Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 20 BAPTISM!

Okay so since last week's update was SO LAME I will try to write more :)
So last week I didn't get to tell you about fourth of july!! It was so awesome!! We got to be in the parade that was downtown!! We held these HUGE balloons and walked around the town, so it was super fun! We had to be in pretty early, so we blew up these glow in the dark balloons and played "World Cup" (Sister Bradshaw and I made it up) in our apartment. Ethiopia won...hehe. One of the couples in the branch decorated our door for July 4th too! It was such an awesome day!
So this week my highlight was of course....LI GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness it was sooo awesome!!! I'm sure the pictures will be on my blog! One of our recent converts baptized him, so it was a neat experience for both of them! Us and the other sisters in the branch sang "I Need Thee Every Hour," before the actual baptism, and the Spirit settled in that room. It brought tears to my eyes thinking that Heavenly Father was smiling down on lil' Li :) The actual baptism was so tender too! Li went under the water symbolizing the death of his old life, and he came up anew as a follower of Jesus Christ. It was so cute when he came up out of the water because he had water in his eyes, so he was all squinty and twitchy, but his smile was SO HUGE!! Everyone just wanted to give him a big hug! Li was able to bear his testimony afterward, and he said he felt refreshed. He knew God was blessing him way before he met us. He was being prepared for a long time to be baptized. He knows God is real--He lives. AHG it was so sweet. I wish I could remember everything he said! Guess where he went after his baptism? He didn't go out to celebrate, he didn't go home and take a nap. He went to the new church building to help set up for church the next day! He obviously understands what it means to be baptized! The Lord has asked us to build up His kingdom. We need to serve others in any way we can. Li was able to do that and show Heavenly Father he understands what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ :)

By the way, we got a new building!! We've been meeting in a building on campus for the past 20 something years I think? The Institute building officially opened, and our first Sunday in the building was yesterday! Members of the branch have been praying for this building for over 20 years, and it was such an amazing experience to finally have this beautiful building for us to meet in! One of the members of the bishopric was crying in sacrament meeting because the building just meant so much to him! Heavenly Father has blessed this branch!! Have I ever mentioned our branch is AMAZING!? Oh my goodness...I love them!!! They really understand what it means to put the Lord first. It doesn't matter if they have homework or a test to study for--they will always come help us teach a lesson. It doesn't matter if they have a final on Monday--they choose to keep the Sabbath day holy and study on Saturday. The branch has seen direct blessings come from their service to the Lord. One of those blessings being our Institute building!
This past week was a bit challenging for me! How could it be challenging when all this amazing stuff happened!?Good question haha. Satan's a little booger! I am just so grateful for my companion Sister Wade. I know Heavenly Father needed me to be with her in State College at this point on my mission. Sister Wade has helped me through so much, and she also taught me so much. Her pure and righteous love for everyone is so inspiring. She has taught me about chairty, patience, kindness, hard work, joy, diligence, communication, fasting, faith, and soooo much more. How cool is she!? Well, you haven't met her, but she's SO AMAZING!! She also goes to BYU-I, so we'll see each other again! Oh, and we're going to visit our recent convert Richard in China when we get back!!

This is a new week, and I'm so excited to be able to be a servant of the Lord another week! THIS IS THE LIFE!! I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Sparks
Li and Olivia before the baptism 


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