Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The pain of not listening

SAN DIEGO — I can't believe another week has gone by! Yesterday it was 80 degrees, people were mowing lawns and they all had their Christmas lights up! It is weirding me out! I keep thinking it is summer time!

To answer some questions:

Thanksgiving is actually just another day in the mission field. The Mormon Battalion is open every day — including Sundays and holidays — so I worked there in the morning and we had a Battalion Thanksgiving that the senior couples put together and then we were out in our area at night. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, though!

, you would be proud, one of the senior couples is from Twin Falls, so I even got Idaho mashed potatoes and "grandma rolls" that were almost as good as yours!

For Christmas, we will get to either call or skype (unless president clayton changes the rules). We will only have about 30-40 minutes. I think I can do a conference call, I'm not exactly sure what that is?  But please send the number just in case.

As for things that are going on here: I have learned a great lesson this week of following the Spirit that I wanted to share with you. Here are two clips from my journal that will tell the story....

Friday, November 26, 2011

I took Sister Burden on exchanges in our area today. She is such an amazing missionary. We were able to teach a lot of people and contact a lot of referrals. We tried to contact Mckaela later in the evening. Mckaela is a foreign exchange student from Germany that we street contacted in August and she asked for a German Book of Mormon, but every time we tried  to contact her, the host family was really cold and told us she was not there.

Luckily, one of the sons answered the door and we were able to ask for Mckaela. Well, he told us in the not of nicest terms that we were out too late and that Mckaela was getting ready for bed. He started shutting the door, and I felt the Spirit tell me, "Sister Newman, she needs that Book of Mormon", but I let the moment pass and he shut the door.

Walking back to the car, the feeling wouldn't go away, so Sister Burden and I turned around, and walked back to the house so we could at least leave the German Book of Mormon with the host family. This time, the mom answered and she in the really not of nicest terms told us to leave and slammed the door in our face. We were forced to leave the book on the doorstep for her. I learned a great lesson tonight- LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT.

I can't describe the feelings in my heart of guilt and sadness that my lack of following the Spirit brought. Thank goodness for the Atonement, for I know Heavenly Father will prepare away for Mckaela to again receive the message of the Gospel.
Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today, I learned another lesson on following the Spirit. You think I would be better at this by now, especially because I was chastised only a few days ago from not listening to Heavenly Father. I don't know how many times it is going to take me to learn to trust in Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, but apparently at least one more time.

On our way to visit a former investigator's home, we ran into a guy walking his two boxer dogs. Naturally we walked up to him (not only because he had 2 dogs that reminded me of Peaches and Dakota, but that was a bonus!). After talking to him and sharing our message, he thanked us and left. As he was walking away, I felt Heavenly Father remind me that I needed his number, but he was already walking away, so I ignored the prompting. As we turned and started walking to the former's home, Sister Kennington mentioned that she, too, was reminded to get his number and did not.

My heart sunk to the floor — was my lack of acting on prompting going to affect this man's salvation?!? I practically begged Heavenly Father to give me another chance, promising that I would act on that prompting without delay. As we turned the corner to our former's home, there was the guy and his boxers! You better believe I asked for his number! There was no way I would fail to act this time. I have gained such a stronger testimony of listening to the Spirit. When you seek guidance from heaven, that is when miracles happen.
These past two days reminded me of a story from the Mormon Battalion that I want to share with you. I can't remember the story I shared last week, so I hope this isnt the same one.
"By November 17, the battalion had left the Rio Grande and was traveling in a southwesterly direction. On Nov. 20, Colonel Cooke's guides reported that they could not find a practical route to the west. Mexican traders told Cooke the only reasonable route was southeast to Janos in Sonora. In addition, they explained to Cooke that he could replenish his provisions, a fact that weighed heavily on Cooke's long list of worries.

