The Baptism, & Is It Still Wonderful?

9:32 AM Samantha Warstler 0 Comments

Life is gooood! I'm feeling pretty sick today, so that's not very fun. But everything else is good :) The weather has been all over the place! Today it is overcast and rainy, but yesterday it was a pretty fall day. It changes fairly frequently, so we never know what we're going to get. We just hope and pray that the weather won't be too cold on the days that we don't have our car. Ughh my stomach hurts. being sick is the pits! Sister Neal and I were both dying last night, and we ended up going to bed at 6pm! It was crazy. Definitely helped us to feel better though. Hopefully I don't have a parasite or something. Hahaha gross. Luckily I'm not in Peru, so I don't need to worry about that.

This has been an interesting week to say the least! Lots of ups and downs, but mostly ups! For example, Diana got baptized!! That was the highlight of the week for sure  :) She was so excited all week, and Sister Neal and I were sooo nervous! But it all worked out! When Sister Neal and I watched Diana enter the baptismal font, we were both so full of joy! Diana has been meeting with missionaries for over four years now! A lot of missionaries were not patient enough with her, and gave up on her. It definitely goes to show that Heavenly Father puts people into our lives for a reason! Diana needed a good set of sister missionaries who would be patient enough with her and who would show her the love that she truly deserves. Diana has been through A LOT in her life, and it really scares people away sometimes. But I just wouldn't let myself give up on her. She is a shining star! I love her so much! It was amazing to watch her change and grow as we taught her each week. There were a few missionaries that had taught Diana in the past who told us we were wasting our time, and even some members in the ward who told us that no matter how hard we try she'll never change. But I am here to tell you that anything is possible! I know that if we rely on the Lord through hard times, he will give us good results! When Diana came out of the water, she whipped her hair around and said, "Okay Sister Robinson, you can take my picture now!" She's so funny. We ended up taking a picture in the washroom, because she really wanted one taken of her when she was all wet. :) She's awesome. 

{She really wanted to take a picture right after she came out of the font!}

 After the ordinance, the relief society president gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and welcomed her into the relief society. She told Diana that when she's ready, she can receive a calling. Diana totally cut her off and said "Oh but I am ready right now! Can I get my calling tomorrow?" it was awesome. She's so excited about everything, as you can tell.

{Sister Neal, Diana, and Sister Robinson}

So now for another bit of good news! Thomas is getting baptized on October 8th! Wahoo! It was going to be the 1st (Mama's bday), but not anymore. Anyways, yay!! He is basically a member already! Everyone in the ward just ADORES Thomas! He is so excited to be baptized. Something cool about Thomas is that he has lived in Sierra Leone, The UK, Ontario, and now he lives in Edmonton. But he has come across missionaries everywhere he's lived! In Sierra Leone, The UK, Ontario, and now here in Edmonton! It's basically just meant to be :) I am so excited for his baptism. He has an amazing testimony of this gospel, and he truly knows that it is for him! The ward members have been so helpful as well! He's made like 50 friends already! Whenever we try to talk to him at church, he gets bombarded by a group of people who want to shake his hand and sit with him in Sunday school! It's so awesome though. 

Sister Neal and I also had an opportunity to teach a boy named Christian, who is 17 years old. He has really strong faith in Jesus Christ and we're excited to see where things go with him. We found him in our former investigators list, and tried by his house like 7 times before we actually caught him at home! It was funny, because his little brother Peter would always be home when we'd try to get a hold of Christian. So when he finally was home, Peter answered the door, and when he went to get Christian for us we heard him say "The girls are here!" HA! So funny. Guess he'd heard that we were trying to contact him for a while. Anyways, we taught him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it went well! I was super nervous though! Sister Neal and I were both just sweating like crazy! But we invited him to be baptized, and he said that he would!! It was awesome! He was going to come to church on Sunday, but he ended up sleeping in... Typical. But we're excited to see where things go with him :)
{This is supposed to be the smoulder... Did it work? I don't think so... But I tried. We took a selfie break from our weekly planning sesh at the library}

This week was definitely very humbling. I know it may be pretty obvious, but I am so thankful for this gospel!! It changes lives! There is nothing else in the world that offers positive and lasting change the way the teachings of Jesus Christ do. I read a general conference talk this week called "Is It Still Wonderful to You?" It basically talks about ways that we can continually marvel at gospel wonders and strengthen our faith. It gets hard sometimes! Our "spiritual sensors" tend to go into standby mode if we aren't consistently striving to build our foundation on Christ's teachings.

In his talk, Bishop Gerald Causse offers three ways that we can build up our testimonies. First, we need to realize that "the gospel is a fountain of knowledge that never runs dry. There is always something new to learn and feel each Sunday, in every meeting, and in every verse of scripture." And it's so true! I have found that the Book of Mormon is a totally different book than what I remember from reading it before my mission! It has opened my eyes in ways that I never thought possible! It's crazy though, because I know that it's the same book... But that's the beauty of it! The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. 

{There are better pictures on Brother Stone's camera, but this is us outside after the baptism}

Second, anchor your faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel. "A sister missionary told the story of three men she met during a district conference in Africa. They came from an isolated village far away in the bush where the Church had not yet been organized but where there were 15 faithful members and almost 20 investigators. For over two weeks these men had walked on foot, traveling more than 300 miles over paths rendered muddy by the rainy season, so they could attend the conference and bring the tithes from the members of their group. They planned to stay for an entire week so they could enjoy the privilege of partaking of the sacrament the following Sunday and then hoped to set out on the return trip carrying boxes filled with copies of the Book of Mormon on their heads to give to the people of their village.The missionary testified how touched she was by the sense of wonder these brethren displayed and by their wholehearted sacrifices to obtain things that for her had always been readily available. She wondered: 'If I got up one Sunday morning in Arizona and found that my car wasn’t working, would I walk to my church only a few blocks away from home? Or would I just stay home because it was too far or because it was raining?' These are good questions for all of us to consider." 

The last thing he invites us to do is to constantly seek and cherish the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Seems like a simple thing, but the Holy Ghost makes allllll the difference! If we didn't have the spirit with us in our lessons with Diana and Thomas, they would never be converted! But since we strive to carry the spirit with us every day, they can feel it when we enter their homes, and it gives them that desire to come close to Christ. I know that this church is true! I am so thankful to be serving the Lord as a missionary! I hope you have a good week :) I love you so much!! 

Sister Robinson