Monday, April 7, 2014

Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven

Pete's baptism and confirmation was a very spiritual and wonderful experience!  We are so proud of the path he is taking.  He has such a light about him now.  He really is going to be a leader in the church!  He is so loving and fun.  His testimony is solid too, despite family telling him what he is doing is wrong he KNOWS this gospel is true!
Text in Conference
Remember how Elder Ballard told us missionaries are good at being
persistent? I think I'm learning that well.  We have tried this door
so many times we finally decided we would just attack it with cards. I
think she will get the message, do you? :)
What have we been eating?  Gluten free BBQ chicken pizza!
Murray!  It must be good.

When Sister Hale and I agreed to let Sister Chappell join our companionship last transfer we knew it would be an adjustment, and it was.  We all grew a lot, and there were so many miracles along the way.  I suppose the best way to tell you about this week is to start at the beginning.

Tuesday was our P-day.  We went to lunch with Sister Cano, the wife in a family Sister Chappell reactivated.  That night Sister Chappell was having a hard time with changes and a lot of other things.

Wednesday morning we drove to Mandarin early so Sister Chappell could talk to President Craig.  It was decided she would be going home on Monday, and until then she would remain with us.  We attended institute that night and had a wonderful lesson on the Good Samaritan. 

Thursday night a miracle happened.  The Elders showed Pete Finding Faith in Christ, but they had to leave right after.  We began talking to Pete about his baptism.  Sister Chappell decided to bear her testimony and the Spirit completely took over.  She testified of turning our will over to God.  That is what she is doing in leaving the mission again, and that is what Pete would need to do to get baptized before marrying Sister Ramirez.  He wants to wait to marry her rather than moving out and being baptized now.  Or at least that was his plan, until Sister Chappell invited him to be baptized sooner--she said she would like to see him baptized.  The spirit was so strong!  Pete agreed to be baptized Saturday between the afternoon conference session and priesthood session.  We started getting all of the plans together for the baptism.

Friday we spent the day planning for the next week, and for Pete's baptism.  In the afternoon we went to Chirag's house and taught the first lesson to his friend, Aileen.  Chirag is the guy the AP's taught and he is friends with Caitlin and Kristen.  The twins know Aileen from school too, actually.  She is so sweet and has a sincere desire to learn more.  She agreed to be baptized if she prays and finds what we taught is true. 

Saturday we watched conference in the Arlington building.  We weren't with any of our investigators, but when something stood out that was relative to them we would text them and make sure they were listening!  Caitlin, Kristen, and Pete LOVED conference!  In between sessions we ran to the Post Office to mail some things home for Sister Chappell.  The office was closed but the self-serve was open.  While there a woman came in and started talking to us.  We were walking out of the Post Office and I realized I hadn't handed her a card!  So we turned around and went back to give her one.  She said she could tell we knew Christ by the light in our faces before we even gave her the card.  Then she told us her son is a member of our church.  Here comes the biggest tender mercy: her son is Brother Cano-the same family Sister Chappell reactivated.  She was so happy we knew her son and was so grateful Sister Chappell had helped him come back to Christ.  We left her with our card and she gave us hers so we can come visit her again.  She is not YSA so we'll be referring her to the family ward, but it was perfect!

Pete and Sister Ramirez, and her daughter, came to watch conference at the church before his baptism.  The baptism was beautiful.  Pete says he felt so warm and clean when he came up.  Even physical pain he has had for years was gone at that moment.  It was beautiful!  Then Brother Commander, the Arlington ward mission leader, surprised us by saying Pete would be confirmed then instead of waiting a week. 

Sunday morning we watched conference in the Mandarin building, where the YSA's meet, but there weren't any YSA's there.  (Did ya'll love the Southern accent in the closing prayer?  It made us happy!) We came home for lunch and then went to Sister Ramirez mom's house for the afternoon session and dinner.  It was fun to see Pete so involved.  He is still working on getting names right though (Sanctuary=Chapel, President Munson or Monsoon=President Monson, John Smith=Joseph Smith).  Haha, I forget how many names and terms are unique to our church.  Before we left Pete was the one that said, "We need to say a prayer before you go."  He gave a beautiful prayer and asked for Sister Chappell to have safe travels.  We are so excited to see what happens to the Ramirez family with the Priesthood in their home.  It is such a blessing! 

Monday morning we took Sister Chappell to the mission home at 7:15.  Apparently there was some confusion in the times because President Craig was in the middle of his morning exercising when he answered the door.  oops!  haha, we had a good laugh about that though!  And now I am here writing to ya'll!

I hope ya'll were listening to Elder Ballard's talk!  I would LOVE to hear what you are learning as you study Preach my Gospel.  It really is an amazing book and as we study it I know we will be more prepared to share the gospel.  There were so many wonderful talks and messages that were perfect!  I am super excited to read them all! 

Have a blessed week!

Love ya'll!
Sister Murray