T***'s baptism was awesome. I have yet to have a baptism run smoothly. It made me feel like I was back in Salone waiting for a water truck to come for over 2 hours and then just doing it at another church instead. We called our bishop right when it was starting and helped him to remember that he was suppose to preside... so we sang some hymn's while we waited. The water was low in the font... another commonality with fonts in Salone... and so she had to be baptized a couple times... the awesome thing is.... The spirit was still present and it was a great experience for everyone that came. When do things ever run smoothly..?? Being on a mission is constant plan making and plan canceling... we must learn to adjust whether it be wait 20 minutes for the bishop or change missions.... when the storm settles everything will be ok!
One of our investigators named J*** is an ex gang leader. We have taught him for the past month or so... but missionaries have been talking with him for about 4 months. We have been helping him overcome cigarettes... but the whole time I had a feeling like this guy has a past... and I know it is a little much for 19 year old missionaries to help him overcome. We set up a interview with our mission president so he could get some things off his chest and repent fully and completely. As hard as it was for him and as hard as it will be to wait for at least a year to be baptized... He has some seriously strong faith. We will continue to meet with him and help him stay active so that one day when he has done what it takes to be baptized... he will receive the sweet remission of his sins. Repenting takes time. I admire anyone who faces their problems head on and will do anything to be right in front of God. R***... J***'s son.. wanted to be baptized with his dad... but now that he knows it will take his dad a while he wants to continue on his own path toward the waters of baptism.
We had to drop 5 investigators with a baptismal dates this week. It was really hard, but our president has been talking about the urgency of missionary work and how the Lord has people who are prepared and ready... we just need to find them. It is good to teach investigators for some time... but their comes a point were if their desire isn't there... you must move on. I was really bummed cause I love having a lot of people to teach... So our goal was to keep our teaching pool about the same size. We found 6 solid investigators this week and 4 of them came to church! I was amazed at how quickly Heavenly Father answered our prayer and how serious he is about the urgency of missionary work. These are the last days. We need to be ready and those who won't act on the answers they receive need time to realize that the Gospel is the only way to find Happiness in this life and in the life to come!
I have loved teaching with conference talks this past week. The apostles can get the message across much better than we can. There is such a powerful spirit when they testify. Prophets and apostles are real. I am so grateful to have them in my life. We don't have to walk alone on this journey. We are so lucky to have family, friends, and inspired messengers from God. I can't believe I didn't take advantage of conference talks before my mission.
B***'s baptism is this Saturday... Pray for her that she will pass her baptismal interview!
I bore my testimony in church this week. I used to be so afraid of public speaking and doing things in front of large groups! My heart was still pumping like crazy while I was up there... but I spoke straight from my heart and talked about the blessings of missionary work. I love testifying. I know what I know... and no one can change that or make me doubt that. I also had to sing a duet in priesthood because no one knew the tune of the song... wasn't pretty... but I did it! haha yay for overcoming fears! haha (None of the Crandall's are known for their singing voice. I can't even imagine this. Kuddos to Cody for his courage on this one.)
Thanks for all of your prayers! I love and miss you all!
Shout out to Shane Woolston, you are my hero and I love you. I have never met a more honest and loyal friend. Thanks for being such a great example to me!
Love Elder Crandall the Vandal