Dear family and friends,
We prepared our two investigators, Samuel and Juliana, for their baptisms yesterday. Samuel has a great conversion story, which I'd like to share:
At the restaurant he works at, a lot of senior couples come to eat. His good friend, who is also a member, works or manages the restaurant. Samuel first grew to love the gospel I think because of the example of the members from his work. He always commented how friendly the senior couples were to him and the other waiters (and they gave tips haha).
Five days before his set baptism, he still didn't know if he should be a full member. It would mean he would have to leave his former church and friends there. We assured him it was the right decision, and invited him to pray over it. We taught him this was a step of faith in Christ, and gave him a few verses in Ether to read which talk about faith. We wanted him to make this decision himself, knowing that it was the right choice, and not feel pressured by anyone to join.
Two days later we returned. Samuel had done all we asked him to do, and had taken serious thought (pondered) regarding his baptism. He read and re-read the Ether verses three times, and felt strongly that he should be baptized. We were thrilled.
I learned two things from his conversion story: First, I was reminded the power of being an example. The senior couples probably have no idea of the impact they made on Samuel. Second, I was reminded of the power of pondering the scriptures and praying for answers. After his baptism, Elder Allen told me he thought he saw Samuel crying from joy.
Church was great yesterday. Two investigators came for the first time, and both were very welcomed by the members. I was actually pretty impressed. One of them turned out to be a niece to a strong member that stayed nearby, so I think she'll be baptized. Both loved the Church and people, and we hope to baptize them at the end of May.
The baptisms after church went really well. A priest really wanted to do it, so with Bishop's approval we let him. It was his first time, so the motion was a little goofy, but he nailed it first try both times! Samuel and Juliana were really happy I thought.
|The Accra Temple|
Tomorrow my companion and I have been invited to tour a group of 50 religious college students around the temple grounds. It's apparently a big deal - President Heid and an Area Seventy are also assisting. I'm a bit nervous - I've been told they've studied a lot about our religion and beliefs, but it'll be a nice opportunity to inform and clear away confusion. We're lucky to be a part too.
The Church is true!
The Church is true!
Love, Elder Nissinen