Mother's Day was great! It was so good to talk to you again!
This last week is going to be hard for me. I have to work as hard as I can, but I have to prepare to leave at the same time. There are so many people here that I have to say goodbye to and so many things I'm going to miss. I'm going to miss our neighborhood. I love all the people that we live around. I know them all by name. I'm going to miss this branch and all the members here. I'm going to miss our investigators that we've been able to meet and teach.
LISTEN TO THE STILL SMALL VOICE
On Thursday during planning I was thinking about how little time I have left, and I was thinking about Ronald, and the idea came to my head: "Invite Ronald to be baptized next Saturday." So Elder Broadbent and I prayed about it and planned for it. On Saturday we were going to teach the Law of chastity and commit him for May 16th, but on the drive over I felt like it wasn't the lesson we were supposed to teach.
Suddenly, the idea popped into my head to go through D&C 20:37 (the qualifications for baptism) with him and then review the baptismal interview questions. He passes with flying colors and we explained to him that he was ready.
Then I said to him, "We've prayed about this and we don't see anything that can prevent you from being baptized next Saturday, May 16th."
He sat there quietly, got up, looked at the calendar on the wall and his work schedule, flipping through files of papers. All the while, I was praying for him to accept. Then he looked at us and asked, "Why did you pick this date?"
Elder Broadbent explained that he was ready and that there was no point in waiting and that we had felt inspired that he should be baptized the next week. Then Ronald turned to me and asked, "What are your thoughts?" I explained to him that God needs him on His team, and needs him to serve.
Then Ronald said to us, full of emotion and clearly being worked on by the Spirit, "This is the third time I've been given a date. I'm not going to rebel any more. I can't go to war against God. I accept to be baptized on May 16th." He then went on to express his gratitude for us and our friendship as tears welled up in his eyes. I stood up and gave him a hug and thanked him, then Elder Broadbent did the same.
Ronald finished the lesson with a long prayer of thanksgiving and asking for God's help to be baptized on Saturday. Then Ronald went to his bedroom and pulled out his last 3 bottles of alcohol and threw them in a sack and handed them to us. As we walked down the hill, away from his house, my heart was full. We threw the bottles in the dumpster, drove away, and then found a nice quiet spot to offer a prayer of gratitude.
Please pray for us and Ronald so that everything will go well for his baptism this Saturday.
I can't believe it's really time. After today, I will only get to email you all one more time before my mission's over. I honestly don't know how to describe my feelings. I have butterflies in my stomach. I don't know if it's from sadness, excitement, anxiety, or what. It's been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful for it.
Talk to you just now!
Penny pitching and s'mores for family night with the James Family. They hadn't ever eaten s'mores before, but they sure loved 'em!
Some investigators: Victoria and her granddaughters Flora and Cherice.
Ronald giving us his alcohol. He's still a little teary-eyed. We were all pretty emotional.
A centipede in my sandal! I think it was a message for me to start wearing my shoes again...
Our street: Delight Estate.