Hey howdy hey! How're y'all doing? What's new chez vous?
This week was slower on the teaching side, but great nonetheless. Our biggest highlight was definitely our two baptisms this weekend! It was awesome. I'll get to that in a bit.
During the week, we focused mostly on preparing the kids for baptism. We also taught Celestin. Celestin has really loved the Plan of Salvation. Sadly, he's going to Kpalimé for the summer, so we won't have the opportunity to baptize him anytime soon. If the mission opens up a sector in Kpalimé (a possibility this transfer), then maybe they'll get to baptize him. It was really bittersweet seeing him go, but I know that he has a testimony. He's such a stellar spirit, and I'm going to miss him. I know that he'll get baptized soon! Dieu soit avec toi jusqu'au revoir, Celestin! (:
In temporal news, I made a trip to the legendary King Burger! (: Elder Whitt treated Elders Hammons and Olela to dinner for their stellar lesson feat, and we tagged along. It was soooo goooood! I've had some burgers on the mission, but none were this close to the ones back home! It was definitely some of the best fast food I've had in a while. And they had real, American cheese on their burgers! So good. (:
The kids had their baptismal interviews on Friday, and Noelle and Eli passed! Louise is going to have to wait just a little longer, but that's okay, we'll just keep teaching her. Their parents also are starting to get interested in taking the lessons. Their mom came to the baptismal service, and sacrament meeting!
Our Ward Mission Leader brought a friend to the baptismal service, and we've started teaching him since then. His name is Pierre. He's an older gentleman, and he works as a teacher (common ground! (: ). He's got a problem with the Word of Wisdom (a really bad problem), but Frère Messan, the Ward Mission Leader, was a super friend, and introduced us to him. He came to sacrament meeting, and I know that the Spirit was present. We'll see how we can help him. (:
The baptismal service was definitely my spiritual highlight. It was awesome to have a real baptismal font, that looks like the ones we have back home! It was definitely the best-organized service I've been to. Eli and Noelle were beaming. I baptized Eli first, then Noelle. It's been a while, so I was a little rusty, but the baptisms passed without a hitch! They both came in and out perfectly. Noelle had a close call, with her dress almost not getting submerged, but she made it! It was definitely a powerful spiritual experience. I felt so grateful and humbled at the opportunity that Heavenly Father gave me to help His children enter the waters of baptism. I felt the Spirit, and I knew that the Lord was pleased. That evening, I offered a prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for answering my prayers.
The confirmations went well. During Eli's confirmation, the Priesthood holder confirming him said "Know that it was not by accident that the missionaries found you. Know that it was not by accident that you have entered the Lord's true church. You were foreordained." That was such a cool blessing. I felt very touched by it.
Taking the sacrament was all the more meaningful in the perspective of baptism. We take the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants, or promises, with our Heavenly Father. The Spirit was there in abundance.
In Gospel Principles class, I taught about the Sabbath day. A high priest, the same one who confirmed Eli, made an interesting comment: "Sanctifying the Sabbath day is really about sanctifying ourselves". I had never thought of it that way before! It's very true.
Baptism and confirmation, as Elder N'Guessan Bi taught in his talk before the service, are simply the passport and visa for our spiritual voyage. The journey has just begun! This journey is a journey of sanctification. The Lord intends for us, between our check-in at customs and our arrival in His Kingdom, to become saints, and put off the natural man.
I have been baptized and confirmed, I have received my spiritual immigration papers, and now I am mid-air on the greatest journey of my life (indeed, the journey of a life), and I have no regrets. I promise each of you, wherever you may be in your spiritual voyage, to take the next step, and discover who the Lord meant you to be.
May your journey draw you ever closer to the Savior! I love you all, and I hope that you have a great week.
Bonne voyage! (: