This week was so exciting! Sister Hendertilo and I set four baptismal dates this week, with two more to quickly follow. We have been working with the Christiansen family for a while, and they have come such a long way in the past few years. They have a goal of being baptized as a family, and we are so excited to help them along! We are also working with a lady named Connie in one of our wards, and are receiving such wonderful support with the leadership. She said that she will be baptized when she finds out that the Book of Mormon is true, we just have yet to get her to commit to a date. We are excited to reach our goal of 20 baptismal dates in our area, and we know our area has that potential!
Felicia, one of my investigators, was baptized this past . I loved being there throughout the whole teaching process and seeing the change in her life. The baptism was beautiful, and the Bishop blessed her little girl Kaley right after her Mom was baptized. Kaley is such a hoot! She is two, and loves to be around people. However having a whole bunch of men standing around her and placing their hands on her head was a bit unnerving for her. Every few seconds she would say, "Ok guys!", "I'm done!", "Ok now!". It was hilarious! The next day Felicia was confirmed, and it was a wonderful experience. Her blessing was beautiful, and everyone in the congregation was touched. Right after that, the Bishop read in her family's names, and were officially welcomed into that Ward. I will never forget that feeling as everyone welcomed her in, and that huge smile that was on her and her husband's face. I just love bringing people closer to Christ!
This week has also been a success for our initiative in involving Ward Missionaries. I love how each Ward's new organization is effective for their Ward, but specific to their needs.
Our first ward really wanted to utilize their Emergency Preparedness Plan in addition to their Ward Missionaries. Their Ward's Ward Missionaries are going to be used as Coordinators in addition to doing Missionary Work; a lot like our District Leaders. The Ward Missionaries will be in charge of a few families themselves, and will also be in charge of a district of "Member Missionaries". The bishop is going to call each active member in the Ward to be a Member Missionary, and set them apart for this calling. Each Member/Family will be responsible for three other families that they will check up on periodically throughout the quarter. They will report to their Ward Missionary, who will then report to the Ward Mission Leader. This organization of the Ward Missionaries will enhance the effectiveness of their Emergency Preparedness Plan, and that each person living within their Ward Boundary will be accounted for in case of an emergency.
Our next Ward really wants to unify the Ward and to be able to more fully utilize the existing Leadership. In addition to Ward Missionaries, who will be responsible to visit specific families each week, this Ward has created a Ward Coordination Committee. We will be using the Second Counselors of each of the Auxiliaries, and appoint them to be in charge of Missionary Work within their organization. Each Second Counselor will call three Member Missionaries, and they will aid the Missionary Work in that organization. The Bishop and Ward Mission Leader will meet each week and identify families that need to be visited, and then will divide them up between the Auxiliaries and Ward Missionaries. Each person will report once every two weeks at a Missionary Coordination Meeting, which we, the full-time missionaries, will attend.
In both of these Wards, every Priest and Laurel aged youth will be called as a Ward Missionary and will have a companion of one of their Young Men or Young Women's Leaders. I am so excited for this Missionary effort and the effect it will have on the youth!
I guess it seems like we accomplished a lot, when I really sit down and look at it, but I just feel like I could do more. Sometimes meetings can get a bit slow, and I just want to hurry it up a bit so we can be effective with our time, but everything happens for a reason. I am becoming more patient, and I love to help others succeed. I am excited for this next week, and I love you guys!