Sunday, September 28, 2014

The crowning event of the week-- Lois's Baptism

hi mom!
This has been a crazy week! i dont even know where to start! i think i will talk about lindsay and scottie first. we had a great week with them. we took them to the visitor's center where we watched "God's Plan for His Family." that movie always reminds me of cammie because of how much her and i cried that one time we watched it in the mesa temple visitor's center. anyways we did that and we showed them a ton of other things there as well. by the end of it they were so excited to be married and then sealed in a year. and, get this, scottie has been cigarette free for 4 days now! he is so dedicated! its so hard for him and the cravings come strong and often, but he carries around a bottle of grapefruit juice and takes a swig of it ever time he gets the urge to have a cigarette. he is doing so great. he told me that i have to give up sugar and peanut butter if he has to give up cigarettes, so yay for me! this is my third sugar fast on my mission! i never realized how hard it is to give it up because its just part of my life. people offer dessert to me all the time and i swear sugar is in EVERYTHING. even though its not the same as giving up smoking and nowhere near as hard, im grateful to do it because it helps me get a small taste of what Heavenly Father is asking them to do and how hard it must be for them. 
We had a mission tour this week and elder Johnson of the seventy came and spoke to us. it was amazing! he talked a lot about "becoming" disciples of Christ and how we do that. he invited all the bishops, ward mission leaders, and ward missionaries of the wards to come to the conference and in the middle of the meeting he paired us up with one and had us teach them any one of the 42 principles in preach my gospel. we got paired up with a man in our ward that we know pretty well. he is extremely active and i couldnt help but feel silly teaching him a lesson on things he knows all about. i got the impression to teach the atonement and sister larsen said she had the same impression come to her. so we shared a lesson with him and it was easily one of the most spiritual experiences i've ever had on my mission. this man was in tears for a minute talking about the trials he was enduring and how amazing it was that we were able to know what he needed to hear. i was so thankful for the spirit at that moment because i know that there is nothing i couldve said to help him, but the spirit can always testify to their hearts if we'll just get out of His way. it was great and i learned so much about teaching people, not lessons.
the crowing event of this week had to be Lois's baptism. let me tell you a little about Lois. she is 78, completely blind and has been for quite some time, mostly deaf, is in a wheel chair, and has no family other than her niece. she had a really rough life full of experiences you cant imagine. despite all this she is happier than anyone i know, loves more than anyone i know, and has the faith of the brother of Jared. she cant swim and is terrified of water, so naturally baptism wouldnt be her cup of cocoa. but as we taught her the doctrine of baptism she understood that Jesus Christ requires it of her and the blessings far outweigh any fears she may have going into it. the day of her baptism she started to cry because she was so nervous. we told her that she didnt have to do it if she didnt want to, but she said she knew Jesus Christ wants her to. so we managed to get her in a white jumpsuit and just before she walked into the font, she gave us her hearing aids so they wouldnt get all wet. most people have the privilege of having all 5 senses as they make this covenant, but Lois did it with only 3! she was baptized by her neice's  husband and both the elders were in the water as well to help her up and down the stairs and make sure she could get all the way under. it took her awhile to get down the steps into the font, and after about two steps she said "Jesus is making me work hard for this one" haha it was the sweetest thing ever! they eventually got her baptized and after she came out of the water she said "jesus got my hair all wet, but i know he's with me in my whole body," haha it was the cutest thing ever! it was the most moving baptism ive ever witnessed. talk about blind faith. there's a quote and i cant remember who said it, but they said if we teach the doctrine of the gospel clearly that people would crawl over broken glass to get to the baptismal font. well, to me, that basically what Lois did. she's amazing and i absolutle love her!
So, here's some big news. I have a daughter! my firstborn daughter in the wilderness, as Lehi would say. im training a new missionary. he name is sister Russel. she is from Las Vegas. she is a lot of fun and im really excited to be her companion. im super nervous because i feel like im still being trained myself, but one thing that elder Johnson told us this week is that there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone. i think you can guess what zone im in. im really excited though! i love her so much and im excited to work hard alongside her. mom, i love you so much. im sorry that you have to have chemo. i pray for you daily. my companions think im weird cause i call you mom in my prayers. i dont say my mom, just mom. thats just who you are! you're mom! you're the best mom in the whole wide world. you're a million and two times greater than anything i could ever dream to be! i love you with all my heart momma! i better get going, but i want you all to know and to never forget that i told you that God lives. He loves us. those are facts. spread the word. 
sister udall

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