Well, we had one big win for God’s team this weekend: CERENE GOT BAPTIZED! After an almost three month battle, Cerene has finally won and was baptized last Saturday and confirmed yesterday. What a beautiful, beautiful experience it was. She went out of town for Memorial Day and didn’t return until Tuesday so her baptism was really up in the air, but, once you recognize the Spirit in your life it’s pretty difficult to deny. She had a fabulous interview, we pumped her up on Friday by teaching about temples, and the ward really pulled through at her baptism. So much support! Absolutely one of my best experiences on my mission. She just cried and cried the whole time, and then stayed for the Elders’ baptism immediately afterward. Every bit of doctrine that was said, she nodded to, and just kept telling us, “I can’t wait until Cayden can do this too.” He’s five right now and ADORES church (we always like to give him “piano lessons” which basically just consist of him banging on the piano for about half an hour – it’s great), but we will definitely be back when he turns eight. I really can’t express to you how miraculous the whole event was – Cerene was someone who truly taught me:
1. How real and powerful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is in our lives and how much it enables it to be
2. The Spirit is the real teacher, not us
3. Faith is absolutely essential to our conversion
She truly loves God and has come so far on her faith in Him – her process has been miraculous to be a part of and I can’t wait to see the even greater blessings and miracles that come as a result! She’s going to the temple this Friday!
On Tuesday night we had an FHE for women in our ward who don’t have the opportunity to do it on their own because their family is gone or are not members or active in the church. It was a small group, but the Spirit was SO STRONG and Sis. Gailey and I really benefitted a lot! These women were such examples of great faith, diligence, and perseverance and we were able to have some great spiritual insights while discussing Elder Nelson’s “The Sabbath is a Delight” talk. One scripture that I particularly loved was D&C 88:67, which states, ” And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things” – I love that! If we focus solely on our Father in Heaven and on aligning our will with His, He will fill us with light to the point that all darkness will be cast away and that we will have understanding. What a beautiful promise! Another thought I had during the FHE was to not let your natural tendencies diminish the light of Christ within you. All of us are blessed with light, yet sometimes we mask it because of various silly excuses. Shyness, fear of judgement, selfishness. The light of Christ encourages us to serve, uplift, and love! If you see someone struggling, follow your instincts and show love to them! Never let a second thought or a doubt stop you from doing the good that has the potential to flow so naturally from you. Embrace your light!
I tried cashew fruit for the first time this week. Man, was that a special experience. It literally went in my journal, but I’m not going to spoil the surprise! Go buy one and try it! But cuidado: the cashew/stem part releases toxic fumes when cooked, so DON’T COOK IT! That’s what the Spanish ward members told us anyway.
We had another great experience while knocking doors this week with a woman named Cynthia. Turns out she’s married to a LA member of the church, and her LA mother-in-law was there visiting her! We shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon, testified that God loved them and was so mindful of them because he (literally) sent us straight to their doorstep, and invited them to read and come to church. At the beginning, Cynthia told us she wasn’t very religious, but the whole time she just cried and cried and kept apologizing for it, saying, “I don’t know what’s going on with me!” We let her know that it was the Spirit and that she shouldn’t worry (it was a good kind of crying). 🙂 They didn’t show at church, but we know that it was a powerful experience for us and for them. Being an instrument in His hands is the best!
We also had a really horrible experience while knocking doors, but I won’t go to deep into the details. We just met a woman who was really vocal about her opinions, some of which included, “You’ve never had an experience with God”; “Joseph Smith was following Satan”; and “I feel sorry for you because you’re so confused and blind”, so that was cool! She said a lot more, but we just tried our best to respect her opinion and to show the love that Christ would show to her if He was in our shoes. In the end, we thanked her and left, feeling so sad for her. It was something that was difficult for me because I couldn’t understand how someone could spend half an hour essentially destroying everything someone believed and being unbelievably rude just because their door was knocked on and were offered to join in a prayer. Mostly it just made me sad because I feel that someone’s belief in God and Jesus Christ should lead them to do good, to strengthen and uplift, not to destroy and shun all other faiths. After some long discussions, prayer, and personal revelation, I am thankful for that experience and recognize that it was a gift in many ways.
Fortunately, that experience was followed by a few other AWESOME experiences with Kevin, Jacob, and Cerene, in the which we saw the fruits of the Gospel – that the work we are doing is good! One of the most profound things that experience did for us was allow us to appreciate every good experience even more and to have our joy feel even greater – there must be opposition in all things! Satan tried, but he LOST! Ha!
I love you all! Read your scriptures! Sister Burdett
Beautiful Coral Springs Skies!