Well hey I liked the emails! HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! haha Chile in a couple weeks...WOW! good luck kp! Mom I liked your scripture because it's the one we're memorizing as a district. We decided a couple weeks ago to memorize and use that as our district scripture to add a little cheer and optimism to our lives as missionaries because a lot of the missionaries in our mission and even in my district have been fighting off discouragement. Whatever little bit helps! I'll probably share that part of your letter at DTM this week if that's okay! haha thanks! Oh and I'm excited to come home to new floors! Hopefully they'll be done by then! should be! haha
So yeah we finally got it done this week...Stefani was baptized! The program itself was kinda stressful at first because we combined the baptisms of Stefani and her sister Destini. We were supposed to get a piano player and she didn't show up and we were just running around for signatures and all kinds of stuff, but I couldn't help but smile through the whole program. Such a special spirit was there! There were sooo many people there to support these girls! Like 150! We had to relocate to the chapel because there were so many haha. Despite the two of them attending different wards in different stakes, it all came together for a few minutes that Friday night. In a nutshell and according to tarzan, two wards, one family!
We've been teaching her for a month now, and she's super golden! We bore testimony in her ward last sunday and I gave her a shout out for being sooo golden haha she appreciated that. But seriously she's the first investigator that I personally have invited to be baptized who started to cry because of the invitation. That was evidence to me that her heart is pure and honest and that she really has a firm desire to be baptized for the right reasons. Plus she's the youngest investigator I've ever taught to have accepted Moroni's challenge and get her answer the first try. "Well I knelt down and prayed, and then I just waited for Heavenly Father to answer me, just like you told me Elder Payne!" She knows it's true!!
Well the past month of teaching her has been a blast. Her and her two friends and their families are sooo fun haha. Never a dull moment! But beyond all the laughs and the spiritual experiences we've shared, I've learned a lot from Stefani and about myself. She's always so bright and full of the spirit. She's like the best example and epitome of happiness! Like seriously she always has a smile on her face! It's almost scary! But it's awesome! She's basically become like the little sister I never had, and I've learned through teaching her what it means to have charity for another person. A key component of charity is your thoughts. I've noticed that I've spent more time thinking about her needs and the needs of everyone I'm teaching more than my own. When you start building those relationships and just care about what they need in their lives, it's inevitable! You'll just start loving them and caring for them! It's the best! So I think it's safe to say that Stefani has been my favorite investigator so far. She has helped me to grow and become a more aware missionary and a better me! She's awesome! And because of her and her fellowshippers, the Jorgensen's and the Hardman's, and everyone else I've gotten to know and love in this area, it's going to be super tough to leave Buena Vista when that time comes. Harder than leaving home! But that's the mission for ya...that's what happens!
Yesterday after church we had the opportunity of being a part of Jesse's ordination to the Aaronic priesthood! We've been working with him since day 3 or 4 in this area...for like almost 4 months! He's finally taken that step! It was sooo rewarding to have seen the change that has taken place in his life and to see the impact that Heavenly Father has in those less-active individuals that choose to come back into the fold. He really does rejoice more in the one than in the ninety and nine that went not astray. Such a blessing! We're hoping to get to the temple to do baptisms with him and his wife! And we're going with Stefani next week! and hopefully a few more people that we've been working with will be able to go as well before transfers! Like Nikki and Carlos! We'll see!
I love being a missionary! There's absolutely no replacement for this work. There's nothing more important and definitely nothing more rewarding than bringing others unto Christ. How great is my joy! And I only have a year of it left! But working with less actives is preparing me to be an effective home teacher for when I get home! The work never ceases until the Savior's feet touch this earth once again!
Have a great week!