Monday, March 10, 2014

Email sent March 10, 2014: Apostles, Crazy people from Nicaragua and Baptism

This week is titled,
"Apostles, Crazy people from Nicaragua, and baptism."
Sounds pretty interesting though right?
Well, this week was another week for Elder Bacon and I. Things here in Winder are starting to pick up actually. We're getting pretty creative with finding ideas and we even are starting a weekly Spanish Story Time at the local library for all the kids and their parents. We're going to be reading stories that are in Spanish and English so that they can learn a little bit of both during the time. Then we will teach the first lesson hahaha just kidding. The library wasn't to sure of that idea. SO... I guess we'll just stick with Goldilocks and the Three Bears and other childhood classics.
Really the most memorable parts of the week were Saturday and Sunday. Saturday the Georgia Atlanta Mission and the Georgia Atlanta North Mission got together to hear Quinton L. Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve come and speak to us. He was in town already on an assignment and wanted to speak with all the missionaries.  It was really awesome to see everyone that I've served around and some other friends in the Atlanta Mission. There's also a new missionary sister from South Jordan that I know that's been out for 3 weeks. It made me realize how long I've been out--a whole 7 months.... yeah I'm a real grandpa. 
The program started out with the Area Seventy from Atlanta speaking. Elder Court and I are pretty sure that he used to be a Baptist preacher from the way he spoke to  us. He was waving his hands in the air, yelling at one point, and testifying with the "sweet words of Jesus".  The Area Seventy from our mission got up after and said, "Wow. There were a few times during that where I wanted to yell AMEN!!! and Hallelujah!!!" Then Elder Cook got up and talked to us for about 30 minutes. He spoke on what we need to do to increase our faith in the missionary efforts. It was really good and I learned a lot. Sorry, I don't have my notes with me to recount exactly what he said... But know that It was good! I do remember one part though that blew all of our minds. Elder Cook was bearing his testimony and then he paused and said, "I know the voice of the Savior." and we all were like "WHAT?!?!" So, basically I learned that Jesus talks to all of the Apostles. Fun fact there. Elder Loveland thinks that it's just the spirit, but we know better. Jesus loves his Apostles.
Then on Sunday we had another super awesome, faith building experience. We went into Branch Council and were just giving our weekly report on how our investigators are doing. When we got to our investigator G, who's also the niece of one of the council members, we gave our report that G is close to baptism, has a "Faith Date" for the 22nd, but is still looking for more of an answer before she makes the step of baptism. The sister from Nicaragua, G's Aunt, stopped Elder Bacon and said, "Elders, you're wrong!  She's ready right now for baptism. She know's so much about the Gospel and she know's even more than you!!!!." We were a little shocked to say the least hahaha but she just kept going. She told us how G has just been messing with us and knows that all these things are true and on and on and on..... We waited and then calmly expressed to her that we have been hearing different things from G's own mouth during the lessons and that we are a bit confused. Also, that we haven't taught all of the lessons yet and are spacing out the commandments, trying to teach to her needs. The sister then yells at us, "You're not done?! Why not? You've had 4 lessons and that's how many there are! and on, and on, and on. We tried to explain, but then suddenly the sister turns to the council and says, "Let's just plan her baptism now!!!" Then they all just started talking at once. We tried to explain more and all the members were just explaining how the investigator mind works, and how they knew more about how the conversion process works since they took part in it themselves and basically just treating us like we're a bunch of kids... But then the stake representative stopped everyone and asked the sister, "Have you been present during the lessons?" She replied, "No." Then he asked, "Do you know exactly what she has told the missionaries?" She replied, "No." The stake rep, then said, "Sit in on the next lesson with them and see for yourself sister." I love stake representatives. They are so helpful for missionaries. Basically just members that understand how missionary work goes. Please, let the missionaries do their work!!!  But, that wasn't even the craziest part of the Sunday!!!! After the meeting, Elder Bacon and G herself walked up to me as I was greeting people. G told me that she wants to be baptized this Saturday the 15th!!!!!!!! I was so shocked! I asked her why and she turned to Alma 32.  We'd only read a verse from that chapter the Wednesday before, but she'd read the whole thing and read verses 17-18, about expecting a sign from God, but is that really faith? She looked up at us and said, "I've been expecting an answer that's not going to come, I know this is true. I know what the Lord is asking me to do." So....We're having a baptism this Saturday!!!!!!!  The Lord truly blessed G thorugh the power of the scriptures. The scriptures have the power to change the heart. The Book of Mormon is the evidence that the Lord has restored his church is the key to knowing. At this very moment I cannot even express the feelings I feel!  I know for a fact that these things are true. I've seen the power of the Spirit, the power of the scriptures, the power of the Lord. It's just so amazing.  We're a little stressed now though from the shortage of time that we have to teach her a few more commandments.  We've got the Word of Wisdom and if she has a problem then we're going to have to change her date... But we don't feel like she does, at least we're praying that she doesn't! If you could please include G in your prayers I would be so appreciative. She really needs the guidance of the spirit.
Basically that's what I have for you this week. I know it's pretty long and pretty detailed, but hey, that's Bryce for ya!!!  The kitchen looks so good and I'm so glad that it's finished!!! I really like the floors! I'm just sort of getting that everything's changing!!  I'm also glad you got the gift. Elder Long gave me the idea a month ago and I really liked it. It was really easy to do and I used one of the shirts that the missionary before me left. But... I do need some more shirts haha.  Other than that, I'm pretty good! I'm using Advair again since we're running every morning and playing soccer. I'm good for the month but I'll need some medicine probably next month. 
Love Elder Rodabough the second!!

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