Monday, February 13, 2012

We Love Baptisms

This is Allen with his father, grandfather, best friend and best friends mom.  He was our 8 year old baptism.  He was so excited and brought a great spirit of enthusiasm.

This is President Burke, our branch president.  As you can see he baptized Allen.
This is Donya and Lizzie with Donya's sister, husband and daughter.  We also see the Jamestown Elders.  Her sisters husband baptized Donya and Lizzie.

Here we are with Donya and Lizzie.

Here we are with the Jamestown Elders.

The baptisms on Saturday went very well.  The weather was marginal, several inches of blowing snow but everyone made it there just fine.  Sunday we were able to confirm all three as members of the church.  In our Gospel Essentials class, we gave a lesson on the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which they had just received.  We also had all the youth in the class so it was big.  Sister Sherwood taught the Relief Society lesson also, so we were very grateful the weather did not prevent us from getting to the branch for the weekend.

Next weekend will be our last one in Fredonia.  After church there is going to be a "Linger Longer" and then we will leave from there to go to Detroit that night and spend some time with our daughter, her husband and three grandchildren.  We will then head for home via Colorado Springs where we will stop and play with some more grandchildren.  We have very mixed feelings about leaving this mission.  It has been wonderful and entirely too short, and we will really miss the friends we have made here.  But it will be so good to be back home with family and friends there.

We love you all and will see you soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Great Missionary Weekend

Sunday we had another fun day in Fredonia.  Before Sacrament meeting Melissa and her son, Allen came up to us wanting to set up a time later in the day for us to come teach Allen.  Allen told us he really wanted to be baptized.  They couldn't meet with us until 4:00 and they live 30 minutes south of Fredonia.  Since her other committment was in Fredonia and we were wanting to avoid and extra hour of driving, we had the inspiration to suggest we meet with them in the  Branch President's home.  The Burkes were willing and President Burke sat down with us as we began teaching Allen. We had a delightful time with him and were amazed about how much he remembered from his limited primary experience.  When we were finished with our lesson, we turned to the Branch President and said, "We think he is ready to talk to the Branch President, what do you think?"  He said "I think so too.  We need to set up an appointment with him for a baptismal interview".  Allen asked who was the Branch President, as he was excited to get everything done so he could be baptized. President Burke said, "I guess that would be me!  Lets go talk."  He took Allen into the next room where he has his home office and they talked for a few minutes.  Then the office door flew open and Allen came running out to his mother shouting, "I passed!"  It was so fun.  Then President Burke asked him who he wanted to baptize him and he immediately responded, "My Mom!"  We then taught him about the necessity that it be done by someone holding the proper priesthood authority and he then asked President Burke if he would do it.
He is going to be baptized this coming Saturday with our other two investigators.  We are so excited.

Donya and Lizzie were both sick with the flu this week-end so we weren't able to visit with them.  However as we checked in with them last night to finish up  the preparations for them, they were both much better and  are also eager to be baptized.  Donya's brother-in-law will baptize them and she asked Paul last night if he would confirm them. So things are moving right along.

Noel was in our Gospel Essentials class this week.  She said she had an appointment with the Jamestown Elders for Tuesday evening (last night) so we didn't try to teach her this weekend.  The Elders called us last night to report that they had taught the plan of salvation and that she has committed to baptism for the 1st week in March.  She will be coming to observe the baptism on Saturday.

We have enjoyed so much serving in the Fredonia Branch.  It has been a thrill to be a part of these good people accepting the gospel and preparing for baptism.  We are so grateful for this experience.  Our temple president told us when he set us apart at the beginning of our mission, that even though it was a temple mission what we would remember most would be our experinces in the branch.  This has proven true.  Our experiences in the temple have been wonderful.  Our love for Heavenly Father has grown so deeply from our serving there each day.  But the joy we feel from helping these dear people in Fredonia learn about the gospel has been overwhelming.  We wish this mission didn't have to end, but we are ready to be coming  home.  Our mission has been perfect.  Hard, challenging, and perfect.