Monday, October 26, 2009

My first baptism!

Dear Family,

Thank you for the email. And yes, I got some mittens for the freezing cold that I'm sure will come soon. You should see Sister Gingrich's combat boots. They are heavy duty. Being from California, she doesn't mess around with the cold.

I've had a pretty amazing week. On Thursday we went to the Temple in Winter Quarters. It is the smallest temple I've ever seen, but very beautiful with all the stained glass windows. President Kunz and plenty of missionaries were there so it was hugs and handshakes all around. Then on Sunday President Kunz gave a talk in sacrament meeting emphasizing the importance of the temple. Just like you said in your email, we should be willing to take the time to attend often, especially with a temple so close. In his talk, President Kunz also gave his "secret to life" which is something that he and his wife have found very helpful. After a session in the temple they sit in the celestial room and discuss how they are doing on keeping those five temple covenants. Then they ask Heavenly Father how they can improve and follow the inspiration they recieve. I thought that was a really good idea so I'm going to try it next time.

On Friday I went to my first baptism! Mary has been investigating the church for a long time and finally was baptized by her husband Billy. Sister Gingrich and I were so happy for her! The spirit was very strong throughout the service and I just couldn't stop smiling. It feels so good to see someone change their life for the better.

This week, we set two more people to be baptized on November 21st! Luka is from Africa and has already been to church twice. We taught him about the Restoration in a member's home and he is excited to learn more. Dianne is a nurse that used to work for a Doctor who is a member. She was also very interested in the restoration and accepted the invitation to be baptized right away. It is on her calendar and everything! I'm so happy for both of them and look forward to teaching them and helping them come unto Christ. Baptism truly is the gate to the celestial kingdom.

By the way, there are a lot of Spanish speakers here. Thankfully, I still remember a little and can converse well enough to get the names and addresses of people that are interested. Then we call the Spanish Elders with our referrals. Dad, I think you would be proud. Even though I stumble over words I can communicate and help these people feel comfortable. It makes me want to learn Spanish again.

One last funny story. Jim is a less active member that we're trying to help come to church. He loves meeting with us but because we are sisters we cannot teach him in his apartment. So we often meet at restaurants or just teach in the hallway of his complex. Well, yesterday he invited us over for dinner. When we turned the corner and saw a table and two chairs sitting in the hall outside his door we had to laugh. And sure enough, he had prepared a delicious meal and set a cute little table just for us. So we ate and read scriptures in the hall. It must have looked pretty weird to those that walked by but we had a grand old time.

I'm glad you all are doing well. I love you very much.

Sister Bailey Mortensen

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