Yesterday a little girl got up in sacrament meeting to bare her testimony. She talked about how she'd won a singing contest that week and how everyone had told her she was so good at singing and she was the best one there, etc. etc. Then she closed by saying that she know she'd won because she'd prayed and asked the Lord to help her win, and that if we all ask for His help, God will always help us to win. That's what you call humble boasting.
Now I'd like to humbly boast that Edson was baptized this past week! Yippee!!! It wasn't easy for him, but I was amazed by how much he's putting his trust in the Lord to help him. He's still super quiet and shy in a I'm-too-cool-to-care kind of way, but he actually looks us in the eyes when we talk to him now and he even smiles when he sees us. It's been really amazing to see the light creep into his eyes and his face. He took out his earrings and he tried to befriend some of the members after his baptism. Oh, how I love this kid! It's amazing how much you can come to love people here in the mission.
This coming week will be the baptism of Lucas, a 15-year-old boy who reminds me of a mixture of all of my PHA guy friends rolled into one! He's still got some doubts, but he's been going to seminary every day for the past week and he's come to be good friends with Leonardo (one of the young men who goes out with us a lot to help us teach). They're such good pals that people in the ward, and the Elders, have come to call him "Leo's friend". We've even had people come up to us and ask if we've started teaching "Leo's friend" yet. The Elders were getting on us for not introducing ourselves to "Leo's friend" at church. Ha! We very proudly have taken to calling him "OUR-investigator-turned-Leo'
s-friend". That's the way it should be. Every investigator/recent convert needs good friends in the church!
Being a member of the church isn't easy all the time. And they church itself isn't perfect because the people aren't perfect. But I have no doubts that this church is true. I know that God lives, that He is our Eternal Father, that He loves us, and that He has called a prophet in our day to lead us back to His presence. I feel His Spirit with me here in the mission, and feeling the presence of my little sister, Risa, has also strengthened my testimony of the divine nature of our Spirits. There is more to our existence that merely this life. I know it. And this knowledge was not brain-washed into me s a missionary. If the mission has done anything to my faith, it has challenged it, and it has been up to me to research and pray and discover what is true for myself.
Get on your knees and pray!
-Sister Railee Whitaker