Today we got our first BIG snow storm. Everything outside is white and we probably wont see the sun for a while. Looks like my plans to work on my tan are shot! :)
Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. Erica was baptized and her whole family was attended to take part in her special day. Elder Parkinson baptized her and I will be confirming her in church this next Sunday (when she receives the Gift of the Holy Ghost). The baptism was well attended by the ward and friends and family of Erica. Elder Rial (he's been on his mission for about 2 months) and I taught the Restoration while Erica and Elder Parkinson were changing. It went very well (we did a good job teaching with one another) and following us was a musical number by one of our Spanish speaking missionaries. The talks were great, Erica's testimony at the end was great, the room was packed, missionaries from our Stake brought investigators, the Stake President and Mission President were there, the baptism only had to be done once... Everything just went so well! And the Spirit was incredible strong. Erica's mother and sister were brought to tears and everyone a bit edified I think. Like I mentioned, Erica bore her testimony at the end and it was great. You could see how much this all meant to her. We taught Erica's mother and sister once and are hoping we have some more teaching opportunities with her family. How great would it be to see that family sealed in the temple someday!!! I can't describe in words very well how amazing the baptism was, it just was. It was one of the happiest moments of my mission to watch the true power of the Atonement cleans one of Heavenly Father's children. I know Erica will do well and that her and Michael will be eternally blessed for this all. At the end of the baptism (while everyone was mingling and eating the tons of refreshments people brought) Erica's mother and sister thanked me and gave me a hug. I probably looked really awkward because I was taken back by the hug and wasn't sure what to do... haha I probably looked like a mixture of ghost and a plank of wood. Anyways... It was just really cool to see because they weren't too fond of us teaching Erica a month or two ago and now they can see the great blessings and changes that have entered Erica's life.
This week we also did some service for Bobbi (who I think I've talked about before... she's the one we had the really cool Book of Mormon experience with - linking her divorce with the Lamanites and Nephites splitting. Someone tell me if I didn't and I'll write about it later). She is probably in her 30's and hurt her back pretty bad, so we had 2 sets of Elders there and a couple of members all over painting her house. It was a blast! Bobbi is way cool and she is reading the Book of Mormon (when she prays about it she hears a voice tell her "you're on the right path" and "wait" so she's not sure what to do but to keep reading). I think she will be baptized some day as seeing she's already been receiving comfort, strength, and answers through the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true then the church is true which means in it lies the Priesthood of God. But anyways, I think I've washed off all of the orange and yellow paint that was all over me... The worst was going into an appointment with orange paint on my face (I noticed after the appointment).
We are currently doing a 90-day Book of Mormon challenge as a mission. We have assignments to read each day (about 2-3 chapters per day) and will be focusing on different questions each week (for example, this week is "How can an investigator read the Book of Mormon to gain a testimony and become converted" - the Zone Leaders, Training Sisters (like Sister AP's), us, and President all created the mission study/questions and District Meeting topics for each week for the next 3 months. This was one of them and it was incredible and humbling to see the revelation pour from the heavens and see the Lord's hand in the work.). --Wow! what a tangent! The Book of Mormon challenge - the Sorensen's gave every missionary a small Book of Mormon and the instructions and on every page we are to circle references to Jesus by whatever name He is called. I'm excited for the challenge!
But it's been a great week. There are a lot of good things happening here and we are finding more and more people (not all through tracting) to teach. I know that the Atonement is real and that it's power is infinite; infinite in who it covers, where it covers, when it's available to us, etc. Through the Atonement we can be clean from our sins, we can overcome our weaknesses, we can come to forgive those that have wronged us, we can find strength to help us with anything. This Atonement is all made possible by Jesus Christ who I try to become more like everyday. I know that the scriptures, the Book of Mormon and the Bible, are here to help us with this purpose. They, alongside prayer and going to church, provide me with more peace and true joy than anything I know. I love the scriptures. I love my mission!
Love, Elder Dransfield
Erica and her family
After Erica's baptism
Painting Bobbis' house