It has been an amazing week! Three members of a family we were teaching were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! They asked Elder Legrand and I to baptize them. One of them has a back injury and she was worried about bending backwards, so both of us were in the font to help her be baptized. The bishop in the ward did the confirmation for all of them. They were given incredible blessings. It was really awesome. I didn't realize that confirmations take so long especially when there are three of them in a row. Sacrament meeting ending up going way over. It was good though because now everyone in the ward knows them. There were a lot of people that introduced themselves at church. The ward has helped them out a lot, but they are going to be a blessing for the ward. We are also going to the temple with them on Tuesday to do baptisms for the dead. They are really excited to do that! They were so excited to be baptized and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to teach them.
After the baptism service on Saturday, a member in the ward came up to us and said they had our next baptism. They have a foster child and the parents agreed that he could be baptized. We are going to start teaching him this week. We also visited 17 year old whose mother is a recent convert, but hasn't been able to come to church because of work. We had a short lesson with him and during the lesson we asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said yes! So we are going to start teaching him the lessons this week. We also have some great potentials and other investigators that we are hoping to teach this week. It is going to be a busy and exciting last week! This week we also have a leadership meeting and we have a devotional on Sunday for investigators to come to. Also all of the departing missionaries go to a temple session with Pres. and Sister Nattress. It is going to be a really busy week, but it is going to be great!
I had a really neat experience this week, but it happened when I wasn't really expecting it. I was able to interview a 9 year old to be baptized, which is always fun because they usually look at you like they don't know what you just said and what they should say. This little kid did great with the interview and answered all the questions. At the end I asked him if he was excited to be baptized and his face lit up and he said yes. I then asked him why he was so excited. He responded by saying, "because I get to live with God again." I don't think he knew how profound it was, but I felt the spirit, and it reminded me how important the Lord's work is. It's amazing to be a missionary and help others receive the ordinance of baptism. It reminded me of this quote by Elder Oaks in PMG, “We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives. … We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this” As we share the gospel we are helping Heavenly Fathers children return to live with Him in the celestial kingdom. It is incredible to be a missionary.
Thank you for all of your prayers. I love you all so much, and I pray for you every day!
Elder Joshua Gandy