"It appeared that cookes mind was set; the battalion would change directions and march towards Sonora. Cooke's decision, taking them away from and not towards California, so distressed Levi Hancock, the leading church authority in the battalion, that he asked the men to pray that night to change the colonel's mind. The following day Cooke set out for Janos and after the battalion had marched for several miles, he suddenly changed his mind, declaring that general Kearney's orders were to march to California. Consequently, the battalion changed directions and once again began traveling toward California. Many soldiers believed Cooke's decision to abandon the march to Janos came as a direct answer to prayer."
I know that Colonel Cooke listened to the Spirit. I am confident that because of that, the men did not have to fight in a single battle. It has been weighing on my mind a lot how important it is to listen to the Spirit, and I am so thankful Heavenly Father has once again taught me that lesson. The Spirit is constantly around, always trying to give us nudges, and pushes in the right direction. But it is so delicate, so soft, so quiet, that it takes such practice to hear its promptings and even more practice and courage to act on them.
The Spirit talks to all of us, to you to me every day, all the time. It is just up to us to listen and act. Miracles happen when we listen and do something from the messages we receive from heaven. I know that is true!
I love you all, I am so glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"More Precious than Gold"

SAN DIEGO — I have literally no time this week to write. I had to print off your letters and will read them later. The Family History Center where we write is closed this week, so we have 22 sisters that have had to share 2 computers at the Battalion.

I will just have time to tell you about my week, and next week I will answer all your questions.

It has been a crazy week. Monday, Sister Kennington and I had to train the group leaders at the Mormon Battalion. As a sister missionary, it works a little differently than elders. There are four group leaders that take the sisters out and go on exchanges and have a group meeting at the Battalion each week. And we also are part of our districts in our areas as well (but we of course do not go on exchanges with the district leader as he is an elder). Then, Sister Kennington and I help train the group leaders and take them out in our area. It has been such a great experience to learn from these sweet sisters.

Elder Nelson visited the Mormon Battalion. We'll have Brittany
tell us about it next week.

I have also had a few funny stories this week as well. Sister Kennington and I were trying to find an address of a potential investigator. We walked into a guy that was walking down the street, so we stopped to talk with him. As we mentioned that we were missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he spluttered, "MORMONS ARE TAKING OVER HAWAII!!! They have one of them temple things there and everything!!!!"

Sister Kennington and I had to hold our tongues, trying not to burst out laughing. We soon realized that he was definitely drunk as he wobbled away, turning back to say, "and you know what? You girls are pretty!"

It was funny, yet really sad as well to see Heavenly Father's son so far away from Him. I can't even imagine how He feels when His precious children turn their backs on Him. It hurts my heart to think about it.

Yesterday was another funny. I don't know who has spread the rumor that people are nicer to missionaries in the rain — NOT TRUE! It was pouring rain (I called it a blustery day, and Sister Kennington totally laughed at me, Nick, I think you would appreciate that saying). Anyway, we ran up to a house and they opened the door and asked us what our special message to the world was. We explained that Heavenly Father loves us just as much as in the days of Adam and Moses, that He has once again reached out in love to call a prophet to lead and guide our church today.

All of a sudden we had a room full of people all talking at once telling us that they were prophets and all sorts of interesting things to say the least. The Spirit was not there at all. I have learned why Heavenly Father explains to us that the Spirit testifies of truth. I have seen that so much on my mission.

Two more things: I want to tell you about one of my investigators. Her name is Ashli. She came into the Mormon Battalion in August and wanted a copy of The Book of Mormon. I think I might have mentioned her. It was a miracle that we were able to contact her a few weeks ago. We have now been able to teach her about The Book of Mormon and Restoration. Mine and Sister Kennington's jaw dropped yesterday when she texted us that she was already at 1 Nephi 16. She was so excited to share a passage that stuck out to her that I want to share with you.

She was explaining how she started reading this and she just felt like Heavenly Father was talking to her....
And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto gall those who diligently seek him, as well in times of hold as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in

As Ashli — not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — told me that she felt that she knew this before, that it made sense and that she felt peace. I, too, could feel my Heavenly Father testifying that He knows each one of us. He knows what we need to hear, what we need to feel, and what we need to do to return to Him. I could almost feel His prescence in the room, almost see His face smiling at Ashley. I don't care what the world says. I don't care how hard satan tries to make us feel differently. God lives and He loves us more than we know. I wish I could take what I feel in my heart and let all of you reading this feel it as well. Heavenly Father loves you SOOOOO much!

