Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Progression is the Key

From Ethan: Monday, August 3

Hey everyone! We got t he transfer call today . It looks like I will end my mission here in Hagerman with Elder Schuck!! I am super grateful for that because he has been one of my favorite companions and has kept me working hard. We've also been able to see the growth of many people and find success in our work every week! This week we are especially excited because both Cameron Lockler and Xandre Orth have told us that they want to be baptized! 

Starting with Cameron, one of our biggest things with Cameron is that we both felt that we needed to wait for her to bring up baptism and not push her in anyway to make sure she has a testimony for herself. She is very close with a lot of ward members here and we never wanted her to join the church because of peer pressure. Last week we committed Cameron to specifically pray to know if what we have been teaching her is tru e and she did just that. W hen we came into the lesson this last Thursday , she told us that she wants to be baptized! As we were talking we suggested a date at the beginning of September right after school starts . She replied, "You know, I was thinking before school started actually. I really want to do this!" We were astounded at her desire. So it's looking like August 22nd is the date that Cameron will be baptized! We are super excited for her and we have seen such a change in her countenance. She lights up the room every time she walks in the door and is seeking knowledge now instead of just hearing the words in one ear and going out the other. She has recognized the change in herself even and told us that she is more aware of her decisions, mostly modesty and language. I love how the gospel can change someone 's heart and I've seen that in Cameron.

We had an amazing lesson with Xandre this week too! He came into the lesson seeking knowledge just like Cameron and asked us a bunch of questions right off the bat. In answering his questions we were able to teach all of the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we talked about baptism he as well came forward to us in having the desire to do so. He even asked his Uncle, Tony Ramirez who was recently baptized in February, to baptize him before our lesson! Xandre is such a sweet guy who has had a lot of bad happen to him in his life. He was able to recognize the change in the Ramirez family after being baptized and felt the Spirit the first time we met together and he came to church. I've never seen someone become attached to the gospel as fast as him. We haven't set a firm date as to when he will be baptized but it'll be with in the next 6 weeks because he really wants me to be here for it.

  Seeing the change that the gospel brings to peoples lives reminds me of the quote from the movie, "Meet the Robinsons ," "Keep Moving Forward ." I love that quote because it encompasses what the path of our lives is all about. Through the rolle rcoaster of life we have our ups and we have our downs, but it's how far we go that matters. Progression in both Physical and Spiritual aspects is the key to living a fulfilling life. As I enter my last six weeks of my two year mission I must keep that in mind. When I get home I cannot "swan dive back in to Babylon" (My old life) as Kevin W. Pearson said, but I must Keep Moving Forward!! It'll be a trip that's for sure :)

~Elder Howard

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