Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jonathon Entered the Waters of Baptism

It's been an absolutely incredible week, full of blessings, excitement, and adventure! It’s weeks like this where you're just happy to be out there, and proud to be a missionary! I'm so thankful for the many experiences and stories that happened this week that I will truly remember for the rest of my life!

P-day. This was definitely the best P-day I've had since I've come to Dalkeith, which isn’t really saying much, but I did have some good fun on a rope swing we found in the forest that’s in our backyard! These little kids came about 15 minutes after us and were doing come crazy tricks on it! I felt like they should all be in the circus or something! After that Josie and Jonathon had us over for dinner, we had Mince and Tatties, a Scottish classic!

Today had an interesting start.... Earlier on in the week we ran into this crazy old man that everyone knows as Irish Joe. He was super excited to see us and told us he wanted to give us some food, so he quickly gave us his address and told us to come up to his flat on Tuesday morning and to bring some bags! So that is what we did… My whole plan was just to get into the door and get him to sit down for the restoration lesson. However, when we showed up to his humble flat he demanded to have our bags, then started clearing out  his cupboards! I started to panic knowing that Irish Joe is broke as a joke will end up starving himself! I started to tell him "Don't give us anything you'll eat!!" that didn't seem to make any difference, so I started to take stuff back out of the bags saying " Irish Joe, you look like a man who really likes his canned hamburgers, you better keep these for yourself." He yelled at me to shut up then put it back in the bag. When he was all finished the little fella didn't even want to chat, he just kicked us straight back out of his place! Long story short, there is now a starving Irish man up the road and around the corner, and our flat is full of strange canned hamburgers and Irish stew...  That was pretty exciting stuff. Jonathon also passed his baptismal interview!! I am so stoked for him!! We ended the night off with a super frustrating ward council meeting. L

The main event of Wednesday was while we were chapping some doors… For the first time in my life I ran into a lady and thought to myself "I really hope this person doesn't invite us back!!" She made me really uncomfortable, and was sucking on a massive toe nail, but she was so excited to see us, and wants to have us back ASAP! I know she needs the gospel, but I’ll need to pray for strength for our next visit...

We spent most of our day in Edinburgh at a conference with every missionary in Scotland and Elder Herburtson of the 70! It was an absolutely amazing meeting; I received personal revelation on how I can improve myself and better help the work progress in Dalkeith. I felt the spirit so strongly. I'd have to say that my favorite part was hearing the testimonies of the missionaries heading home. First was one from my good friend Elder Gates. It'll be rough to see him go, I've learned so much from this chap! The good news is he lives just over the boarder so he promised to come back and take me out for lunch! :) Next up was Elder Chen. Elder Chen was the Chinese man I had to stop from getting on the ferry to Ireland while I was in Starnraer and ended up serving a three day trio with him. Elder Chen is a Complete Champion! My respect for him is through the roof! Elder Chen's family didn't want him here. Elder Chens family didn't want him to even be a Mormon. Elder Chen has no LDS friends even remotely close to him and has to drive by himself for 3 and a half hours just to get to church. Elder Chen still has one of the most solid testimonies I have ever heard! "I am Chinese, and I am a Mormon!" Sadly I don't think he'll be back to take me out to lunch... Last but not least was my friend Elder Taylor whom I've known since the MTC. Elder Taylor found out that he has cancer and had to be put on a plane home on Saturday. He will be home receiving treatment for a minimum of a year but this gave a pure testimony about how excited he is for the day he will get come back and finish the job because of his love for the Savoir. Please keep Elder Taylor in your prayers.

Today was a long one. It started off great with our last lesson with Jonathon before his baptism. He is so ready and excited; he couldn't sit still even thinking about it! However, after the lesson we got on the bus to go home for some lunch…. As soon as I sat down on the bus seat my butt got completely wet and soaked all the way through my pants. I quickly moved a seat over then just prayed for patience till I got back home to worry about it, knowing there was nothing I could do while I was on the bus. As soon as we got home I took off my trousers and smelled them. I was pee!!! Somebody straight up wet themselves all over the bus, and I sat in it!!! Now knowing I was covered in someone else's urine I ran to the shower and used my whole lunch break, and about half a bottle of body wash scrubbing myself down! Flippin' Satin is pulling some low blows to get back at me for this baptism! After that experience we headed over to this toe nail lady for our appointment. She stood us which was actually a blessing because I really don't think I could have handled her and sitting in a puddle a pee in one day. We finished the night by bringing a mango to this 8 year old Filipino kid who lives with a less active we have been working with. Last week he told us how much he missed them in the Philippine's so we got him one for his birthday! I've never seen a kid get so excited for a mango in my entire life!! He was bouncing off the walling and singing songs!

I'm starting to run low on time so I'm just going to cut straight to the Baptism. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did. First we went to get changed and Jonathon say's to me, "What about my boxer's" and I'm like "yeah, keep em on, we just change after" he responded with "You didn't tell me to bring any extra!!!" In a panic he ran out the door in his white jumpsuit and started trying to give a member his house keys and explaining where he could find some boxers for him. After a minute or two a got him to his senses and told him that everything would be okay. We came up with a solid plan where he would just wring them out really well and play it cool. The service was really good, and then it came time for the baptism. I step into the font and the water was boiling hot!! Knowing that the font takes two hours to fill I knew we had no choice but to take it like a man. So I go all the way in, but Jonathon stopped at the very first step and said "I can't do it, it’s too hot!" At this point everyone is already sitting in their seats and awkwardly just looking at us. So I called someone over and asked them if they could just turn on the cold water for a while. They turn it on and it was still coming out warm! I knew this thing would have to fun for at least forty minutes for us to even feel a difference! So I start praying like mad to try to figure out what to do, and all of a sudden I find myself telling Jonathon, "this water is coming out ice cold, we'll be good to go in no time!" After about 10 minutes of awkwardly getting starred at by the congregation I told Jonathon "It feels really good now, and to take a couple more steps down and see how it feels" So he stepped down and said "Yep, That's much better" It was a miracle! I had to bite my tongue to stop myself some singing hallelujah!! Next he was baptized, and the spirit was incredible. Jonathon came up looking like a lobster but at least we know his sins were washed away! When they closed the curtains I pulled the plug to the font and asked him how he felt, his reply was "Amazing! I knew when you pulled that plug my worries and mistakes were getting sucked down that drain! I'm so happy for him, but I was pretty relieved when it was all over!

Jonathon was confirmed today, nobody hot burned and everything went much smoother than yesterday! My favorite part of church was when he got up and boar his testimony about how much this gospel as changed him and how grateful he is that the missionaries knocked on his door...

There you have it, my week in a nutshell! I am so grateful today, and every day for the opportunity I have to actively do the Lords work, and to invite others to come unto Christ and become perfected in him.  

Love you all. 
-Elder Cluster

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