Received December 7, 2015
Witlene’s baptism day!
It was a busy week.
Full of exchanges, trainings, a temple tour, a baptism, a Christmas devotional, knocking doors, watching Christmas videos, seeing people cry, knocking more doors, getting stuck in Miami traffic, the works.
And it’s WONDERFUL!
Since I didn’t really fill you in last week, here’s the story of Witlene Gerve: One day, Witlene decided she needed more spirituality in her life. It was a Saturday night. She woke up early the next morning, put on her church clothes, and asked Heavenly Father to guide her to a church. She decided to simply go outside and ask the first person she saw to take her to church with him. She did so and the man that God put in her path just happened to be on his way to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She hasn’t missed a Sunday since. And was just baptized on December 5th. She is a beautiful person (see attached photographic proof), inside and out, and the branch is embracing her with both arms!
We took a tour of the Fort Lauderdale temple grounds with Witlene and two members of the branch, Jonathan and Juan. It has been way too long since I have set foot on the grounds of a temple, almost to the point where I wasn’t sure if I would really feel a spiritual difference there, just because I had forgotten. We walked all around the building as a few men were setting up a beautiful Nativity scene and the Spirit filled my heart. We had a lesson all about the blessing of having the Priesthood, the power of God, restored to the earth, and talked about eternal marriage and families. Throughout the whole lesson I felt a pure burning in my heart, confirming with every word that it really is true – families truly have the potential to be sealed together for the eternities, and as long as we don’t mess it up, nothing can sever that!
RIght now we’re moving forward and working with Natalie, perhaps the most elect and prepared investigator I have ever had! She acts immediately, recognizes the Spirit so well, and is so grateful. The elders in the area were biking around and saw a couple of kids outside playing basketball. They pulled over on their bikes and decided to start playing with them. Then, Natalie came out of her house to talk to them (one of the boys was her bro) and asked when church was, though she has never been much of a church-goer. They invited her to our YSA without thinking too much of it and passed us her info. Now, every time she prays in a lesson, she thanks God that she had the courage to talk to the Elders. After our last lesson with her, she sent us a text just to say thanks again for giving her a Book of Mormon and a Bible. SHE’S DOPE!
We had so many awesome experiences while knocking doors that I wish I had time to tell you about. So many people that were in a rut that I know God sent us straight to their doorstep. Some day in the future ask me about Maggie, Raj, Paulicia, and Mercedes.
I got to go on an exchange to my old area and saw Hilda, my recent convert, and Rena and JT! They are progressing wonderfully.
This morning Alma 5:7 touched my heart and reminded me of Elder Bednar’s talk from the Devotional last night: ” Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word”. God is love. God is light. I have seen lives truly change for the better because of this powerful light.
I love you!