Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Baptism

Mission Leader Conference


Sister Gillman and I are excited for Conference and a baptism!

Brother Zielinski's baptism. He is 80 years old. It took him 30 years to choose baptism .
  His wife has been a member that long.

Elder Dewsnup (Montana), Elder Randall (Salt Lake), 
Brother Zielinski, Elder Winter

The Easter Bunny came!

Look who came back to visit!  Sister Chappell, one of my companions.

What Sisters do at lunch....

What Sister Winter (mission nurse) thinks we do.....

What Sisters do for exercise....

What we feel like doing......

April 6th-Happy Birthday Jesus and the Church

Tuesday we had dinner with the Cano's and guess who is visiting them... Sister Chappell! It was fun to see her again!

We had another great MLC this Wednesday. We learned about Agency and Accountability, teaching the way Elder Kopischke taught us to do, and planning effectively. I am excited to give trainings this week in the Zone meetings.  That evening we taught scripture study class using the Easter eggs containing objects that represent different parts of the Easter story. It led to a lot of good spiritual discussions and Lana asked if we could come by and do it with her kids since they couldn't be at scripture study class. We will be doing that tonight!

Thursday we attended Dunn Ave's district meeting. Then we began a trade off with the Dunn Ave Sisters. Sister Gillman stayed there with Sister Parshall and Sister Leger came to Hendricks with me. Sister Leger is incredible! She was baptized almost three years ago and is the only member in her family. We had a good day teaching lessons and we had dinner with the Cano's again. Then we were driving over to an appointment and the member who was coming to the lesson with us canceled. We can't enter a house with just a man home so we needed to find another sister to come with us fast. Gratefully Sister Chappell didn't have any plans that evening and she came! The man we taught is named Bruce. The only way I can describe him is a flirtatious grandpa. He has been taught in the past and he told us about how the missionaries would come and hang out and sing songs around the piano. It's hard when missionaries have done that because we aren't going to spend a lot of time just "hanging out." That doesn't fulfill our purpose. So we will see where things go with him. He did watch a session of conference this weekend, but it doesn't seem like he is willing to change a lot of things.

Friday we were able to visit the Zielinski's and also a less active recent convert named Terry. Terry invited us over for conference Saturday afternoon along with her roommate Jodi (also a member). 

Saturday morning I was so excited for conference! I can only compare it to a five year old on Christmas morning. Haha, anyway the ward had a huge Easter breakfast and celebration combined with the San Jose Ward (Spanish speaking). It was a lot of fun. They had an egg hunt for the kids and an egg toss competition for the youth... and the Elders! 

We watched the first session of conference at the church with Brother and Sister Zielinski. The only other people there were the Elders.  We watched the second session with Terry and Jodi and their big, huge dog. It was fun to watch with people we are working with. After that session Jodi and Terry fed us dinner. Then we went on our way to teach a new investigator named Miceska. She is learning English and doesn't want to go to the Spanish Ward. She seemed to understand and enjoy the first lesson. She will be moving soon, but we are hoping to get her ready to be taught by missionaries in her new home.  At 8:30 that night we had gone through all of our plans except for a woman named Chelsea. (We also had the longest conversation I think I have ever had through a door with a less active sister, she was telling us all the reasons she couldn't come talk to us.  I think we could have showed her Because He Lives and left faster! Haha) We met Chelsea the week Sister Gillman and I each invited someone to baptism every day. She was an 8:55pm invitation. I felt bad after inviting her to baptism because I really didn't have the time to teach her or anything. She didn't seem very interested, but told us where she lived. So we went back and she was actually really great! She was raised Jewish but decided their lifestyle was too strict for her. She and her boyfriend have a son that just turned three (and he is sooo cute). We shared Because she Lives with her and she really enjoyed it, but told us she doesn't really know anything about Jesus Christ  so we are going back to teach her this week! I am so excited!

Sunday morning we visited Jenny (recent convert) and read some of   the Easter Story from the Bible with her. It was good to go back to the basics of that incredible Easter Day. We went to the church early to start filling the baptismal font and to get everything set up for the baptism. Lana and her kids came to the morning session of conference. If you had to pick one session to come to I think they did a good job-President Monson, Elder Holland, and President Uchtdorf all in two hours? Wow!  

In between sessions Brother Martin Zielinski was baptized. It was such an incredible day! He was so happy! His wife was baptized 30 years ago and has been praying for him. He came to church with her, but never wanted to be baptized until he read a book with a compilation of church articles on faith. The spirit spoke to his heart and he knew the message the missionaries had taught him was true. I take no credit for his baptism--so many missionaries and members have helped him get to the spirit, and ultimately it is the Holy Ghost that can touch someone's heart. Elder Winter performed the baptism with Elder Dewsnup and Elder Randall helping lower and raise Brother Zielinski in the water. There was a special musical number where Sister Winter played piano and Sister Zielinski played flute and her son and daughter in law played violin. The  Zielinski's are professional musicians and it was beautiful. The violins played on the opening and closing hymns was nice. I've never conducted a little orchestra before. It was fun! The closing song was God of our Fathers... which is probably the only time I will hear it at a baptism, but it was perfect for him. 

The final session of conference was incredible as well. It is always sad when it is over and we know we have six months until the next one. I went into conference with questions in mind and received answers. I am excited to begin to apply what I learned. I know that the topics covered were directed by the spirit and as we need the counsel given we will find the most peace and happiness in life. I am grateful for a prophet who lives in the kind of world we do today. He understands the trials we have and he knows what will help us stay strong. I hope each of you will find one aspect of conference to focus on applying to your life.

With love,
Sister Murray