K, I have literally 3 minutes to write you one more thing that stuck out to me today. Sister Kennington and I have to give the devotional on Thursday, so I have been reading out of my site guide for the Mormon Battalion, and I wanted to share with you an excerpt from it. I get to see everyday how much these men and women sacrificed for us, and I sometimes take it for granted. I hope this quote helps you get an essence of the love, the sacrifice and the charity that these people had. They truly knew who they were and what God expected of them.

"I have never seen that rich spot of earth since. Nor do I regret it, for there always has been a higher object before me than gold. We had covenanted to move together... we were in honor bound to move the next day. We did move, leaving that rich prospect without ever sticking a stake in the gulch. But abandoning it to those who might follow...people said, here is gold on the bedrock, gold on the hills, gold in the rills, gold everywhere, gold to spend, gold to lend, gold for all that will delve, and soon you can make an independent fortune. We could realize all that. Still duty called, our honor was at stake, we had covenanted with each other, there was a principle involved, for with us it was God and his Kingdom first, we had friends and relatives in the wilderness, yea, in an untried desert land, and who knew their condition? We did not. So it was duty before pleasure, before wealth and with this prompting, we rolled out and joined our comrades."

This quote is after the men found gold at Sutters Mill. Instead of staying, they knew they had made a covenant with Heavenly Father and that they had something more precious than gold. I just thought as I was reading this, how we really need to sort out our priorities. I have learned that a lot while being here. Heaven comes first. Nothing else is as important.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"God is aware of us"

SAN DIEGO — I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for the updates. It is always so good to hear how you all are doing. Every time you share your experiences with me, my testimony grows. 

I guess I better tell you about my CRAZY week! First of all, transfers were last Wednesday. Sister Nelson got transferred and I got a new companion: Sister Kennington! She is from Layton, Utah and is SO AWESOME!

We went on exchanges all the time with each other, and have already been good friends these past months I have been here. I am so excited to have her in our area!

For transfers, President Clayton comes to the Battalion and announces them there. The other missionaries have transferred at the Mission Valley Stake Center. After he announced everything, we were singing the closing hymn and all of a sudden I got tapped on my shoulder by President to come out in the hall. Oh my goodness, let me just tell you, having your mission president tap you on the shoulder to follow him is not the most pleasant experience as a missionary- SCARY!

President asked Sister Kennington and I to be the training sisters over the Battalion. What a humbling experience, let me tell you. I am so glad that Heavenly Father makes weak things become strong: He has a lot of work to do on me that is for sure!

An amazing thing that comes with that responsibility is an even deeper feeling of charity. I didn't know I was capable of loving so much, but Heavenly Father has sure helped me stretch my heart even more. It is so funny how He answers prayers. I have spent many many hours on my knees begging Him to help me with my faith, with my charity, and with my trust in Him. I am so grateful that I get to work harder on developing those qualities in myself!

Here is a little update on the area:

I have been seeing how much Heavenly Father wants all of His children all over the world to hear about the Gospel. Right now we are teaching two people: one girl named Tao Tao, who is from China and one guy named Ali, who is from Iran.

Neither one of them have any idea about who their Savior Jesus Christ is at all, which has been a humbling experience to be able to focus an entire lesson on how much the Savior loves each one of us, how he gave his whole life to serve, to love, to lift each one of us. There is a sacred spirit that enters the room when we talk about the Savior. I would not expect anything less, for He is the life and light of the world. Even though people despised Him — and still do — even though people mocked Him, and still do, even though people turned away from Him, and still do, He loved them all and He loves us all. I know it. I can't see Him. I can't hear Him. But there is no one and nothing in this world that cannot tell me that He does not live, for I have felt his Spirit touch my soul. I have felt his hands lift my burdens. And I have been encircled by the arms of His love.

I have seen so many miracles and so many instances this week that have shown me that God is aware of us. Sister Nelson and I have been trying to get a hold of Ashli, a girl who came to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site and wanted to learn more since August. Every time we try and contact her, her dad answers and to say the least, does not like us at all.

Last night, Sister Kennington stopped by and she answered the door. We sat in her living room talking to her about the Book of Mormon, about how God is aware of her and loves her. I watched her face light up as her spirit remembered (even though she didn't realize it) where she came from. She had the light of Christ shimmering from her eyes, and I knew there were angels in the room, helping her remember that she is a daughter of God, a princess of a King, and that He wants her back.

We also taught a guy named Keith, who was standing on the street corner in front of the institute building and one of the members invited him inside for pizza. He told them he didn't want pizza, but he went in anyway and immediately asked how he could learn more. The elders were able to teach him a little bit and then they passed him to us since he is in our area. Heavenly Father was aware of him — he helped him get to that street corner, he inspired that boy to invite him in, and he is helping us teach him how to return to Him. God does love us. He does care. I know it. I know it with all my heart.

You kept mentioning the holidays in your letters. Something so weird here in California, I keep forgetting Thanksgiving is next week! It is kind of hard to think that Christmas is coming when it is sunny and 75 degrees all year long! I have some questions for all of you:

Nick: How is your job doing? What kinds of things do you do?

Juli: How do you like the new house? How are the girly bugs? How are you?

Chris: How is school going? What meds are you learning about? do you have the hospital rotation yet?

Hannah: Are you still TA'ing? How is teaching going?

Sara: How was San Diego? I saw Bobby's family! So fun! How are clinicals? Any fun stories?

Mom: How are your kiddos at school? Crazy this year or pretty good? How has it been with Marv and Jackies daughter? What about sister Rosenburg?

Pops: How was the football game in the snow? How is the center coming along? Have you decided if you are going to Finland?

Grandma and Grandpa Morgan: How are you doing? Has it been snowing in Idaho too? I ate a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie the other day- definitely not as good as grandma morgans, but a good reminder of you!

Grandma and Grandpa Newman: How is working at the temple? I met someone that works at the Jordan river temple, but I can't remember their names.

Time is up! So sorry, but I have to go. I love you all. I hope you know that. Have a wonderful week and please don't forget who you are. I hope you don't take my letters as sounding preachy. Heavenly Father has just helped me see the world so differently. We are His. He wants us back. Let's help all of us return together!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The crazy places He wanted me to go

SAN DIEGO — What is this I hear about SNOW?!? Are you kidding me! I keep thinking it is June here, I can't believe it is already November!

My time is so messed up — first of all, we do the same thing every day and so I can't keep the days straight, and then on top of that I can't keep the months straight because there are no seasons here! I hope you had fun playing in the snow though:) You will have to send me pictures!

Juli, Thank you for the Halloween treats — that was so ADORABLE! I took a picture of it, I will send home soon.

I can't believe Carla is having a baby! That went by so FAST! It is so interesting how life seems to just slip by in the wink of an eye.

Something I keep being reminded of, is that we can't take this gift to be here on earth for granted. This is such precious time and we never know when our time is up. Each time that a transfer comes to an end, I am forced to reflect on what I have done, who I have become, and what difference I have made. Sadly, there are moments I wish I could take back, times I wish I would have opened my mouth and I did not, burdens I could have lifted, smiles I could have given.

But fortunately, there are also miracles I have seen, people I have touched, and lessons I have learned. Every six weeks I think the same thing: what are my thoughts going to be when I get to see my Father in Heaven again? What will I have become, who will I have touched, what legacy will I have left?

I just want you all to know that you have a purpose here! You have a legacy to leave! You have burdens to ease, smiles to give, laughter to share, and only YOU can do what you were sent here to do. You can do this! You have angels in Heaven cheering for you! I am cheering for you!

One more funny thing: Sister Nelson and I were talking to some random person on the street the other day and the lady asked Sister Nelson if she was my mom (Yeah, I thought you all would get a laugh out of that!).

I wanted to share to experiences from my journal this week, so I will just get to it!

November 2, 2011
We planned to go contacting in the park at Mira Mesa today since no one is home and our investigators could not meet. It was so awkward! We promised Heavenly Father we would talk to everyone, so naturally the first people we saw were a couple on a date having a picnic at the park. Sister Nelson and I looked at each other for a second, both of us thinking the same thing: do we really have to interrupt this date?! But we promised Heavenly Father, so we marched up and talked to them.

They gave us a definite NO and did not want to hear our message. There were tons of moms at the park, so that was our next stop. Mother after mother turned us down, some of them were super cranky, we were about ready to head on to our next stop, but another mother was sitting farther back on the playground watching her children play. I thought to myself, "Heavenly Father, I have just been told by about ten people to leave them alone, all of them are watching me, laughing at me, not to mention, there is a couple at the top of the hill that are making fun of us. Can I just run away and hide PLEASE?"

But I promised Him.

So we walked up to her and invited her to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. To my surprise, she wanted it! She has Mormon friends and really appreciated the Church's stand on Proposition 8. We were able to bear testimony of the sacredness of family and of her divine role as a mother of God's children.

I know we went to the park today for a reason. Heavenly Father needed us to find her. I would talk to a million angry soccer moms to find the one Heavenly Father has prepared, because I know He numbers His sheep. He loves every precious soul, and He is preparing them to receive the Gospel. I just love being a part of the miracles and the tender mercies of the Lord.

Now for a really funny day I had this week:

November 4, 2011
We had to go to Pep Boys after study this morning because Sister Kennington (I was on exchanges) and Kearsley had to get their oil changed on the car. There was no room in the waiting room and it was loud anyways so we decided maybe we could walk to the Church while we waited for the car to get done.

We checked how long it was on the GPS and it said 9 miles. We thought, "Okay, we can do nine miles no big deal."

When we asked the Pep boys guy how long he thought it would take to walk nine miles he laughed out loud at us. Yeah, I guess we deserved that. So we reconsidered. We thought maybe we could find a quiet place down the street to read our scriptures so we headed out. This was the day that it was pouring rain outside and we had no umbrella or hood. Don't ask me what we were thinking!

We walked down the street, but building after building turned out to be run down or liqour stores or whatnot- not exactly the kind of atmosphere we were looking for. We did get to talk with a girl at the bus stop and and another girl walking to the bank, but by that time we were soaked and it was time to head back to pick up the car. As we were crossing the street back to Pep Boys, a car raced by and splashed through a HUGE puddle — the kind seen in a movie where the water sprays over the person crossing the curb, only thankfully Heavenly Father gave us a tender mercy and it only got my shoes. Not that it would have mattered anyway, we looked like we had just jumped in the ocean.

After that, we went to contact a referral Sister Kennington and Kearsley had. He is Persian and wanted a Farsi copy of The Book of Mormon. Sister Nelson taught me how to say, "hello, how are you doing?" in Farsi, so that helped us and he allowed us to come in and talk with him about The Book of Mormon. 

It is amazing to me the spirit of The Book of Mormon. Just talking about it, it touches people's spirits. It reminds them of who they are and where they came from. He allowed us to come back and teach him more about it this week.

At the Battalion, we were able to take a member couple through the tour. Afterwards, they wanted to go to the tower, but they wanted to take the elevator. We warned them it was slow, but they didn't mind. We have to wait for our guests to be completely done before we go up to the front, so Sister Kennington and I waited at the bottom for about 15 minutes. All of a sudden we heard, "SISTERS!" They were stuck in the elevator! About 10 minutes later after getting the site director and the senior couples, we got them freed. What a crazy end to a crazy day!

What stuck out to me most is that Heavenly Father will do anything He has to to remind his children who He is and to help them receive the teachings of the Gospel. Whether it means sending two silly sisters who think they can walk nine miles in the rain just to share two mormon.org cards with people at the bus stop, or having my companion teach me how to say things in Farsi to warm up a man's heart, all of it happens for a reason. Because He cares! Because He loves us!

I just wanted to share with you one more thing today. I was reading my scriptures this morning and I was reading the last chapter in Second Nephi. The last words that Nephi wrote down was his testimony of the Book of Mormon. His last thoughts, the last things he wanted to share with us were these:

"And if ye shall believe in Christ, ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye- for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory that they are his words at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things notwithstanding my weakness. "
The Book of Mormon is true. I know it! I can't explain it exactly, but because of the Holy Ghost bearing witness to my soul as I read its pages, I know that it is a book from God. I have seen it change people, I have seen it bless people, I have seen it work miracles. Such a book would not come from any other source but our Father in Heaven. Reading its pages brings great power.

This world is hard! It is distracting! And Satan is trying so hard to get us to take The Book of Mormon lightly (yes, even us missionaries!). Don't take it for granted! Think of the sacrifices that our ancestors did to bring it to us. We owe them and Heavenly Father more than to set it on the bedside table or let it collect dust on the bookshelf.

I promise that you will receive strength and power as you read, and blessing will pour down on you from heaven!

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!