Aloha! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks Cody and Cameron for the emails! Looks like everyone's had a busy week. I hope you guys had a good time at grandma's house! I can tell you, my thanksgiving was the best day EVER! And hopefully pictures will speak more than what I could ever say.
Well.. The Salimeda's got BAPTIZED!!! All 4 of them! Sue, Bobby, Nathan and Tatiana. It was such a great baptism. My heart has never been so full of love and gratitude. Just watching all the them one by one enter the font. It was incredible! Our whole ward showed up, they really had taken a huge part in fellowshipping them and making them feel welcome. I seriously love this gospel! It changes people, it changes lives.. And it's changing me. I know I am not the same person I was when I left on my mission. And I hope I am going to continue to be refined, and become the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. Gosh, I can't even imagine not going on a mission and coming here to meet this wonderful family. They have accepted their Savior, and He was blessed them so much. They are so full of the spirit and keep thanking me. But I didn't do anything, yeah show up a few times, most of the time we were late, and teach them a bit. But they were prepared, and the spirit touched their hearts. Their testimonies are so small and simple. But I am so excited for next year, because they are going to the temple to be sealed as a family. That's their goal. I feel so humbled to be a part of this.
After the baptism, Sister Wright and I were soooo tired! We'd been up since 3. It felt like christmas! We had baptism eve, and Baptism morning! Plus it was Sister Wright's birthday. We opened her packages before. But as tired as we were, we knew we could not sac out. I wanted to so bad. But we are so close to hitting our high water mark as a zone, we need baptisms! We went and talked to Alex Hackett's dad, Buddy. I was so scared. And pleading with Heavenly Father to have His spirit to say the things that needed to be said and that His heart would be soften to let his son be baptized. We went on a walk with him and found some benches to sit on. Buddy expressed to us in very colorful language that he wants nothing to do with religion. It sounds like he's angry with God. But then talking about his son, he does not want it to happen. He wants him to wait until he's older and go to a lot of different churches. But somehow by the end of the conversation, he said he didn't care. It wasn't his desire, but he would support his son if that was his choice. Alex was baptized on Saturday morning. We threw a program together and he was baptized! And.. His Dad came to the baptism. He didn't want to be there. But he came! And I know that meant so much to Alex. He will one day be baptized himself, I know that. We just gotta give him some time.
Sunday was crazy! We had 5 confirmations, they gave Bella Salimeda a name and a blessing (she's 4), and then in priesthood gave Tai, Bobby, and Nathan the aaronic priesthood. It was cool though, because they ordained Tai and Bobby, and then Bobby walked over to Young Men's and ordained his son Nathan, to the same priesthood. And ohh boy does Bobby clean up nice! He shows up in a suit! I barely recognized him! This week as been the most amazing week. So many things I will never forget.
Right now as a zone we are sitting at 17 baptisms!! (Highest as a zone in our mission!) Our high water mark is 18!! We need one more miracle! I know it will happen, if we do all that we can as misisonaries to be obedient and do His will, it will happen! I have no doubt about that.
I feel so spoiled. I have been able to have 6 baptisms in my first 4 months as being a missionary! And a family for that matter! That doesn't happen a lot, that a whole family gets baptized. It just makes me think that the hard-faith building times are coming, because I really have had it oh so good! I love this work, I love my Savior, and I know that this is so important in His plan. For us all to be invited to come follow Him.
I love you all so much! I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and that everything is going well. Remember, sometimes we all need to slow down and recognize the simple things that make us truely happy. God is good.
Love your daughter in Hawaii, S. Nielsen