Tuesday, July 30, 2013

May 20, 2013

Happy Monday from Berwick, PA! It is SO humid today! I look like I am sweating 24/7 because the air is so wet. I will never get used to this! This week was full of interesting experiences. Most significantly, the baptism we had scheduled for Saturday (Tanner's birthday! Happy b-day shout out to him!) was cancelled.  It was a hard situation for Sister Roberts and I to be thrown into an area with an investigator scheduled to be baptized the next week. Exciting, yes, but a little crazy.  I made a promise with Heavenly Father when I left on my mission that I would never baptize a less-active member. When we got here so close to Christine's baptismal date, I just felt uneasy because we had no idea how prepared she was. To me, I would rather not baptize a single person on my mission than baptize someone who isn't prepared or converted to the gospel. It just isn't worth it. So we met with Christine every day this week and tried to make sure she was prepared for baptism. The elders had taught her well and when we reviewed all the lessons with her, she seemed (key word) to have a solid understanding. I remember mentioning earlier in the week to Sister Roberts that I could picture Christine in white but I just couldn't see her in the temple, but didn't think much of my comment. On Friday, we met at the church and Christine had her baptismal interview with our district leader. I felt a little weird coming into her interview though. I had asked her those exact questions 3 times this week but still felt unsure about how she would do in the interview. Well she walked out and Elder Yates said he had to make some calls. The decision was made that based on something she was still working on, her baptism would need to be moved 2 weeks. Christine was pretty mad and stormed out of the church and told us she wasn't coming to church again and didn't want to set a new date. Her reaction explained a lot about her testimony and understanding of baptism. We all walked back into the church and Elder Yates started to get emotional and told us that he wasn't sure why she couldn't be baptized, truly, but that he had a spiritual experience during her interview and felt like she should wait. He said he felt bad that she is so upset and it was a hard thing for him to do but he knew that was what needed to happen. On Saturday we stopped by Christine's house and talked to her. After asking her a few questions she told us that she didn't think she needed to be baptized again but that "the boys" told her that and she was just doing what they said. We learned that she really didn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or the restored gospel, she was just doing "what the boys said". I was in awe. I am so grateful that the Spirit told Elder Yates no. She was NOT prepared to be baptized and it would have been a really hard thing for her if she had been baptized on Saturday. As of right now, we aren't teaching her anymore. We are going to "take a break" for the summer and try teaching her again in the fall. I am surprisingly grateful for the experience we had this weekend. It was spiritually and emotionally hard but I have come understand the seriousness of baptism in a whole new light. I am not on a mission to baptize people, I am here to help them become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which will result in baptism! All the missionaries spoke in church yesterday and I had the opportunity to speak on strengthening less-Active members and how we can bring them back into the gospel. President Hinckley said "There is absolutely no point in missionary work if we do not hold on  to the fruits of our efforts." NO POINT! I am recommitted to never baptizing a less-active member of the church. In Berwick, we have an opportunity to work with a lot of less-active members. I know that we can find so much joy by strengthening Christs "Lost Sheep." I am excited for the work that we have ahead of us. I am also excited because we found a new apartment!! That has heat and hot water! We don't get to move in until June 1 but knowing there is an end in sight at our humble shack is encouraging. I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week.
Sister Andresen

No comments:

Post a Comment