My friend who recently returned home from his mission, invited me (and of course my companion as well) to invite everyone we talked to, to be baptized! Oh the sweet joy, and miracles it brought as we did so! As a result on Christmas day, Cecelia was put on date- and in fact, in the week that we've known her, she has come to a baptism and to church, and already has a really good friend at church! My testimony in the invitation of baptism has grown EVEN MORE! Everyone needs, it regardless of if we've talked to them for 5 minutes or 2 weeks!
Akram was baptized this Saturday!!! Finally the day came!!!! She has been one of many questions and doubts...and finally the spirit had softened her heart enough to follow Jesus Christ. It was sooo beautiful to watch her at the beginning of a lesson have many questions and doubts, and then through the spirit and members, soften her words as she humbly testified that she knew what was taught was true! On Friday, the day before Akrams baptism, we called her and she answered the phone by yelling with so much excitement and happiness in her voice , "I'm readyyyyyyyyyy!" She was so excited for her baptism and it ended up being better than we even imagined! As Akram entered the waters on that Saturday morning, she had the most determined look on her face during the prayer, to follow Christ and do whatever it takes to return back to him. Just after she was buried in the water and came up, anew- she had the greatest glow on her face and just gave Brother Rameka (who baptized her) the biggest hug, and held on real tight! She later bore her testimony and shared that she felt "light", said in her sweet broken English! And then yesterday after her confirmation when we asked how she felt she said, "hot" (as she held her hands over her head, and moved them toward the floor, indicating the warm spirit was sent throughout her!). At her baptism, she not only had support from her loved ones, but from many of her ward family members, including the whole relief society presidency! They truly have become her family and she is really close with many of them (for example, we went to her house last night with the relief society president to drop something off, just to find another single woman (her fellowship) inside, hanging out and enjoying dinner with Akram and her family.) The ward loves her, and Sister Bailey and I can confidently say that if we were to leave our area, she would stay perfectly active! Not only are we so filled with the spirit to see our members get so on board with missionary work and grow to love those we teach, but also to see conversion take place within those we teach- what a beautiful thing this is!
Update on Yashar (who was baptized just a few weeks ago)- he is now living with some single men from New Zealand...and they read the Book of Mormon every night together!!!! Ahhh, he couldn't be in a better environment!!! He glows now more than ever before, and even has black pants and a white shirt and tie to wear on Sunday, he looks like a natural! ;) His testimony is so strong, and this week he told us how after a trial he faced, he literally stayed up all night talking with our Heavenly Father and how he loves God so much! He is such a great example to me of incredible faith!
Many of the less actives we have been teaching are changing, and yesterday 6 of them came to church, and one of them was even able to bless the sacrament!!! My heart was so overcome with joy and gratitude during the sacrament and I can't help but be in complete awe with all the MIRACLES that Heavenly Father is giving to his children in Kwinana right now! I have never seen this happen before, and the greatest part is...is I don't expect it to ever change (except for keep getting better;)) But I would say that one of the most special things, is when less actives pray and explain to their Heavenly Father in their own words their own renewal commitment to follow him and be a little better- I am being taught so much by those we teach...I truly am so blessed!
One last miracle i would love to share, took place yesterday before church This incredible young couple and their brother had committed to come to church on Saturday. Seeing the young couple has a child and are still not married, the man (less active) and his non member partner [as expected] were a bit nervous...Well they sent us a text Sunday morning explaining that they were really sorry, but their baby had to go to the doctors for being sick. Sister Bailey and I were cut...BUT...we knew that things could change if we exercised enough Faith in Jesus Christ. So Sister Bailey fell to her knees in the kitchen, and pleaded with Heavenly Father to please soften their hearts...well Shakia (the woman) picked up the phone and just opened up and explained that they were just really nervous! We told them what we felt they needed to hear, and reassured them that we would be there with their friends (ride we had arranged) to pick them up at 1230 (just expecting them to come), and....THEY DID!!!!!! They loved church and said it was way better than they expected! Our incredible members arranged 2 FHE's with them this week without our help, and so they are in good hands! After church (as Sister Bailey and I often have to do) Sister Bailey and I stopped...prayed a prayer of gratitude and felt so much love from our Heavenly Father...we then went on to see MANY MIRACLES! I'm telling you...I've never seen anything like this before! I wish you could see it all, and I wish I had time to share more!
But I just testify that Faith in Jesus Christ brings miracles! The minute doubt or anything negative comes to mind...rid it. think of the positive, and expect good things to happen. When my companion and I have done this, the Lord has blessed us incredibly!!!
Sister Diondra Ensign
Justin and Stacey committed to get married and baptized on Feb 15th!!! YEAH!!!