Monday, June 27, 2011

First Baptism

The library had no internet so we are in an internet cafe today... adventure! So many smells!
I love it!

This week has been great! So many things to tell and so little time! Sister Davis is back in action! Her stitches are slowly dissolving, her face is not swollen, and her energy level is almost normal so we are back to full days out. Its wonderful! I just love her so much, we seriously have a blast.

I don't know if I have told you this but there is an EMM accent. Most of the Americans have it. It's not really an English accent , more of an adaptation to help everyone we talk to understand us. It's classic. I am in denial but I catch myself doing it every once in a while, especially when I bear my testimony. I will record it on the tape and then I'm sure after another year I'll be full in it.
The weather here has been wild. Huge storms and now sticky and humid. It's gorgeous but not too glam when your wearing nylons and skirts- haha. I LOVE the vitamin D though! It's always classic to talk to people on the street when they ask us why we are dressed this way or think we are Jehovah's witnesses.
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the people here! I go outside and it's a real life U.N. So much diversity!

Our Miracle of the Week is Paul McNulty, who found Sister Davis's blog, and may end up reading this too. (Hi Paul!)
We are SO EXCITED because Paul, after many months of meeting with the Sisters, has decided to be baptised!We are the benefactors of the diligence of past missionary work. Paul met the Sisters late last Fall. He is a middle-aged single man and was a devoted Catholic. Missionaries taught him several times before seeing he wasn't ready to moving forward. Paul rang them one day after they had moved on, and they simply told him to read the Book of Mormon. The cycle of Paul recontacting missionaries and then not progressing occurred several times. The most recent was the transfer before I arrived in which Sister Davis made the call that if Paul wanted to learn more, he would have to start showing it by coming to church. Something you should know about Paul is that he is agoraphobic-which is a fear of wide open spaces. When he goes to areas like parking lots or wide streets he gets a feeling of dizziness and vertigo. He will then proceed to have a panic attack. One of the reasons he would never come to church was the giant parking lot there. Finally the Sisters conceived a plan to help get him in the side door to avoid the parking lot all together. Paul began to come to church for a few weeks, always coming in the side door. When I arrived, Paul had been taught everything, but not moved forward. Last week he said, " I don't want to be dropped." So we agreed to meet with him to explain that our purpose had been served. We can merely invite people to Christ. They have to decide, act, and commit. Last Monday night we met him in a park near our house. I had filled out a baptismal calendar and decided to be true to myself and be direct. We began the lesson and shared the importance of showing the Lord our commitment level. Committing to a baptismal date is a leap of faith for the investigator. They have to pray to receive a confirmation that it is what the Lord wants from them and that it is the right time. Obviously not because we as missionaries want him to. We pulled out the calendar. The Spirit began to fill me as we testified to Paul that he WAS ready. We could see it, the Light of Christ was in his countenance and his diligence to be obedient to all of the commandments is profound. We shared with him two dates, July 2 and July 9. Two Saturdays.We said,"Paul we want you to choose what day your baptism will be." As he sat and pondered, tears filled my eyes.  July 2nd jumped off the page. I knew he was going to pick it. I could feel it. He put his finger on July 2. I couldn't even speak just smiled like a fool for a few minutes.

We meet with Paul almost everyday and his spirit is growing each day. He is truly preparing himself in every way he can to be ready for this Saturday. He bears his testimony each lesson we have with him and he always says he wishes he could be baptised right now. "I don't know why it took me so long, I procrastinated so much, I just don't know why." He is so humble, it touches my heart. He is an inspiration to me to be better. He loved tea and that was one of the most difficult things for him to give up. He replaced it with something called Rubash-I think it's South African? Anyway, he says it tastes like antiseptic and yet he drinks it all the time.:) We laugh so hard when he tells us, and honestly, we don't know why he does it. We have tried explaining that he can have herbal tea or hot chocolate but he is determined to stick it out and,"Get an acquired taste" for Rubash. As Sister Davis says, "Bless his heart". His dedication is inspiring.We went to another baptism this week, a boy named Danny who will be in the YSA ward and Paul cried. He said it felt like his baptism even though it was just a "dummy run". Paul is an example of how we all need to be...So humble before the Lord.

Humility has been my key endeavor this week. The Bullocks depart this week, so we had Zone Conference to say good bye. They had missionaries stand and talk about the mission culture. Primarily, the mission vision of BECOMING pure in heart, exactly obedient, and "Preach My Gospel" missionaries. The Bullocks have done a beautiful job setting the tone for the mission. Someone told me that this is one of the most exactly obedient missions in the world. I BELIEVE IT.:) The missionaries are ALL solid. Not just a few. I am so inspired by them. I am humbled and honored to be here in this mission. I feel inadequate yet SO motivated to try and carry on the legacy the Bullocks have established. I know that exact obedience brings miracles. This is not an easy mission but it gets easier as we do exactly what we should. The Lord will help us more if we show him  how diligent we can be. I might not be drinking Rubash everyday but I am trying to consecrate my life. I do not want ANYTHING I am doing to prevent me being receptive to the Holy Ghost and his promptings.

I know this Gospel is true. I know more, now than I ever have in my life, that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and our Redeemer. He loves us. He wants to help us. He is on our team. He is here with me on the streets of England, rain or shine. He is there with you in your home. He is in our hearts. And He can be everywhere if we live worthy of His presence.

Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for being on the righteous team. Really the best way you can support me is to be valiant. Lift just where you stand.

I love you with all my heart. Please post on the blog to read Elder Holland's talk, 'Mend Broken Things' and 'Lessons From Liberty Jail' and Hugh B. Brown's, 'God is the Gardener.'

I LOVE MY FAMILY! I love hearing about what you're doing, I don't feel like I am missing out because this is where I am suppose to be! I love you all.


 Sister Lovell

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