Alright fun facts as of late:
- i forgot to mention that last PDay our car got broken in to. Yeah...i knoww...LAME. We went out to leave for the day and were greeted by our entire driver side window shattered with glass everywhere. All they took was the GPS we were borrowing from the bike elders. It was hidden under the seat, too.
- we went to the Pt. Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. Super swanky zoo, but real little. It's got nothing on the SD Zoo.
-the bishop for one of the wards i cover looks and talks like Ben from LOST. yikes!
- I finished the Book of Mormon this week making it the 4th time I've completed it on the mission.
- I saw this girl from one of my wards from BYUI at a stake RS activity/
- I met a kid from our ward that served around John Gove in Jersey.
- I found out there is a place called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
- there is a large population of bearded ladies in WA state. Lack of sunshine, perhaps?
- Shauna!! my new mission buddy Elder Trevin Keeney knows your fam! haha he is in your home ward and collected fast offering from you guys as a deacon. Small world.
- intro to dinner conversation we had this week:
Lady: "So where are you from?"
Lady: So where you born here?
me: uh...no...I am from California.
Lady: No, where you born in the states?
me: as in the...United...states....question mark.....
me: did my accent give it away?
Lady: I don't do well with accents
me: good thing I don't have one.
Haha man how are you guys?? Things are great here in Laceytown. So much going on! We had a baptism on FRiday for a 16 yr old boy named Dayton. He is way cool. Has long shaggy hair and is way tall. It was an amazing race worthy task to try to find a baptismal jumpsuit that fit someone that wears a 28x34 pant. But we found one! His parents didn't come and support him, but they at least let him get baptized. His best friend, Gabe, got to baptize him and it was soooo neat. Dayton told us that he always loved being at Gabe's house and loved the way that he always feels when he goes there. It was a refuge for him and his kind of tense family life at his house. He was confirmed yesterday during Sacrament meeting and showed up looking sharp in his white shirt and tie. He was interviewed for the priesthood yesterday after church and a few hours later that evening he texted us and said that words cannot describe the feelings of happiness that he feels and that he owes us big time. I bet he'll serve a mission one day.
I hestitate including this into his story. But...I feel like I should. So Dayton's baptism like I said was on a Friday. The following day was this giant stake-wide Relief Society activity that has been publicized forever. So when we were planning to have the baptism about a week before it actually happened we ran into some conflict with the stake RS president. Long story short: She did not want missionaries in the building. On the premises. Basically in the city limits. She didn't want anything impeding the setup of her activity and that a baptism would completely get in the way. We explained to her that baptisms and funerals trump all other uses of the building regardless if the rooms where already scheduled to be used for something else. She wasn't having it. We had already announced it in church and people were going to be coming from all over town to come to this. She tried to make us move it to Olympia's bldg which is like 25 min away downtown. Nope, not happening. We told her to talk to the stake president and the story continues on to the most heated battle and war of words I have ever been involved with. We were literally fighting tooth and nail up until 6:45 over this baptism that was happening at 7pm. It made me realize that some people don't see us for who we really are. Representatives of Jesus Christ. Called on the earth to perform His work and labors by His authority. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. But conversely speaking, hallowed hands can. Luckily, at the last minute we were still able to have our baptism, Dayton had no idea it almost wasn't going to happen and I gained a further witness that the Devil will stop at nothing to stand in the way of righteousness. I am not just some silly girl in a skirt like this lady was talking to us like, but "I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13) MIRACLE.
Another miracle was the baptism of Marco!!!! Marco is the most special guy. We met him tracting in Lakewood and referred him to the spanish elders and he got baptized this past week. Can you believe that?? I looked back on the last planner and the amount of time since we first met him to his baptism was almost 1 month to the day. The story goes like this. We were running late to go knocking. Our dinner appmt had run long and we hadn't planned a place to go finding. We were driving around heading towards this one part of town and I immediately felt like we needed to stop at this one apt complex at this particular bldg. We had just knocked it the week before so Chronister was a little hestitant but humored my prompting and we proceeded to knock it. It was a 3 story building and I remember that we knocked all but the last door on the last floor because we had to leave the first time we were there to go to an appmt or something. So I just had this feeling like we needed to go back and knock just that one door. We marched straight to the top and knocked. Marco opened the door and greeted us a little hesitantly but very polite and nice. We talked to him very briefly and I shared a scripture with him. He speaks very good english but with a pretty thick spanish accent. He is really fair skinned which kinda threw me off when that thick spanish accent came out. We called the spanish elders right then and there and had them talk to him. They ended up setting up a time and I never really heard much more than that.
So when I got the text from Lakewood that Marco was getting baptized I was thrilled!!! I called President and he let me go! The entire service was in Spanish and was one of the coolest baptisms and experiences I have ever experienced and witnessed on my mission. I talked to Marco after the baptism and with tears in his big brown eyes he thanked me for knocking on his door. He told me that he was taking a nap after a long day at work. He lives alone and is enlisted in the ARMY, far away from his family in Mexico. He heard the knock on the door and figured it was a salesman and that he wasn't interested in buying in whatever this person was probably selling. He tried to go back to sleep but something told him to get up. So he went to the door and looked through the peep hole. He saw our name tags and wanted to know who we were. Looking back from that moment to his baptism he said the feeling that he got to get out of bed and talk to us was the whisperings of the Holy Ghost guiding him to happiness and peace that he was looking for. I asked him if he ever thought he would be baptized into the church when we first met him and he said he hadn't ever let the thought cross his mind. He was confirmed fontside at his baptism as he was leaving for an assignment the next day. Armed with the companionship of the Spirit, he said he is ready to take on whatever battle, whether physical or spiritual that he will face in life.
This is His work. This is the business of saving souls. This is the way to eternal life.