What another great week here in beautiful Raymond! The weather got a little colder, but there's been little rain, for now. I hear that Forks and Raymond are the two rainiest places in WA. Some fun experiences this week included milking my first cow, getting lost while knocking on remote doors in rain forests, climbing a lighthouse on P-day, and painting a building on Saturday for service in the community!
Elder Green is so great, he's my favorite companion so far, which isn't very far yet. I find it really fun, yet not surprising at all that his mom and our mom already know each other. I'm sure you are close in touch! Elder Green is very similar to me, we both started to really have a testimony about the start of high school and have never really gone off the path. He has a great testimony and gospel knowledge and we teach well together. Most importantly we share the same commitment to obedience and hard work. Together we have seen many miracles.
Like I said last week, Raymond has had a slow last few months, actually year. They've had three or four baptisms in the past year and their last one was 8 months ago. We now have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday. On Tuesday Elder Green and I stopped by the church to look at the baptismal font. To our surprise and amusement there were four spiders in it and sections of cobwebs. Oh the irony. We cleaned it up and got it ready. When you work hard, simply work hard, the miracles just flow. The Lord's plan is so marvelous and being a small part of it is the best thing ever. I really, really love missionary work. I love it more and more. As a missionary I always feel like I am doing the right thing. I am clean and worthy and active and strong. Elder Green and I were laughing because we both felt pretty converted to the gospel when we left on our missions. But compared to now, we have grown so much and have developed much deeper dedication to the gospel and the church. I hope that continues.
On top of the baptism we have another baptism scheduled for August 11th (hopefully) and several others who are really progressing. One man, named Layton, has come a long way. He had a hard upbringing with his family, but we had an amazing lesson with him on Saturday night and he said that "a light turned on." he is beginning to let things of the past go and he sees that it is through the Atonement of Christ, which only has full effect in His church, through His baptism.
One thing I have come to understand more is the doctrine of baptism. Many members of this church are hesitant to "push" people towards baptism. D&C 20:37 states that "By way of commandment unto the church" there are qualifications for baptism. We as members are commanded to let all who are qualified into the waters of baptism. Further, and more powerfully, look at what Christ did. Immediately after He appeared to the Nephites in America, he told them who He is, then taught His gospel! In a matter of a few verses He teaches them, giving them a commandment, to be baptized. Baptism opens the door to the fullness of the Atonement. Without it, one cannot receive a "remission of sins." I remember the words of my MTC teacher who also served in the WATAC, to remember to be "baptism focused and Atonement centered." And what joy it brings to see people baptized when they are ready.
Scripture for the week: 3 Nephi 11: 10-27 especially v. 21 and 23
P.S. have fun in Utah!! Say hi to all the family :)
|Elder Tommy Webber meets a cow up close|