Saturday, March 4, 2017

Tricia's Baptism


Five weeks ago we met Tricia who was brought to church by her friend Kenneth.  She is 22 years old.  She said she was interested in learning more about the Gospel so we set up an appointment and met with her a few days later.  At this first lesson she seemed very aloof and somewhat shocked of the teachings.  When we started teaching of Joseph Smith and the first vision her jaw dropped and she stared at us like, “you must be joking.”  She had very good questions and I could tell that she had a little religious background but not a whole lot.  When we asked her what she thought of God being a glorified being made of flesh and bone she was completly surprised at the thought.  My feeling throughout the whole lesson was, “she’s gonna be a tough nut to crack.”  I knew that if she would listen to the Holy Ghost she could be taught pure truth.  My hope was that she would.

As we introduced the Book of Mormon and how it came to be (more jaw dropping) I wondered what she was feeling.  I had only given a few thoughts during the lesson and let Francis and Elder Phelps do most of the teaching but as the lesson drew to an end I felt prompted to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon.

 I bore testimony of it’s truthfulness and how that book had made such a difference in my life.  I told her of how I have read it many times with Elder Phelps, with our children and in my personal study.  I told her that the prophets have promised us that our lives will be better and much improved if we study from it’s pages.  I closed in the name of Jesus Christ and ended.  Tricia looked right at me smiled and with all sincerety said, “I have to know what’s in that book!  The things you said and the .....
I just really want to know what is in that book!”  Right then I could see a softening.  It’s amazing when we let the Spirit into our hearts He works miracles.  Tricia said she would read and pray about our message and the Book of Mormon. 

The next lesson was great!  She had read a bit in the Book of Mormon and we encouraged her to read more.  We taught her of the Plan of Salvation and I knew she was understanding.  She engaged with questions and seemed to be progressing. 

We turned the teaching of Tricia over to the Branch Missionaries.  They kept up with her and she has attended church every week since we first met her.

Today was her baptism!  It was wonderful!  The Spirit was strong and we had many people attend.  There was a very reverent feeling there.  At the beginning of the year we changed Saturday baptisms to Sunday and that has been working out well.  Tricia needed to be baptized today (Saturday) so she can be confirmed tomorrow.  She is leaving on Wednesday to work in Jinja for 3 months so the baptism needed to take place before that day. 

As Tricia was invited to share her thoughts after the baptism she talked of feeling clean and how it felt so good!  She knew that she had things to repent of (as we all do) and how she felt like she is starting over.  I love that!  I love how baptism cleanses us and how it brings us one step closer to being with Heavenly Father.  She also spoke of being an “investigator.”  She said, “I don’t like that word!   I didn’t want to just be an investigator anymore.  I wanted to be a “member” of this church.  That got a laugh out of those in attendance.  Not me though, I was wiping tears from my eyes knowing just how far she had come from that first lesson. 

Today was one of those days that you love on a mission.  Since Elder Phelps and I know our time is growing short, these moments mean the most to us.  It is a beautiful thing knowing that you have helped in some small way of bringing a soul unto Christ.  And we get to do it times three tomorrow!  Richard and his wife Shariffa and Michael

As we drove back through the center of town yesterday, after being gone for nine days and knowing that we will not be here much of the month of March Elder Phelps said,  “I have this sad feeling in my stomach.”  I knew what he meant.   Today he said,  “I have been feeling melancholy all day.”  Our time is short with our dear Mbale Branch and it has now been made shorter with our new assignment.  As we talk to the members I can tell they are feeling the same.  I want to make every moment with them count.  I am hoping that the Church has a special Easter video coming soon so that we can go into the homes of our branch members and leave them with our testimonies of Jesus Christ.  That is the best thing we can do before we leave for home! J

Now on to a completely different subject. 

I had a verbal exchange with Fazida this morning that left me cracking up!  I haven’ t seen her for a long time because we have been gone for nine days.  I greeted her this morning and stopped to talk to her about how things were going.  I casually asked how her chickens were doing.  (Remember we gave both of our chickens to her?)  She smiled and said they were doing “good” and that she brought some coke for them.  I said, “You brought them some Coke?”  She replied that yes, she had.  I again asked, “Coke?”  She again said, “yes.”  I said, “So..... are you going to give them some to drink?” (thinking that coca cola must be some magical serum to raise strong chickens)  She laughed and looked at me funny and said, “no, I am hoping to have some little chicks.  You know what do you call them……cokes?”  I laughed and said, “Oh, you mean a cock!  A rooster!"  She laughed and I heard Francis cackling from over on the porch!  He said, “Coke for the chickens!”  I told Elder Phelps a little while later and we had a good long laugh over this particular language hiccup!

Oh, the fun times we have in Mbale!

                                                                      The "coke"  

Hope he makes some babies.  That might be fun to come home to at the end of the month:)

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