Mother, I really appreciate when you include your different spiritual insights. It's the best part of the emails I get to read. I've told Alexandria several times, and you and others probably a couple, but my favorite kind of present or gift I like to receive is not cookies or candy, or even truffles, it's the spiritual insights from the scriptures, from life experience, and from talks or other conferences that really hit a home run for me.
Yesterday we had two more cool experiences. First of all we attended a baptism of an eight year old child of record. She invited everyone she knew to the baptism and there were almost 100 people there, half of them non-members. She was very excited for her baptism. It was very evident how excited she was for it. When she was actually baptized (the second time, first time she got water up her nose and her foot came out of the water), it was similar to the baptism I told you before when he yelled "I'm home! I did it! I'm finally home! I made it back!" Except little Mekenna's declaration going up the steps of the baptismal font was "I'm baptized!" Same spirit, same excitement.
Later on in the evening we found a person [with] whom we had a very sincere lesson. The spirit was most certainly testifying of the truth in that lesson, and now he's set a goal to be baptized too! Hurray!
Did I ever tell you about a man in Orangeburg? He was baptized, along with a couple other investigators that I taught in Orangeburg. Also a couple more people I taught there are preparing to be baptized too! Hurray! The gospel is awesome!
I consider myself a professional biker. We probably bike more in the hot humid heat than anyone else in the entire realm of people in a 20 miles radius... and we do it in church clothes, frequently with backpacks on.
I want to tell you about the conversion story of a member I taught with who is actually from around Fresno, CA. She bore her testimony to us in front of her friend she helped us teach this week as she was visiting.
Her first name is Jenelle.
She had taken many anti-Mormon classes growing up in the different churches that she's been in. When she was in the army during basic training (which is apparently really stressful) there was one particular guy that seemed to always be calm and at peace despite the hectic and stressful environment. She mentioned something of that effect to him and he told her that he was "Mormon". She didn't talk to him for another several weeks after that. But it stuck out to her the more how calm and peaceful he looked. One day he was reading a book and she asked him what it was. "It's the Book of Mormon! I can get you one of you want." "sure..." was the response. He said that he'd get it to her in a week. He came by that night and said, "I prayed about it and God told me to give you one right now, so I'll give you mine" (note: the military Book of Mormon is a conveniently really small red book to be able to fit easily in one of their uniform pockets.) That's weird, but ok" Jenelle replied. She then over the rest of basic training would read the book when nobody was looking, she'd slide it partway out of her pocket and read it like she'd be embarrassed if anyone saw her reading it. Afterwards when she was assigned a battle buddie and went somewhere else, someone walked up to her when she wasn't paying attention and asked, "Is that a Book of Mormon?" Jenelle replied, "No, what? No, I wasn't reading the Book of Mormon." He replied, "Yes you were I know what a Book of Mormon is." Jenelle said, "No I wasn't I was ... [and made up an excuse]" He said it's "OK, I'm Mormon too." Then her battle buddie said, "Ya, and I'm Mormon too." They talked about the church for a little bit and her battle buddie told her to read Moroni 10:3-5 and then get on her knees and pray to ask if it was true. Jenelle said she would, so she set an alarm for 3 am so she'd get up when no one else was (this would be in a barracks that she'd be able to do this). She decided that if anyone woke up that she'd pretend that she was looking under her bed for something. She asked sincerely and felt "an overwhelming blanket of peace and love" and knew then that the Book of Mormon was true. She then decided that she should find a church building and attend a service. She went to the library and looked up online for the time that the service started, found the address, but didn't find a time. Her library computer time was almost up. She said to herself, "Well, this prayer thing worked last time, it'll work again right?"
"God, if you really want me to go to your church I need a really specific answer right now!" Nothing came on the computer but when she looked up, two LDS missionaries walked in the door. She scoped them out for several minutes and finally walked up to them and asked, "Are you missionaries?" "Yes" they responded. "I don't want to talk to you all I want is for you to answer my question. When does church start?" They responded, "9am, but may I ask you something else?" Jenelle said, "...Ok, fine what do you want?" Missionary: "We could give you a church tour on Saturday, would you like that?". Jenelle said, "Oh, actually I would, that'd be great."
She was taught every lesson all at once that Saturday and they were going to schedule the baptism the very next day (because she already made preparations to live the Word of Wisdom and the other things you need to do before baptism) The mission president advised them to give her a least a week so that the ward can know who she is. She was baptized 8 days later on the next Sunday. She then became less active then received a calling to be a ward missionary a year before she was active again then for two more years she was a ward missionary. She was just recently released from her calling when I met her this past week.
Cool conversion story right? I had to type fast.
Love you all
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker