Monday, October 3, 2016

first baptism

 hi mama,

kumusta po nay,

this week i had one of the best experiences of my life and i’m excited to write solely about that.

on october 1st i had the opportunity to baptize my first person, our golden investigator, Ergy Salirungan (23y/o). i really appreciate this person.

she was first contacted on july 6 by my companion and his last companion. i first met her in my first couple days in the field. on my very first pday i had the opportunity to extend the baptismal invitation to her. she accepted. from that moment on she continued to impress me. we would find her not just reading the scriptres but studying them and taking notes. she was pleasant to teach and it was evident she was devoloping a very strong testimony from the get go. we continued to become closer even tho she is not a very open person. as most people down here, she has had a very complicated and difficult life and she was starting to feel direction through the gospel of Jesus Christ. she mentioned how she would like to serve a mission and also go to the temple!! 

it got confusing near the end of august as she shared she would be moving for work to Cavite, a far away city near manilla. i was heartbroken because i really enjoyed teaching her. but week by week her moving date got postponed than she came to understood treasuring first, the things of heaven. this was hard for her because it might mean shes loosing a good opportunity for a job. 

through this period we had a relationship similar to me and emily. she was truly a big sister to me. not afraid to correct my grammar or cultural mistakes at any time and any means neccesary. so appreciated. it got closer and closer to the date of baptism and there were complications with her interviews but things got figured out 2 days before the big day.

the day was great, everything was good to go and in order. we were sent to get changed into our baptimsmal clothes and when i first saw her in all her white clothing it was so grand! hard to explain really. we then procceded to take photos and collect memories of this great day. then we collected together to hear some talks. one went all over the place and another was perfect. 

then onto the ordinance. i steped into the water, invited her in, took a minute to properly get situated and then once ready i quietly explained the process and then proceeded to finish the baptism. joy soon overcame me and as i went to change back i looked in the mirror and offered a special prayer to Heavenly Father for blessing me with this experince and opportunity to be here amongst other things. some tears were shed and i can’t remember a time in my life being much happier than i was then. we then went back and heard her testimony. very nice. branch prez said some thing with tears in his eyes and we closed with a hymn and prayer. then a marienda (snack). then adios.

the next day she was confirmed and went up later that meeting to bear her testimony. i didnt understand what she said but i understood what was felt. her testimony is very strong and she said she is ready for whatever trials are put in her path and hoping to share this experince to others.

hard to truly explain this event and what it meant to me. and how lucky i was to baptize someone i have really grown close to. 

i love being a missionary.

Elder Kearl

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