David is now a member of the true and living church. He was baptized this Saturday, November 30th on his birthday. Everything was perfect and went through so smoothly. Thank you for all of your prayers. I can't stop thinking about the first time that I met David and the events leading up to his baptism. You can't deny the truthfulness of the Gospel when you witness it firsthand in your life, and other people's lives. This week has been incredible, and I have so much to tell but so little time to write it all.
I'll start with Thanksgiving. This year I spent Thanksgiving with the Pettita family. They are an awesome family in the ward that loves the missionaries. We ate the works. Turkey, ham, stuffing, yams, gravy, and any other comfort food you could imagine. I was in paradise. It was an awesome Thanksgiving, but the greatness of this holiday did not end at the food. After dinner we texted all of our investigators and told them that we were thankful for them and their amazing families. Immediately after sending this text we got a call from Eli, one of our investigators that I tracted into the first week that I was here. Eli is best friends with a recent convert of the Church. I can't remember if I've told his story before, but he is awesome and has a great family and they are all from Kenya. Haha. That is Eli in a sentence. So he called us and said that he loved us and told us to come over that night to have dinner, and of course we agreed to that! So we went over there and they had prepared a feast for us. Mary, Eli's recent convert friend, was also there. She has been an incredible help in the progress that we've made with Eli. They made some of the greatest food I have ever had. I can't even describe it. Too good to describe with words. Haha. After dinner Eli told us that he wanted to take us over to his friend's house to meet him and his family. So we went and did that and got to meet a lot of new people who are interested in the Gospel! You just could not ask for a better thanksgiving than the one that I had.
The following day we had another great experience with Eli. He wanted to take us over to the hospital to give a blessing to his friend who got injurred pretty severely. So we went over there with Brother Seawell and gave her a blessing and met another great family!
The next day was Saturday, the day of David's baptism. And like I said before, everything went extremely well. Usually it seems like something always goes wrong on baptism day. Either people don't show up, they get cold feet, the font doesn't get filled, or something disasterous. But nothing bad happened. All went very well. Sister Bush brought a birthday cake for David and after his baptism we lit the candles and sung him happy birthday. Elder Robison and I were planning a little surprise for David after his baptism. David never has really had any nice church clothes, so we were going to take him to get some good looking clothes for his confirmation the following day. This inspiration was not only felt by us, but also by the Aldermans. After the baptism Sister Alderman came up to me and said, "We would like to go and get David a birthday present. Can we take him to go and get some new church clothes?" Of course you can! So we all went together and got David some great looking pants, white shirts, and some ties. He looked just like a missionary. Another awesome thing was that David's mom, Carmen, knows some of the members of the ward! She knows the Kellys and the Crisps! And she really loves them! Pretty soon we will be going over to the Kelly's to have dinner with the whole family. Oh, and one more thing, Linda came to David's baptism!! Linda is the investigator that David came to teach with us. It was Linda's first time being in the Church and she loved what she saw and felt. Like I said, this week was just full of miracles.
I can't express how grateful I am for all of the things that God has given me. My heart has been full this whole week and I just can't get over all of the incredible things that have been occurring. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony this Sunday. My testimony was so easy to bear. It was not hard at all to bear testimony that I know this Church is true, because I've witnessed it with my own eyes. It wasn't hard to tell the ward how much I love them and how grateful I am for all of the service that they provide the missionaries. I am so grateful that I chose to come out and serve a mission. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I did not make the descision to come out and serve the Lord. My life would be totally different, and I would be a different person. I am grateful for every individual person that had a hand in helping me prepare and grow a desire to serve, without my friends and family I would not be here today. I love my parents and my brothers and sisters. Many times on my mission I will reflect back on my childhood and use my experiences to help teach. These experiences will come to me at a moments notice, not a preconceived thought. And while I speak about my past, and teach by the spirit, I realize that the Lord has been preparing me and building me up every single day that I have been alive. Some of my most casual memories, or seemingly insignificant descisions have grown and grown into the most important memories and life changing desicions as I reflect on my past. It is hard to explain... But I am just so incredibly grateful for my past. I am so incredibly grateful for my decision long before my 19th birthday that I wanted to go on a mission. And even with that desicion, trials were still very present in my life trying to stop me from going. I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that I am doing the right thing. I am so grateful for my parents. I love my Mother with all of my heart. I can't express how grateful I am for you, Mom. I am grateful for you dilligence and tireless effort it took to raise me. I am so grateful you had the courage to cut me down so that I could grow into who the Lord wants me to be. I know now that all decisions that you made in raising me were truly what our Father in heaven wanted you to do. I know that your love for is truly unconditional. I remember when I was young I would always ask you how much you loved me? And you would always reply, "To the moon and back a million times." I always loved when we would read that book, and throughout our experiences together I really came to know that your love for me even exceded the words you used to describe it. I also came to know through these same experiences that I loved you with an unconditional love, because even after our quarles, just minutes later we would be hugging and crying. I am so grateful you taught me how to truly love. Dad, you're my hero and I look up to you. I am so grateful for your example to me. You've raised me with the love of Christ, because you are truly one of the most Christlike people I have ever met. I have specific memories from my childhood of you going out of your way to help your neighbor and to do a good turn daily. For this I am incredibly grateful. I hope to follow your example as a future father, because I know if I follow in your footsteps, I will also be following in our Savior's footsteps. I love you both so much, and I can't wait to be with you again.