Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Joyfully Entering In At The Gate

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
 (2 Nephi 31)

Elders Nuttall and Averett taught Meranda who was baptized.

Elder Spencer, and Elder Hansen with Jeremy Lakes baptizing his son Gavin

Elder Noyes, Dave baptized by Elder Hughes Oct 2016

Elder Cowan, Brother Johnson, Natasha and Jyhiid and Elder Goeckeritz 

Jyhiids baptismal conversion story: Jyhiids mother Natisha has been meeting with us for awhile she can't get baptized yet until her parole is all over. Jyhiid told us one day, "Elders! I want to be baptized!" We told him we would love to but we need to teach him some things first so when we are over here you will need to sacrifice hanging out with friends and come learn with us." He took that as a challenge and every time we met it was so hard for him! He wanted to go play! We kept the lessons short, sweet, and to the point. Sometimes we taught I thought to myself, "he isn't getting any of this he's not even paying attention!" Well sure enough after every visit we had a little quiz with him to see what he can remember he remembered all we taught him! It's amazing to see how these children are sponges even if they don't look like they are listening they sure are! As we taught he learned. He LOVES church! He has made many friends! The closer it got we set a day for him to get his interview. We had to push back his date 2 days due to the lack of time. Well that date we moved was his basketball game. He was so sad to miss it! But once again sacrificed his game to make a eternal covenant with God. He learned a lot about sacrifice! He is a solid kid! Very respectful, and in 3 years he is getting his priesthood and he already talks about going on a mission. His favorite song is "scripture power" he loves reading the scriptures! On his baptismal day we felt it would be best for his primary teacher to baptize and confirm him because he will be there longer than us. It will make a better memory for him. His story was awesome. He learned lots about sacrifice! 

Elder Hughes baptized TJ here with his wife Millie, Elder Noyes, Sisters McDonald and Jacobson 

Elder Anderson, Brother Wilkins who was baptized by Elder Davidson

Elders Torgersen and Chafin baptized Jennifer, Conaire and Alsatia

Elder Gardner, and Elder Rayburn with Elder Goeckeritz who baptized Diane 

Sister Gardner and Paine with the Booth Family

Sisters Palmer and Fenton taught Precious

Precious was a referral from a less-active member in the Butler Ward who we had the opportunity to visit quite frequently. He was moving from Nigeria to Butler within the next week. We scheduled an appointment with the family he was moving in with for the day after he arrived in America. 

Our first lesson with Precious was a 'setting expectations and how to begin teaching' lesson. It seemed to go very well and he seemed very interested. Precious told us that his best friend is in the bishopric in Nigeria so he was pretty familiar with the church already. So we decided to teach the restoration as well. He came to church the next day and we started meeting with him at least twice a week. 

Watching him grow to love the gospel was so fun! He always had great questions about church and things that sometimes we didn't explain very well. Precious was very smart when it came to the Bible so we knew that no matter what we would teach him we needed to have a scripture in the Bible as well as in the Book of Mormon to help him understand. 

We continued to meet with Precious twice a week for the next 2 weeks and always had daily contact with him. He grew to love the Book of Mormon and never questioned any commitments we extended to him. He attended church all three weeks in a row before his baptism. He always remembered the things we taught him and could apply all the principles/doctrine to himself before we even got to that part in the lesson!

Precious' baptismal date was set two weeks after he was actually baptized. He called us one night and said "Sisters! Sisters! I got a job in Maryland and leave on Saturday morning! Does that mean I can't be baptized anymore?" After a lot of frantic phone calls, we got to tell Precious the most exciting news (for him & us). He would be baptized on Friday night before he left, with all of his friends and family there. (20 days after our first lesson with him)

After he was baptized he had the opportunity to bare his testimony. It was probably the most powerful testimony that we had ever heard. The spirit was so strong. That was the first experience I had being able to watch the gospel change someone's life around completely. It gave us so much motivation to go out and find more people that were ready for the gospel like Precious was! 

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