Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Of Courage and Covenants

This week has been so incredible. Rh*nda was baptized! In just 8 weeks, this wonderful lady met us, changed her entire life, and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She asked me to baptize her, and it was an unforgettable spiritual experience. Nothing feels better than exercising priesthood authority to help someone else come closer to their Heavenly Father.

Before I launch into that though, Dad, I'm going shopping for a sidebag and all that good stuff today, so thank you so much for your help with the finances of everything! I'm sorry you haven't been feeling good. Knowing your schedule though, I can't imagine that you haven't gotten sick sooner! Who have you set apart to go on a mission that I would know recently? How many missionaries are out from our stake currently?
So for the baptism. I'm not going to say other cool things didn't happen this week, but here are the highlights. As missionaries, we share the Restoration at every baptismal service while the people participating in the ordinance are changing out of their wet clothes. Because Elder Adamson was solo on this one (I baptized Rh*nda, so I was changing) He decided to compile Rh*nda's incredible story from his journal entries and read it with scriptures laced throughout it to teach the Restoration. It was powerful! The whole baptism was permeated with the Spirit. To think that 8 weeks prior to this service, she had no idea that the missionaries lived just down the street or that her next door neighbor was a wonderful member of the branch, and now her whole life is changed? It's just unreal how much the Lord has guided each and every member of her story to bring her to this point. She bore her testimony shortly after the ordinance, and spoke of the wonderful people that had been the answer to many prayers along the way. I got her testimony recorded on this little recorder! So handy. Thanks for that again.
After the baptism, Sister Speir (her neighbor), Rh*nda and the two of us went over and walked around the Nauvoo temple. As we walked around and the sun went down over the Mississippi, there was a surreal peace that filled my heart, and subdued each one of us. I looked up at the windows of the temple and felt very distinctly that Mom understood exactly the feelings that I knew at that very moment, and that she was feeling that way. I felt my heart, after two months of being heavier than I ever admitted, truly heal. I know that only through temple ordinances can the Atonement heal us UTTERLY. Only through Jesus Christ can this healing really occur. He is so proud of Rh*nda, and is so proud of all those who make and keep sacred covenants.

Don't ever allow yourself to forget the promises you have made. They will link us for eternity, and I, for one, don't want to lose a single one of you. Keep your courage. Keep your covenants. He will provide for the rest.
All the love in my heart,

Elder Brown

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