Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 15 baptisms

I'm super limited on time this week! Sorry! Some of the members from my companion's last area showed up at our apartment today, so we've been showing them around State College!
This week was amazing as always!
Tuesday: We invited one of our Chinese investigators to be baptized, and she accepted :) July 5YAYA!!!!!!
Wednesday: We had a really cool experience in district meeting today. After we had our lesson, we split into different groups to roleplay. Our zone leader was our investigator, and we were roleplaying inviting him to pray everyday. While we were teaching, I didn't think much of it. I just thought it was a good roleplay. Afterward, when we were talking about it, our zone leader said, "Holy cow. That was a really cool experience! When I was confused, Sister Wade jumped in and gave a perfect explanation. When I didn't feel involved, Sister Sparks, you asked a question. Right when I thought you should insert a scripture, you turned to the perfect one!" I didn't say this to brag because TRUST ME...this is nothing I'm able to do on my own. I share this because it was so neat to see how Sister Wade and I really taught in unity BECAUSE the Spirit taught through us. ahhh!!! So cool.
Institute was amazing this week! We learned a lot about the First Vision of Joseph Smith. I am so grateful Heavenly Father calls prophets. He has always worked the same way! #blessed
Thursday: Okay, we had something AMAZING happen today. I don't want to use names, so I'll call this investigator Sarah. Sarah had come to a couple of church activities with her friends, so we had met her a couple times before. Tuesday, we saw Sarah on campus, and we actually started talking to her about her religious background, and it turned out she was really interested in talking to us! We set up an appointment for Thursday and parted ways. On Wednesday, our ward mission leader found out we had a meeting with Sarah, and he said, "No way!? I've been ignoring this prompting for a couple days now to ask her if she wanted to talk to the missionaries. Sisters, she has been prepared." CAN YOU IMAGINE OUR EXCITEMENT!? The next day, Thursday, we taught Sarah in the ward mission leader's home. It was a pretty short lesson, but it was PERFECT. We talked for a long time about how we have a Heavenly Father who is aware of us. He loves us so much! He has a perfect plan for us, and sometimes it's hard to see His plan, but we can rest assured He has everything under control :) Of course those weren't the exact words we used, but this information really touched her! The Spirit was so strong in that lesson! I embarrassed myself and was crying the whole time. Sarah was crying, our ward mission leader was crying, his wife was crying....yeah. Heavenly Father was trying to reach Sarah, and I'm pretty sure she recognized that! gahhh it was amazing.
Friday: We had a really cool lesson tonight. Sorry I don't have time to include much detail! We taught about the Plan of Salvation and watched the Because of Him video on lds.org. WATCH IT! I'm sure most of you already have :) I am so grateful for Jesus Christ who offers us the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father again.
Saturday: BEST DAY EVER!!! The other sisters in our ward had an investigator baptized today!!! Let me tell you, this boy is amazing! He had never gone to church in his life, but the sisters invited him oneSunday, and he just showed up! Since then, he has made huge life changes, read the entire Book of Mormon and started in Doctrine and Covenants, and was, of course, baptized! He was BEAMING! A lot of our investigators were at this baptism, and it was an amazing experience for them! Our investigators said things like, "I felt very holy. There were literally tears in my eyes. I was so happy for him! I could see Jesus smiling down at us. It was like a new start." The Spirit was so strong!! Sarah, the investigator I told you about earlier, was also at the baptism. We sat down afterward and asked her how she felt. Guess what her response was!? "I realize that if I want to feel the Spirit all the time, I need to make a covenant with God." ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW!????? She wants to read the Book of Mormon and meet with us everyday! WE ARE SO BLESSED! We will be preparing her for baptism soon!

We had another lesson with one of our investigators who has passed up two of his baptismal dates now. I am so sad for him! We have really been praying to know what will help him, and we were prompted to invite him to fast with us next Sunday. It was sort of a random thing which I have never invited someone to do before. Heavenly Father knows what's best though, right? The second part comes on Sunday!
We had another lesson tonight! We were planning on teaching the second half of the Plan of Salvation, but we felt prompted otherwise. We talked about the Atonement and watched the Because of Him video. This touched our investigator so much! At the end of the lesson she said, "I need to stop complaining and just do it. I need to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church. I've made up my mind... I will do whatever it takes!" It was SO amazing to hear that!! If we just read, ponder, and pray, Heavenly Father will tell us what is true! It's amazing!
Sunday: We had a lesson before church where we talked to our investigator about baptism. He is preparing for June 28, but is worried because his final is the same day! We know baptism is so important, and HEY, what better way to prepare for taking a test than to be baptized!? It was so cute because in his prayer, he said, "Please help me be baptized as soon as possible." Yeah...I know. 
A lot of our investigators came to sacrament meeting to see the confirmation of the young man that was baptized. The Spirit was so strong! Okay now here's the second half of the fasting story from Saturday.Saturday evening, Sister Wade and I were second guessing our invitation for this boy to fast. Heavenly Father heard our prayers because the topic of Gospel Principles class was ........FASTING!!! It was perfect! Our investigator was engaged in the lesson, and we really think he understood the importance of fasting and what it can do for us!!!
This was such a good week! I am so excited!!!! I am so excited for the baptisms we have coming up! Not because I just want to have someone be baptized so I can feel good about myself, but because I know how necessary baptism by a worthy Priesthood holder is. Baptism is such a blessing. We can start our lives over as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is such a privilege to help my brothers and sisters enter into the waters of baptism and receive so many blessings!
Sister Sparks

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