The sun is shinning here in Brantford and spring is coming! Michael Slade's baptism yesterday was so great! He has the strongest testimony and bore it after he was baptized. The fireside yesterday we put on went well and was so amazing!
First, I was able to go on two exchanges last week! One with Sister Poettcker [she came to our area: Brampton] and the other with Sister Bottcher from the Kitchner/Waterloo area. I am so grateful I was able to go on exchanges with these two sisters. Sister Poettcker was my companion while I served in Ajax for one transfer with her. She really needed a spiritual boost in coming into our area and teaching, and I felt like that was able to happen for her. Sister Bottcher has been really struggling lately and it was such an incredible experience to be with her and that night before our exchange day, we just sat on her bed and talked. She really opened up to me and just poured out her feelings of things that she is struggling with. After we talked, I gave her a giant hug and she just wept into my shoulder. What an amazing experience it is to be a sister training leader at this time. It really made me ponder and think about the Savior and who He is to each of us. As I am with each of the sisters, these experiences help me have a new perspective on the Savior. He experiences the joys in which we face and the sorrows of mortality. He waits for us to take our sorrows to him and cry into his shoulder. He has felt everything that we feel and paid the loving price for each of us. Yes, we are imperfect, but through Christ, we can find strength, everlasting joy, and peace. I am so grateful to be with these wonderful sisters J They are so amazing and I love them so much!
She said she would call the sisters when she has more time! We also were able to paint for a member who is known as 'Crazy Sue'! Here's the funny thing... I had met her before! When she opened the door I said, "Hey! I know you!" She smiled and we hugged. I met her while I served in Ajax when she was visiting a friend there. Small world, eh? Seriously! We helped her paint her kitchen that she is renovating and I was able to screw in some overhead lights. It was awesome! Lastly, we met with a less-active couple who ride on motor scooters who call me 'Sister Awesome' and just laugh and smile at everything I say. As we taught them the Plan of Salvation and sang I Am a Child of God, Brother Ince began to cry. It was 'awesome'! J Overall, it was such a fun week for exchanges.
I am so grateful for the experience I get to be able to instruct our zone of 22 elders and sisters and the many teaching opportunities I had throughout the rest of the week. I was able to instruct on baptismal invitations and how it's such a sacred experience for the investigator and that we are instruments in helping our brothers and sisters gain a testimony to have a desire to be baptized and allowing them to set their own date! YES! It truly does work and I am so grateful for the inspiration I was able to receive for the instruction.
David Heaney is doing well! We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he accepted everything! He said he won't drink coffee or smoke anymore. We will continue to pray for him to overcome temptation. He gets seizures all of the time, it's so sad. He really wants to be baptized, but he has to get all of the lessons, come to church and other things. His seizures really get in the way of everything and he always gets so sad when he talks about it. He really wants the gospel in his life, but there are physical barriers that stop him sometimes. I just wish I could reach out and take some of them from him so he can have the gospel more! But... I cannot. It will just take a lot of time, love, and the spirit to help him through his difficult times. He is amazing though!
Mike's baptism was awesome!! His long hair had to be tucked into his baptism outfit, which just made me smile. He is AWESOME. When he came up out of the water, all of his worries and nerves went away, he just smiled. What a glorious experience that was for me to be able to witness. When we were sitting in the chapel after his service and singing the closing hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour, I looked up from the hymn book and felt this overwhelming love as if I was being hugged. I knew that was the spirit filling my heart and I then knew that Heavenly Father was so happy for another one of his children to enter the waters of baptism. Yes, I did shed a tear or two... What a beautiful experience that I was able to be a part of that and guess what! Mike wants to serve a mission next year when he can go J YAHOO!
We had the fireside last night--Jesus Christ: The Life and Resurrection--and it went amazing! President and Sister Clayton were there! The chapel was filled, the spirit was there, the music was beautiful, videos were powerful, and testimonies were strengthened of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, many long, hard, and tiresome hours were put into this making, but it was so worth it. The members here want to be more involved and do something like it again sometime! As we were putting this together, it strengthened my testimony in so many ways--seeing Jesus Christ come to life and walking with him during his life. I know that He lives. He truly paid the price for each of us: while He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, the only thing on his mind was YOU. Yes, YOU. This event in history, changed everything for eternity--the ultimate act of love. I am eternally grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and cannot wait to embrace him.
That brings me to a special invitation that we have been giving the sisters and now I give to you. Walk with the Savior! Pick an event during his last moments of his earthly ministry [Garden of Gethsemane, crucifixion, betrayal by Judas, the trial, etc.] and be there with the Savior. Read the event in the scriptures. Ponder what it would be like if you were there watching everything. What would you feel? See? Hear? Remember to record your experience! I have done this and I can truly say that I have walked with Jesus Christ in a way I haven't done before. My testimony is strengthened in so many ways and I am so blessed to share it with the people here from all around the world in the Canada Toronto Mission. Walk with the Savior this week J
Until next time...