So last Saturday we (us, our branch mission leader, recent convert & true friend to Jim, and Jim) all drove the two hours up to West Kelowna so that we could watch two little children be baptized and so that Jim could have his interview. We all went to dinner before the baptism and boy was that a treat!! Sitting in a restaurant with a few of the people you adore was a blessing in itself. Just imagine Sister Larsen and I sitting there with 4 people over the age of 65 and laughing till it hurts. It was a sight to see and they truly are some of the greatest homies! I can't wait any longer...Jim passed his baptismal interview with President Tilleman! What a miracle! He will be baptized this coming Saturday, February 22 in Penticton! I am sooooo excited for Jim to make these sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father! It's been a long time coming for him and I know that this decision is one that he will reflect on throughout the eternities.
We spent a not-so-romantic Valentine's Day out tracting and had dinner with a less active family. They took us out to a place in Osoyoos and while we were eating a man came in and sat in a booth by himself. His glasses were kind of weird, one lens was black and the other clear. So I’m not sure what the deal is. Anyway, I started feeling really bad for him. No one should be alone on Valentine's Day! Sister L and I couldn't go sit with him (against the rules) so I made Sis L run out to the car with me so we could grab him a cupcake that we had made for someone else. We came back in and I set it in his table and said “We made this for someone special and that's you. Happy Valentine's Day!” Then we sat back down. The point is this: A lonely pirate was my valentine.
During one of our lessons this week we watched "Finding Faith in Christ". That movie is so powerful. I want to bear my testimony that Jesus Christ is truly our Savior and Redeemer. He is the light. At General Conference in April of 1985, Bruce R. McConkie (10 days before he died) gave a talk called "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane." In it, he talks about the Savior's life and ultimate sacrifice. He bears his testimony, one that I admire and aspire to have. He said:
“He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.
“I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.
“But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.”
I know that my Savior lives. I know that He is the bread of life and through Him we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. He died for each and every one of our sins. Mosiah 14:5 - "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." This scripture is perfect. Through missionary work we are able help God’s children fully access the atonement. We are literally declaring tidings of great joy! 1 Nephi 13:37 - “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.”
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity teach Jim and help prepare him for baptism. In Jeffrey R. Holland’s [ October 2012 general ] conference talk “The First Great Commandment” he tells about what Christ might have said to Peter, “What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.”
I thank Heavenly Father everyday that I am worthy and able to be out here serving Him and His wandering sheep. I can't wait to tell you all about Jim's miraculous baptism! It really is a miracle.
|It's finally gotten a little sunny here!|
|Finally biffed it on some ice and bruised my elbow.|
|My MTC companion, Sister Settle, is finally in the Kelowna Zone!|