Sunday, February 28, 2016

Grafton Branch's First Baptism since the Ebola Outbreak

Waiting to go to Bo

We are still here in Grafton, a few miles from the mission home.  We still have at least a week until we can go to Bo.  Two vehicles came in Friday.  We hear that one of them is for us. We were out in Bo for 2 days with the mission facilities manager Bishop Markus Wallace, looking at our apartment and several of the young missionaries apartments.  He was inspecting new apartments for the missionaries who are coming.  It turned out that one of these apartments he and Pres. and Sister Clawson felt would make a better couples apartment then the one they were planning on for us.  They wanted us to see it first before making the decision.  Both of them needed a lot of work, but this one was smaller, less expensive, and could be done in a week instead of 2-3 weeks.  Sounded good to us.  It is located right across the street from the Bo West District center and is more central to all of the branches and apartments in Bo.

What a Baptism

Today is Sunday.  Yesterday the Grafton branch had a baptism.  15 new members were baptized.  15 were confirmed today in Sacrament meeting.  Six of them were ordained to the priesthood during priesthood meeting.  There was hardly time in sacrament meeting after all the confirmations for the district president to give the talk he was planning.  This was the first baptism in the branch since the ebola outbreak, so many of them had been coming for 1-3 years waiting to be baptized.  What a beautiful experience.
Baptismal Candidates

Notice the small lady in the front row with white hair.  She is 100 years old.  Her name is Vincent Gbassay.  She has been attending for four years.  She finally decided she didn't want to wait any longer to be baptized.  She now has her sights on the temple. She was so happy.  But a little scared.  She insisted on going last.  A couple of the younger ones were also afraid of going under the water.
Sister Gbassay, 100 years old.
Sis. Gbassay entering the font.
During the baptism meeting as they read the names of those being baptized the congregation said "welcome" after each name.  Such a nice touch, such a loving people.


Michelle Larson said...

Just curious why so many are afraid to go under the water? When do we get to see pics of the new apartment? What a remarkable thing to have such a large baptism! How wonderful to get to be a part of it! Love you both!

Richard Carmack said...

Logged on to see if all was still in order for a mid April mission start. Hummmm.. So tearfully excited to read of the mission experiences. Did your posting imply that Sierra Leone was a "chance assignment", that neither you nor the Clawsons had arranged it?

Paul and Susan said...

It was not chance. The Lord told the apostle, and he assigned us. The Clawson's were surprised, we left the request open ended.

Richard Carmack said...

A sweet story. Inspiration working to your favor.