Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the easiest way is the Lord's way

(ps--pics to be posted soon!)

Hi from Silverdale,

Today is the final Pday of the transfer and it is sunny!!! It is also the last Pday of my friend, Elder Davis' mission.  He goes home at the end of this transfer.  Since it was a nice day today we played ultimate frisbee outside and flag football.  We don't have flags so instead we use old missionary ties.  Elders always seem to have old nasty ties from previous missionaries laying around in their apartments so they bring a whole pile of them and we tuck a couple in the tops of our shorts and thats what we use to play flag football.  Haha this is the second sport that I never really played and ended up being pretty decent at it and having fun while learning.  I can't really throw to save my life so instead they just throw me the ball (from a near distance of course) and I just run it down the field while the other elders just block for me.  Haha it's pretty fun.

So I think that there is a slug in WA in just about every color of the rainbow.  Black, brown, orange, green, yellow.  This one lady we met at a door said that if you lick a banana slug it tastes like sugar.  Hmmm I think I'll just take her word for it.

I thought that I wasn't that picky of an eater.  Then I came on a mission.  I might be picky, but I am respectful so I usually can down whatever I'm served without a fuss.  Combined with my companion we are probably the two most secretly picky eaters around.  Sis Holman hates ham.  We have been fed ham at least 3 times so far.  That day she told me that she doesn't really like carrots.  So we were naturally served Ham and carrots later that night for dinner.  One day I told her that I don't really care for corn.  We were fed corn chowder 2 hours later.  Man we just can't catch a break!

On a more serious and spiritual note, last night was Tim's baptism!  Miracle. Miracle. Miracle.  This was my most special baptism and was by far the most miraculous conversion I have been privileged to be apart of thus far on my mission. To witness Tim enter the waters of baptism changed the way I think about missionary work.  Here was someone that was so humble.  So willing.  So obedient.  And so prepared to follow his Savior Jesus Christ.  From the very moment we met him at the door, to the time that he was all dressed in white, his whole countenance changed.  He gradually came to stand a little taller, smile a little bigger, and beam a little brighter because he grew to know and love the Gospel.  The converting power of the Holy Ghost changes people from the inside out.  Just like the refiner's fire that I had described to him on his church tour, Tim was shining, gleaming, changed to be a newly formed follower of Christ.  He truly walked by faith as we taught him and relied on the feelings he received whenever we taught him, whenever we prayed together, whenever he offered a prayer, whenever he read the Book of Mormon, or whenever he came to church.

The Elder's Quorum President's daughters sang the opening song, "Teach Me to Walk in the Light."  Small children's voices coupled with primary hymns is a no fail recipe to bring the Spirit into a room.  So tender.  A couple sisters in the ward played a cello-piano duet of "Nearer My God to Thee."  Oh my goodness.  Sooooo beautifully moving.  Two converts to the church gave the talks on baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Both just knocked it out of the park.  Brother Bison, who is a spitting image of Sean Connery gave his first talk of his entire life and just knocked it out of the park.  When our ward mission leader called him to give the talk his wife said he probably would say "no" but he said "yes."  They are one of my favorite families and they are having us over for my birthday dinner on Thursday. The other ward member that spoke on the Holy Ghost really just did an excellent job as well.  The Holy Ghost was the single thing that got Tim interested in at the door when we very first met him.  We told him that it brings peace, comforts, guides, warns, testifies.  He said that he wanted that.  In the talk the speaker told Tim that once he is given the gift of the Holy Ghost, he would never have to feel alone ever again for the rest of his existence.  Because the Holy Ghost is our constant companion and fills that empty space that so many people feel in their hearts.  Tim really needed to hear that.  He lives alone.  His father fied when he was 3 yrs old.  I don't think he has family near by.  He's never been married.  No girlfriend.  No friends really.  Just work to keep him busy during the day and the rest of the time he is alone.  I hate thinking that there are people out there who feel alone in the world.  People that do not know or have never been told that they are a child of God and that they have a Heavenly Father who knows and loves them dearly. 

We taught Mike and Christy, Taylor's parents the first Gospel lesson about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  That was the first time that I had taught two adult investigators at once.  That meant double the questions.  Double the opinions.  Double the checking for understanding.  Double the comments.  And so therefor the lesson took double the time to teach.  Granted one of them is on the chatty side as well as the member that we brought along with us as fellowship, so it wasn't like we were teaching for a really really long time.  Mike is a very logical, scientific guy.  He wants proof, evidence, factual things.  Christy is a bit more open to the idea of faith and always seems to gravitate towards us whenever we come over to see Taylor.  I'll have to update you when we teach them again and see how things really went.

Shauna and Kellie, if you are reading this you are about to die.  You'll never believe what happened yesterday at church.  So I am standing in the foyer with my comp talking to our investigator (now recent convert) Tim and who walks in from the chapel?  Oh, none other than........LLOYD LEE.  Hahah Lloyyyyyyydddd.  It was such an out of body experience.  My brain registered that I knew him but it was out of context.  I was blending the mission world and my old BYU-I world and it was weird!!  But I immediately knew who he was and we were so SHOCKED to see eachother.  We took a picture together outside the church building so I'll have to upload it next time.  He got a job working for a junior college in the area and will be in our YSA ward.  So crazy!

So the "I'm a Mormon" media campaign has begun!  It started back on the 3rd of October but it hasn't picked up the momentum yet that I thought it would.  At least not here in Silverdale.  No media referrals yet.  I was talking to a kid in our YSA ward that served his mission out in Fresno, CA and they had the campaign when he was on his mission last year.  He said that no sooner than a month after it started they were getting around 15-20 media referrals a week!! Can you believe that?? That is 15-20 new investigators a week.  Holy cow that is a lot.

I want to testify that the Lord will immediately bless you if you keep His commandments.  That is promise right out of the scriptures.  One way that you are immediately blessed is that you are changed, and change may be the greatest blessing of all.  You are the sum total of all that you have thought, done, said, seen, heard and felt in this life and before.  You change immediately with each good thought, each good act, and every good word changes you for the better.  When you willingly obey the principles of the gospel, you are changed by the Spirit of God to become incrementally more like Him.  The degree of change with each small act of obedience may be small, but it is real and immediate.  Don't think that you can't do this.  Often we are deceived to think that the gospel is harder than what it is.  Life is hard, not the gospel.  The easiest way is the Lord's way.

Love you all,
Sis Baylon

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