Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kelly's Baptism!

My goodness what a rewarding week we've had! Kelly's baptism was all finalized and good to go! It was a little tricky trying to coordinate between the now three wards that he's involved in. He just moved from the Gunnison stake to elko nevada, but he attends here in ephraim haha. So we had a couple bishops there and lots of supporters! There was a pretty big crowd, about 30 people or so, including two more of our investigators, Manny and Patricia! Plus one of gunnison's investigators, who is Kelly's niece, came as well! Kelly's ex-brother in law baptized him. The baptism went very well and despite some nerves, Kelly came up clean!

It's was special in a different sense this time around. Usually when the investigator we've been working so hard with goes down into that water and comes back up, I get the goosebumps and the spirit is super strong. This time I didn't get that feeling. It felt more as if it were a little over due...as though the baptism had already happened long ago. Recently I've been trying to change my vision on missionary work. Instead of focusing mainly on baptism, I've tried to change my main focus to repentance because baptism is merely a symbolic reflection of the change that has already taken place in the investigator's heart. Repentance is where the true change happens, and if the investigator doesn't understand that, he or she is just getting wet at their baptism and it doesn't mean anything.

So anyway, that's how I felt at Kelly's baptism. I realized that he has truly understood to the best of his knowledge the power and vitality of repentance. He mentioned to us one lesson how concerned he was that he couldn't feel or recognize Godly sorrow for a past sin, and he was worried that he couldn't be forgiven because of that. haha he's very sincere and wants to do what is right! He's been repenting long before we even met him. Those are my favorite converts (if I'm supposed to have a favorite)...the ones that have already experienced the change of heart and you don't have to convince them of anything. They just accept anything that comes their way with faith and diligence! I love it! And that's what Kelly has done.

The day before his baptism, he was feeling doubts and questions on all sides and he was super nervous for his interview. Before we all got to the George's for the interview, he decided to just relax and read from the Book of Mormon. He opened up to a random verse and read Alma 34:31. When he shared that with us, it blew me away. Such a perfect verse for him at that time! Heavenly Father is a curious one! Such a small but significant blessing of reassurance for Kelly!

Yesterday I got the privilege of confirming him a member of the church. It's just like I told president Center in my letter to him a few minutes ago...the confirmations and blessings that I've given on my mission have been some of my most sacred and favorite experiences on my mission. It's amazing and humbling to witness the Spirit work that directly through me. All I have to do is sanctify myself and demand the Spirit to speak the Lord's will to the individual. The rest is just me moving my mouth. I'm rest assured more and more that giving blessings must be one of my gifts of the Spirit.

This week we were also led to the door of a young spanish mother named Tania. We got the referral a week ago at sports from the Mount Pleasant north elders. Well long story short, we drove over to her apartment and knocked on the door. She answered and immediately let us in. We barely were able to introduce ourselves before she started up her whole life religion-based story. I'm getting a little better at understanding spanish, but I still couldn't quite catch a whole lot of the conversation. Basically she's been praying for someone to come visit her and her family, and she asked us with real intent and with an honest heart what the Book of Mormon is all about. We set another appointment for tuesday, so we'll see where it progresses from there.

It's good to hear about what's going on back home. Happy thanksgiving everyone! I'm looking forward to the package mom thanks!! and thanks for mckenzi's address. haha Keith I hope your efforts to reach out to your non member lady friend are going well. I haven't heard anything about it, but I was able to share some of the same advice with everyone...and your own situation...with the young married ward yesterday in a talk I gave to them. Hope you don't mind me sharing that! haha

Elder Payne!


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