Wow! I'm still trying to figure out if I'm still in a dream, or in real life...VICKIE XU WAS BAPTIZED!!! Seriously, my companion and I were trying to have a lot of faith, but we were nervous for her, since she viewed a baptism as a HUGE deal (almost as big as a wedding ;) ha she is so sweet). But of course Heavenly Father 'made it happen' and she made her first promises with the Lord on Saturday at 1:30!!! It was not by chance that her and her family got their visa's so quickly to come to Australia right away, and get a job with some of the strongest members of our church...God prepared her, and made the necessary adjustments so that she could receive the beautiful gospel into her life as soon as possible. I can't even begin to explain all the miracles that have happened with her and all the little tender mercies shown that have made it possible for her to finally be baptized, it is just amazing! It is so cool with Vickie too, because as missionaries we try really hard to help the investigators connect with God on their own, rather than through us missionaries to God... but unfortunately sometimes they do rely on us missionaries...But with Vickie, it's different; it is her and God. And that is it! She has the most beautiful relationship with him, and loves him. She loves our Savior Jesus Christ, she loves the book of Mormon, and her family, and she CANNOT WAIT to go to the temple next month with us to do baptisms for the dead for her ancestors who have been waiting to receive the gospel!!! She told Ian Dunlop, the man who baptized her that she knew her ancestors were there, and when she was in the water she could feel them around her! The people in China, including her family, have not had the opportunity to be taught the gospel, but through Vickie they will be able to receive it:) Vickie has such a sweet and tender spirit, and is very receptive to the things of God. She just cried and cried during the program and especially when she came out of the water/finished being baptized. she just buried her face in her hands, and cried! Sister Kanee and I of course were just bawling as well and while she was getting changed, we just hugged and cried. I will never forget this day, and I will never forget Vickie! She is someone that I will strive to be like for the rest of my life! She was then confirmed yesterday at church and oh my goodness! Her confirmation and blessing was one of the most amazing blessings I have ever heard. The words spoken to her were so powerful and unforgettable! Brother Dunlop told her that she was blessed to have the strong husband that she does, and that one day they will enter the temple together...gosh I'm crying now...but that day will really come. God said it himself through Brother Dunlop. David (her husband) is a toughey, but he will come around, we will continue to work on him;) But it just made me happier than ever to hear that one day, they WILL be sealed as a family in the temple, I can't wait to hear about this one day! It will be remarkable! God has brought so many miracles with Vickie and other investigators who are truly "elect". it is amazing to see, and even better when the members go off about how awesome and "ready" our investigators seem to be as well! I love my calling as a missionary, and am so grateful for this chance i have to serve
Elder Tautfest told me the other week, about how him and his companions are working on finding and teaching "families" and "Kingdom builders"- people who are REALLY ELECT, and so my companion and I have both decided to do the same! Oh.MY.Gosh...you would not believe the one investigator specifically, we found...and get this, his name is BRYAN! haha, What's the chance right?! Anyways, he is a man in his 60's and is nothing short of "ready to receive the restored gospel" #solid. But last week we were walking in a caravan park saw him working outside. we began to talk to him and came to find out of the remarkable life he has lived. he has traveled the world, died once, raised his family on his own, loves the heck out of his children and grandchildren, and once was a very successful business man. He knows pretty much anything and everything about religion, science and history, but has not found peace and contentment in any philosophy's or religions he has come across...well not until now;) We were able to go back to him this week and teach his an EXTREMELY powerful lesson on the restoration. He was feeling it. we were feeling it, we couldn't deny it, and we didn't want it to end, so we invited him to be baptized. His response was "wow we really are getting right down to things aren't we?" haha. we laughed with him and just invited him to be baptized WHEN he finds out that the things we are teaching are true- and he agreed! Since then, he came to Vickie's baptism, and even church yesterday and everyone is just blown away with him. He could not be more "ready" and we are just so excited for him! Tonight we are having a family home evening with him and another family and we are going to invite him to be baptized on September 21st, please pray for him to accept the invitation to follow our Saviors example and be baptized! Then on Friday we are having another lesson with him and some members who want to have him over for dinner and a lesson! He is literally going to be a bishop one day, mark my words. He is no ordinary man, but he is special. he has beautiful gifts, and so we helped him see that he could be EVEN better and have even more gifts, once he joins the church (gift of the Holy Ghost, power of the priesthood, and temple ordinances). This man is going places in the gospel, he is feeling it. he has felt something really special these past few days, and has been reading the book of Mormon. I am so excited to see where this journey of his in the gospel takes him!
I wish i had more time, but i don't....but along with him we have met so many other people. One man specifically named Paul (I can't help but think of you dad, every time we see/teach him). HE has been looking for anew life for 3 years, and we promised him it is finally at this finger tips. All he has to do is accept it. He too has been praying for help and see's us missionaries as an answer to his prayers. He told Sister Kanee and i that he hopes his daughter turns out half as good as we are one day;) it was the sweetest thing, it just shows that people really do recognize missionaries as disciples of Christ. How great is my calling, i love it! i love you guys and hope you are being missionaries! Hope all is going well. good luck with your senior year bubba! Live it up! and samma- wha the heck sista, junior high seriously!? Remember to be yourself and everyone will just fall in love with you! Mom and dad thanks for all you do and all your love and support. I think about you guys all the time, and can never stop sharing with people how if their children are anything like me, they will grow up and thank them for allowing them to be raised in the gospel...it's an amazing gift! Thank you!
Sister Diondra Ensign