Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Easter Week to Remember

6 Months
This week was amazing!  There was so many memorable things that happened this week that helped my testimony grow and my desire to serve better and harder increase.  I loved every part of it but there's 3 specific parts of the week that I want to share with you:

April 16, 2014: My 6-Month Mark!
I didn't even realize it.  The day went by just like any other day until we got home and Elder Shipley looked at my calender and said, "Sooo 6 months already, huh?"  I was shocked.  So just to follow along with the mainstream Missionary tradition, we celebrated my 6 months by
burning a tie.  These past 6 months have literally flown and I can't believe I've already been gone that long.  It feels like just yesterday that you guys dropped me off at the airport and I took off on this journey.  Its crazy that I'm already a 1/4 of the way done.  I really don't want it to end.  It really helped me to have more of a desire to help.  I feel that as every milestone in the mission goes by, for me, the desire to serve more, do more, work more grows and I
feel myself becoming a more effective tool in the Lord's hands.

April 18th, 2014:  The Greatest Lesson We've Had Yet
Thursday night, a member from the English 2nd Ward that speaks Spanish
called us and said she'd been hanging out with one of our
Investigators who just happened to be a good friend of hers and that
the Investigator REALLY wanted to go to the church and have a church
tour and see the Baptism Font.  She didn't tell us until the end of
the phone call that her friend was Martha!  We quickly set up an
appointment forFriday to go to the church.  The Church tour was
amazing.  We went around and showed her the classes, all the pictures,
and especially the Baptism Font and the Chapel.  Before we entered the
Chapel we said to her, "Ok before we go into the Chapel, we want you
to put a lot of attention into the way you feel as you enter."  When
she entered, she sat down and looked like she had just taken a deep
breath of fresh air.  She just sat there, letting the Spirit testify
of the truthfulness of the things we'd taught her.  She looked at me
and said, "I feel like I want to say a prayer." So I invited her to do
that, inviting her to pray about if this is the true church, and if
she should be baptized.   She did just that and what I liked most
about her prayer is that she didn't just open up her eyes after she
said, "amen." but she stayed with her eyes closed, waiting for an
answer.  Answers don't always come super fast.  They come on the
Lord's time, not ours, so she just sat waiting quietly.  Elder Shipley
and I just sat waiting for her. When she opened her eyes, she had the
biggest smile on her face and just nodded.  We quickly re-extended the
invitation to be baptized to which she full-heartedly agreed.  We've
had her set for the 10th of May but they have to come to church 3
times first and she had to work this Sunday so we'll have to change it
BUT she called us Sunday morning and she said she told her boss she
can no longer work Sundays so that she can have a day set apart of the
Lord.  She's so great and I'm so happy for her.

Us and Yolima

Last one
April 19th-20th, 2014: Our First Branch Baptism
No, it wasn't one of our investigators.  Not yet.  It was one of the
Hermanas awesome investigators (and now recent convert) named Yolima.
She's a niece of one of the members that feeds us all the time, so
we've all had experience working with her.  She's got a fiery
testimony and knows that this is true without a doubt.  Elder Harrison
and I were lucky to be chosen to Baptize and Confirm her.  On Saturday
morning, Elder Harrison and her walked down into the font to baptize
her and on Sunday Morning (Easter Morning) I had the great opportunity
to confirm her a member of the true church of Jesus Christ.  It was an
amazing experience and I'm grateful that she chose me to be a part of
it.  I was nervous as crazy because I don't like being in front of
lots of people (Converts are confirmed during Sacrament Meeting) and
so my hand was shaking a bit but as soon as my hand touched her head
and the blessing began, the shaking stopped and the words flowed out.
I love the Priesthood.  I love being worthy enough to be a holder of
this sacred power from God.  I'm thankful for the example of my dad
being a worthy priesthood holder who has been there to help me
whenever I need him.  I'm thankful that it can be used to bless the
lives of others, and I'm thankful I was able to excercise it this week
to confirm Yolima and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I love you all.  Thank you for your love and support.

Lots of Love,
Elder Zack
My goof of a companion: Elder Shipley.

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