We had to reschedule one of our exchanges this week, so it's a good thing we had a 7 week transfer because we weren't able to start having real exchanges with our sisters until the middle of week three. But we were able to have an exchange with our Spanish sisters in Princeton. I went to their area with Hermana Brooke Neilson, she is from St. George and she is on her last transfer. She is pretty awesome! Fortunately we were able to have one lesson in English so I was able to contribute a little more than smile and nod! It was a super easy exchange, but I was still exhausted by the end. It could be a long couple transfers of 5+ exchanges every transfer! Saturday we had a barbecue at our new ward mission leader's house in Seaside Heights (finally saw the shore)! The elders and senior couple in our ward were also there, and our WML is from Texas and very proud of his barbecue skills so it was delicious and a good time!
Sunday was the best day ever! I gave a talk in sacrament meeting (not a huge highlight), and I think it went ok. It was about obedience and the blessings that come through being worthy to attend the temple. But that evening we had a baptism!
Let me give you some background because I know that I have been so brain dead the last two weeks that I don't think I have even told you about our investigator that got baptized! Her name is Kiernan and she is amazing! Her twin sister Katrina got baptized in October but Kiernan wasn't living at home at the time. When she moved back a couple months later she initially was just happy that her sister was happy, but she didn't think it was for her. On January 12th the elders that were teaching her dropped her because she told them she wasn't interested. The sister missionaries were teaching her sister the new member lessons though, and about two weeks later she started taking the lessons again but from the sisters this time. Within about two weeks she underwent a massive change of heart and realized that the trials she had been going through had lead her to this point. She had been feeling lost but now could see that God has a plan for her. She had been in the Marines for the last couple of years and she loved it. She felt like that was what she was meant to do in her life and she excelled and was doing great. Unfortunately she broke her hip and was medically discharged from the Marine Corps and she was left not knowing what to do with her life now.
Basically by the time I got here she had been taught twice by the elders and then dropped, and twice by Sister Brown and Sister Clarke before Sister Clarke got transferred out and then I got transferred here. So she hadn't been taught for very long, but by the time I got here and started teaching her she was already on fire! Her sister was pretty much constantly teaching her and answering any questions plus they would listen to the scriptures everyday at the gym and study Preach My Gospel together. We would teach her about commandments like the word of wisdom, law of chastity and tithing, which are normally tricky, but her sister had already talked to her about all of that so it was a breeze! During the short time that she was taught she came to church almost every week, and she was just so prepared to be baptized!
Her baptism was possibly the most spiritual experience of my mission. Just looking at her you could see how eager she was to make these sacred covenants and that she understood what a big deal it is. She is a tough Marine that never shows emotion, but she was fighting tears from the get-go! Sister Brown and I were literally running around trying to make sure the font was ready and all the little details, but even with that we could feel the Spirit so powerfully. When she was at the top of the stairs getting ready to go down into the font she was crying pretty hard, and we asked if she was ready and she fervently whispered "I am so ready".
Her parents and brother who are not members came and it was clear that they were feeling the Spirit as well. Her aunt and sister gave the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost and the feeling there the whole time was indescribable. The way she described it afterward was "how is it possible that I can feel so warm in my heart and my whole body? It's just so Holy Ghosty!" She is so funny! It is amazing to hear her talk about the change she has seen come to her heart in such a short amount of time. It was such a privilege to be a part of that last night. It was a highlight of my mission for sure. I have had many spiritual experiences in my mission, but last night it was just such an undeniable feeling of joy and knowing that Heavenly Father was very much aware of what was going on and was very pleased.