Monday, August 4, 2014

A Wonderful Baptism!

Mom and Dad, 

First of all, Marebeth and Leo's baptism was just incredible!! That was such a special experience and it was great to see two wards coming together to welcome them! It was an interesting experience because we taught them in our ward, with the help of Marebeth's cousin who is in our ward, but they live in the boundaries of another ward in Simi. Marebeth and Leo are such a strong couple and will be great members of the other ward!

Leo, Marebeth, me, and Sister Snow at the baptism!

At the baptism there were many people from our ward and from their new ward. We had both bishops there and many people from both wards supporting them and showing their love for them. There were so many people there that we had to meet in the chapel instead of the Relief Society room. 

Sister Morrison, Sister De Vries, Leo, Marebeth, me, and Sister Snow
(Sister Morrison and Sister De Vries are the missionaries in their new ward)

It was an all-around wonderful and spiritual service! The very best part was their baptisms. Leo was baptized first, and right when he came up out of the water he just stood in the font and cried. That was so sweet to be able to watch. I know that most of the people packed into the room were tearing up too. Marebeth also felt the same way, and came up crying too. 

Brother Chickering (who performed the baptisms), Leo, Marebeth,
me, and Sister Snow!

They are such wonderful people and they have just been so excited for this day to come. It was such a special experience and had a huge impact on everyone there. There were so many non-member family members there, and a few investigators also. It was so great that they were all able to come and feel the spirit so strongly there! 

It was great to be able to walk around and talk to all the family members after the baptism. Sister Snow even gave one family the Restoration video and they were so excited that they could watch it in Tagalog! One of our other investigators J came and told us that he loved being able to be there. He said that he is getting really close to being able to make a decision on baptism.

Mmm.. some of the family made tons of delicious Filipino
noodles for the baptism!

This week we had many great lessons with our investigators and several service opportunities. One great service opportunity was when we had just left helping someone paint a room and we went to see a part-member family. When we got there we saw that they were working in their garage. We brought our service clothes with us and and asked if we could join in and help them. 

It was great because the wife had said that she had just been exhausted and was losing momentum to finish all the cleaning. We came exactly when she needed it, and we were able to help her move things and also help her fold clothes. It was great because we were able to talk to her more while we helped her! She is less-active and said that she will be at church next week too! Sister Snow and I have really been using the excuse that it is my birthday next Sunday to invite everyone to come to church. We well let you know how that works!

Me, Sister Thompson, and Sister Dixon on exchange

We had our last exchange for this transfer. It has truly been a wonderful and exciting transfer with all the exchanges we were able to go on. It's crazy to think that it's all over, but then after transfers next week it starts all over again!

I had a great exchange with Sister Thompson AND Sister Dixon in Thousand Oaks. I was really excited to be in a trio again for a day because I was trained in a trio! I love Sister Thompson and Sister Dixon and we had such a great day together. It was neat because we ended up each having a goal to work on that day. It was really great to see in our everyday interactions all of us working on our goals, and working together to achieve them. 

We had to spend some of the exchange in their apartment, but we were able to use that time wisely! We worked on their records and organized and color coded everything. We also went through and found any people that may have fallen through the cracks. We made a list of all of those so they can try to go see them in the next few weeks. It was a great and productive day, but definitely not the usual exchange day. It was great to spend time with them and to see how great they are doing. 

I really feel blessed to be working with the sisters in our mission. These sisters are so strong and have incredible testimonies! I am blessed to learn so much from them on every exchange!

Sister Snow and I got to help work on a headboard made
from pallets. We helped arrange and sand all the pieces.

We were able to have a great lesson with L. She came to dinner at a member's house and we had a lesson on temples and eternal families. It was so sweet because we could tell that she was tearing up the whole time but she was trying to cover it up. She is one who is very sensitive to the spirit and that is really a blessing to her. She now keeps talking about how she is really excited to be baptized! 

We really had so many experiences this week where it was the perfect timing for different people, and it made such a difference. It is wonderful in those moments to realize that Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need, and what the rest of His children need. It is great to be a missionary and to be able to be a part of so many little miracles happening every day. I wish I had all the time in the world to tell you all the things happening here!

The finished headboard!

Alright, here's an embarrassing story of the week.  I threw up on someone's porch! It had been a pretty hot day, and the heat was starting to get to me from being outside all day. We were having a wonderful conversation with this woman about how she had met with missionaries a while ago and was investigating the church, but she has now decided she is agnostic. In the middle of all this I felt completely sick to my stomach and threw up all over her bushes. I felt really bad, especially because it made a huge scene, not to mention the mess I made of her bushes! It was funny because after that I just got a drink of water and we headed off to our dinner appointment! 

This next week should be another exciting week, especially because we get to go to the Los Angeles temple for my birthday!

Much Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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