"But it'll still hurt my eyes...."
The words rang in my head as Leslie Johnny stood in the font after attempting to be baptized twice, but to no avail. He was scared. He has swimming acne and was genuinely terrified of being completely immersed in water. His child-like faith had gotten him so far. But he had reached the point of no return. The fear he felt right now was unlike anything he had experienced.
"It'll be ok." I tried to comfort him. It wasn't going to work. He didn't want to be baptized. Not right then.
"It'll still hurt my eyes...." My companion and I looked at each other. It was time to call it quits. But it seemed unfair. He had come so far...for this?!
This week, Elder Stirland and I had the privilege of being able to help Leslie and Macaira Johnny to come unto Christ through baptism and confirmation by the restored priesthood authority of God. It was terrific. We have been teaching these siblings for a little while, and their mom really wanted them to be baptized, but she wanted it to be their choice. After teaching them, they chose to be baptized to receive a remission of their sins.
We organized a baptismal service on Saturday afternoon for them, and it went wonderfully. Macaira was baptized in one try, and then...it was Leslie's turn. The combination of a crowd of people to witness him and his fear of water proved too much for him. He walked away from his baptismal service that day very disappointed.
As a missionary, that day was so, so stressful. We went back and taught Leslie again, and asked him what he could do to be baptized. He still wanted to be, but he was just not expecting it to be hard for him. Finally, he built up the courage and decided to try again the next day right after church. He practiced a new position in the font where he would squat instead of leaning back in the water.
We had a very private service and he was so excited to try again. He began to walk down the stairs and said to himself, "I can do this!"
As he got into the water, he looked very determined to be baptized this time. The words were spoken and he squatted down all the way under the water. Seeing him fully immersed and feeling the Holy Spirit of Promise confirm the ordinance was such a blessing. All of my stress about the baptism went away, and I saw this little child of God walk out of the font yelling "That was awesome!"
That's our purpose right there. Let's all reach out and help our brothers and sisters come unto Christ. So that they can feel of His goodness and realize His love for them. It truly is awesome. Leslie, thanks for reminding me of that!
We had our zone conference up here in Nanaimo. It went really well, and we are all pumped to go out and to see miracles. President Burt is such an inspired mission president. I am grateful for him. Truly, I am.
My former companion, Elder Gawrys, and I went on an exchange. While we were tracting someone decided to take a picture of us. And now we're famous on the Internet here in Nanaimo....apparently, we were trying to steal souls.... Well, I don't know about you, but ...I don't even know how to steal one. Just how to save one...
We are having so much fun up here. Missionary work is the greatest joy you can ever feel. And I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is with us in this work. He is there with us in our deepest sorrows, in the pouring, freezing rain. And He is there with us in our brightest triumphs, as we witness others come unto Him and become more powerful instruments in His hands. He is there with us always, and will not cease to be with us. His gospel is life-giving and unending.
As Alma said to his son after a bit of fatherly counsel, "Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same in not compelled to come..." (Alma 42:27)
The waters of life are available to all of us. What are you going to do about it? Partake? Or what? I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, our Redeemer. Our Friend. He is our advocate with the Father, and will help us to reach our Heavenly Home. The plan of salvation that has been revealed unto us it true, and has been restored by a loving God to a living prophet. I know that we have a prophet today, and am excited to hear the Lord's voice through Him this next weekend. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!
Baptism of Leslie and Macaira Johnny!!!
Polar Bears are on the money here...Canada, man! I love it!
Someone thought we were up to no good...so they decided to tell the world about it...
Nanaimo....the city needs me.....
Ammonite Falls....what a place!