Another eventful week gone by in the mission! I only have 9 minutes left of my time to write and then I must be off to save the world so I will just share with you a few sweet experiences from the past week.
We had an amazing baptism for Jacqueline Gradyz last Saturday. I have been blessed to be a part of her teaching from the beginning and have had so many wonderful and tender experiences through the spirit with her...especially as I have testified of the Atonement and learned more about the Atonement through her. Her parents, who have been less-active, flew into town for it and a long time friend of the family also flew in to be the one to Baptize and confirm her. There were so many people there! Every chair in the room was set up. She invited many of her non-member friends from school and they had a great experience. She asked me to sing for her and it was a special experience. When she asked me to sing, a song immediately came to mind that we had wanted to play for her in a lesson but couldn't get the disc to work...it was meant to be sung at her baptism...the song was "Let It Begin" and was Jackie to a "T." Tears streamed from her and her parents eyes and I felt the love of the Savior for His Sister as I sang. I'd like to share some of the words: "You've tried hard to hide from the past and to bury it deep. You're overwhelmed by all of the things that you know you should be. Just believe mistakes of the past don't define you, they refine you. Just have the courage to take one step. Someone's gonna be there to help with the rest. To start is the hardest but it's something that only you can do. Don't carry the burden as the years go by. You don't need that crushing weight in your life. Have faith to pray for the strength to finally see this through. There's one who knows you perfectly. He can take the hurt away. The healing starts within. Just let Him in and let it begin." I know with everything in my heart that the message of this song is true...and not just for Jackie, but for you and for me. I saw that in another man that I was able to teach back in El Cajon. Remember Frank? Our Alma the younger who got out of prison and turned away from drugs, drug dealing, and gangs? Who was totally and completely willing to do whatever he needed to repent and change and come unto Christ? Well, I had the honor of attending his baptism last Saturday. What a patient man! I started teaching him in November and he has been ready and waiting all this time to receive approval to be baptized. Heavenly father truly does love all of His children and His arms are stretched out to us always!
2 Nephi 25:12 "...and when the day cometh that the Only Begotten of the Father, yea, even the Father of heaven and of earth, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.
13 Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to testify concerning him, for I have seen and felt him in my day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name."
I love the Lord.