which was nerve-wracking. But despite my wobbly knees, I was able to bear my testimony of Joseph Smith and God's love for all of us. I could almost feel the angels I am sure Heavenly Father sent to be at HR'S baptism today. It was so nice to have part of heaven with us in that little room in Ranchos Penasquitos, California.

After, HR bore his testimony. What hit me the most was when he looked up at us with tears in his eyes and said, "I never thought I would be ready to be baptized, but its true, its true." I couldn't help but sit in awe that this Marine, who felt like he had done things that could not be forgiven of, stand in front of me with his head held high, with a new countenance and a light shining in his eyes. It is hard to comprehend that power that God has to change us, to heal us, to love us. This was such a special moment — I am sure that angels were singing for joy as HR made this covenant today. This is a moment I never want to forget! 

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