Miracles are happening! I've been reflecting lately that if I would have known what I know now at the beginning of my mission how many more people would I have been able to help and baptize and re-activate! It's kind of crazy but I know that's how it is for every missionary and really every person through life. We're all on our own journey learning and progressing as we go. There are some things I want to tell you about this last week.
Last Monday night as I was praying for our investigators I got the impression that Ellen needed to be invited to be baptized this weekend. We had a lesson with her on Tuesday and we put her on date for baptism for this Sunday. It all happened super quick and she felt it was fast too but she accepted. Yesterday she was baptized!! She asked me to baptize her and it was so awesome to see her joy and be a part of that. Hongye and Nubia were both there as well and felt the Spirit. We had lessons with them last week that were very powerful. Before the lessons Elder Smith and I prayed together for a date to put them on for their baptisms, came to an agreement and then role-played the invitation and now they're both on date to be baptized! It's incredible to be able to teach someone and tell them that we prayed about it and God told us a date they could be ready for if they did their part. Right now Hongye's goal is December 8th and Nubia's goal is December 11th. Nubia is concerned about her Mom because she is very Catholic and she's afraid what she will do. During the lesson while we were discussing a date she got very emotional when we read Alma 32:16. It's a bold scripture that talks about baptism and not being stubborn. During our conversation we were prompted to offer her a Priesthood Blessing and she accepted. After the blessing she said she felt so calm and happy and she wanted to work toward December 11th as a goal. I am so amazed at how God works. His hand is in every aspect of our lives.
There is a young lady in the student ward who I felt we needed to call and ask for a referral for a couple of days. The night before Ellen was baptized we called her and asked her if there was anyone she knew that she could bring to the baptism. She immediately said there was someone that she could ask but didn't know if he would come. He came! His name is Royal, he's from the Middle East somewhere and grew up Hindu but "became Christian" in 2007. He had a great experience at the baptism and we were able to answer a lot of questions that he had and explain what the Book of Mormon really is. He said he doesn't feel ready to become too religious right now but he's one step closer! He downloaded the church app on his phone so he now has access to all the scriptures and conference talks, plus it opened a doorway for Lauren (the girl that invited him) to talk with him about the gospel.
Thanksgiving was alright… but I look forward to some real pie - lol! Nobody makes it as good as we do - haha. We had a super fun Turkey Bowl in the morning and were even able to play some ultimate, that was definitely the highlight! Mom, you were wondering about Christmas… really the most helpful thing I could use would be money, I know that sounds kind of lame but it would be most helpful. I would use the money to finish getting my Christmas gifts and sending the package(s) home. I could use the money to buy new garments and possibly a new pair of shoes in the next few months, these still hold up alright but they're showing more and more signs of wear and tear. I'm trying to budget as smart as I can (the ticket this month didn't do me any favors). Your mission definitely teaches you how to budget.
I sure love you all! Thank you all for being the good hearted people you are. I hope you all know I'm doing my best and I'm happy. Have a blessed week!
Elder W. Marks