There is this part in Harry Potter #6 where Hermione makes this new potion. The potion is supposed to be like the best thing ever, and if you make it right, it is supposed to smell like whatever you love the most. For Harry I think it smells like Quidditch or something. I can't remember. Anyway, I had a revelatory moment this week when I smelled a smell that I've come to love the most on the mission. If Hermione were to make me this potion, I'm pretty sure it would smell an awful lot like this.
Let me explain. Paul got baptized this week! (Note, In rereading this, I noticed how strange that sounds. Paul is not my favorite smell. Be patient. It's coming.) He asked me to baptize him, and it was a powerful experience. I have found such great joy in helping Paul, and he will be someone that I tell my children stories about.
The baptismal service began shortly after Rita got to meet Paul. She was really nervous, and it wasn't even her baptism! She is REALLY afraid of water! But the service went smoothly, and great talks were given. Elder Weilenmann gave a talk, and then we moved toward the font. In order to get into the font itself, you have to enter through the restroom, so Paul and I entered in from the back. Right when we entered the font room, they opened up the curtain. Inside the room smelled like chlorine. Like baptismal font water. Like...covenants.
My favorite smell is chlorine, because it reminds me of my covenants and the ones that I have had the chance to help others make.
Paul was baptized this week! I felt so much joy as he entered the waters of baptism. It seems as though each new convert that makes a decision to be baptized brings me greater joy. My very first baptism, I wondered what everybody was talking about when they said missionary work was so joyful. I felt just about the same: tired and a little bit afraid. But each person that makes steps to be baptized gets further into my heart. I think that this whole missionary experience deals more with a sort of slow, yet exponential, growth of joy than a light bulb of joy that bursts to life every time someone receives salvation. It makes me wonder what it's going to be like at the end of my life when I have a family that keeps covenants and I have friends that I have shared the gospel with, etc etc.
I wonder if this is why the Lord wants us to be missionaries forever. It is the only way our happiness can ALWAYS be increasing!
I've included an audio file with some funny stories to go along. I love you all and I'm so grateful for your support!