Monday, January 27, 2014

D&C 18:15

Now I can say for sure that so far, THIS has been the greatest week of my mission: We taught Jose 4 times and at the end of the week Jose was BAPTIZED!!! This letter will mostly be about Jose and the events leading up to his baptism.
Monday, after our dinner appointment, we had a missed call from Jose, so in Mo we called him back. He was telling us more people he wanted to do specific things for the baptism, but we were also worried about him not knowing whether Thomas S. Monson is truly God's called prophet on the earth today, so we also brought that one up. He told us he had been thinking about it all day, and thought that if the Book of Mormon is true (and he knows it is), then everything that we are teaching as missionaries must be correct and so he based his testimony on the Prophet off of the Book of Mormon, which is AWESOME because everything comes back to the Book of Mormon. Sister Jensen and I were so happy. We called our District Leader and in 5 minutes, he spoke 88 words (his companion counted). We were talking so fast and we were so excited and it was great. 
Tuesday we attended the funeral for Maryati Ruppelius, one of the members in the ward who was in a care home and passed away. It was a good service. Death is always a sad thing, but I know it's not the end, which is so comforting. Tuesday night we taught Jose with a member of the bishopric and Kameka again. It was a great lesson, Jose was so open to everything and it was so fun. We went over the baptismal interview questions again and had him answer them and he answered them all perfectly because he understands and internalizes what we teach. It was so great.
Wednesday was a good day. District Meeting was great, and everyone we went to visit went pretty good. We started Home Primary and it was super fun. That night we were there at the Church for Jose's baptismal interview, which of course he passed with flying colors; he is so solid. Elder Garfield, the District Leader, was amazed at how prepared he was. Like it really is almost ridiculous how prepared he was. Yes, us missionaries taught him, but he was already living everything. He just had to find out for himself that the Book of Mormon was true, which he found out and then he based his testimony on that which he knew (which is a great example to all of us of how to focus on what we know and not on what we do not yet understand). He tried to pull our leg when he came out by saying "I failed the test thingy." And we were like "mmhmm, sure." And he was like "Okay, not really. I think I passed." Hah we've gotten more used to his humor now. 
Thursday we went and had some great visits with a lot of great people. We also got to practice our musical number for Jose's baptism that he asked us to do, and we decided on I Am a Child of God. We sang the first verse together, 2nd verse harmony and 3rd verse with the descant. We were (At least I was) a bit nervous to do it because we didn't practice much (total of like 5 times probably) before we did it at the baptism, but we made it through. We didn't end up meeting with Jose that night because his truck broke down on the way home from work and so he was in the shop (sneaky, devil. Sneaky...). But we did have daily contact with him, which was great. 
Friday was awesome! I did have a minor freak out when I lost my name tag for a couple hours, but I found it and everything worked out fine. Friday's lesson with Jose was really cool because his finance, Amanda was here by that point for the baptism. It was funny, every time we've seen him this week we've asked if he has been bubbly, and he's always replied with a no. But when he opened the door on Friday, he was all smiles and happy vibes and energy. He was so excited, definitely bubbly. (It's because his fiance was here, but still. One step at a time.) The lesson was cool with her there. It was a simpler lesson, we just read 2 Nephi 31 and we answered any questions he had about any part of the gospel or the baptismal service or anything. It was nice and chill, but good. 
Saturday we didn't have any appointments until dinner (Jose's baptism was in the evening due to our ward having ward temple day), so we tried potentials, formers and tracted for 6 hours. I was really worried that the time would cccrrrraaaawwwwllllll by, but it didn't, it went fairly fast actually. The baptism was great! We ended up having a scheduling conflict, so we had it in the Chapel (The font here is in a tiny classroom, so the baptismal services are not held in there). It was nice, the Chapel was actually fairly full. If we would have been in the RS room, we would have been very squished. It was such a spiritual night. The talks went well, our musical number went well and Jose even bore his testimony, which was super powerful. Part of his testimony was thanking us missionaries (He said about us "I am so grateful for them and we all know they work so hard. I am so grateful that they give us this time out of their lives to help people like me find the truth....")  and at one point he said, "I thought I came up to Minot to work, but I actually came her to find God and my fiance." It was so powerful that he made that connection! Amanda's whole family came up from Montana for the baptism and Jose was baptized by his future brother-in-law. It was powerful. He is going to have a huge support group, which will be great! He will be active forever! Being there at the baptism made me think of D&C 18:15, which says  And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! , and it is so true! It is the happiest I have ever felt in my life. I felt like I was going to burst. Jose kept giving Sister Jensen and I handshakes (because we can't hug, this was the hardest time for me to keep that, but no worries, I'm obedient!) , and it felt so good to know that I have been a part of helping someone change their life for the better. I was an instrument in the hands of God for good!
Sunday Jose freaked us out (again). There was a huge blizzard outside, so when we got to church, there was only 1 family there. We were worried that they were going to cancel church, but they didn't. I was so impressed with the number of people who came to church despite the weather. Sister Jensen and I were freaking out because Jose and Amanda still weren't at Church until 8:06, and Church starts at 8. Sister Jensen and I were having like a mini anxiety attack or something. But he made it and was confirmed by his future father-in-law and was wearing the tie Sister Jensen and I gave him the day earlier for his baptism. It was so cool to hear those words, "receive the Holy Ghost." My joy was complete, as was his. After Church, a lady slipped and fell going outside and broke her hip due to the ice. Sister Jensen and I had to move Mo for the ambulance to come and as we parked it in a different spot and were running back into the Church, I totally biffed it. Haha I can now check of my To Do list "Fall impressively on the ice". My knee was bleeding and my tights were all ripped up, but not to worry! I will be fine, it's just a scrape on the knee. But it was actually quite funny. And last night we went over to Jose's to watch The Testaments that we gave him and it was fun (Amanda was there too). It's to the point where us and Jose are friends, but he understands we are there to teach. It is the perfect balance. We were talking before the movie, and something Jose said really touched me. He said, "I've met a lot of missionaries and some of them have been out a long time, but don't teach well together. You two teach well together, and Sister Leslie, you've only been out 4 1/2 months, but you teach better than missionaries I've met who have been out a year." It really made me think that it's not me, it's the Spirit. The Spirit is vital in teaching and I am so glad Jose knows that we invite the Spirit when we teach. Jose wants to go on a mission so bad, but can't because he is getting married in a few months. He is being an AWESOME member missionary though and telling all of his co workers and friends about the Gospel and why it is important to him and how he knows it is true. He is going to be active forever. And even though I won't be off my mission in a year when they can be sealed, Jose said that "Oh, we'll be waiting for you to get off your mission so you can come too!" So parents, a few weeks after I get home I'll be coming back up here to watch him and Amanda get sealed! Prepare accordingly!
Today it is back to NoDak's comfortable -50 degrees. Yeah, I didn't miss it. Not really at all.
Because transfer calls are on Saturday, please send all mail this week through the mission home in case I get transferred. I would appreciate it!
Thank you everyone! The gospel is true! Never forget it! 
Love you!
sister leslie. 
It's ridiculous how much we matched that day, and without even trying! 
Us and Jose right before he was baptized. :) 

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