This week has been pretty fantastic, as always! To start off, we finally got some good service hours going. We hit about 10 hours of service this week, which is more than I've ever done in a week since coming on my mission! We did a lot of manual labor, including moving a family into a home, chopping down and digging up the roots of a tree, and laying a bunch of sod for someone. It was pretty exhausting at times, but it was nice to serve in other ways than just teaching people!
We also had the opportunity to see three people enter the waters of baptism. Let me tell you what, baptisms are what missionaries live for. Sure, it's great to be able to report it in our key indicators on Sundays and get our picture in the mission newsletter, but easily the best part is seeing the gospel have such a profound influence in the lives of those who make the commitment to be baptized. It truly is a testimony to the importance of this work. I am so glad that I made the decision to serve a mission because the joy that comes from seeing others come closer to our Heavenly Father is matchless!
One of those that were baptized was Tammy. Her husband converted to the church when he was young, but fell away because he didn't have very much support. In the not too distant past, Tammy had a spiritual experience and decided that she wanted to be baptized. With the full support of her husband, who decided to reactivate himself in the process, she was able to work towards baptism. The best part was that it was her husband himself that was able to perform the baptism!
The other two, Gage and Karma, were two siblings of parents that aren't active at all. They've been wanting to be baptized for a few years now, but haven't been able to because of some difficulties. When we started meeting with them, it was a bit of a struggle to get them to church. Soon enough, their Ward completely embraced them and they were able to start attending consistently. They were so happy when the day of their baptism came!
The last bit of exciting news that I wanted to share with everyone is that the Orchard family welcomed a new baby girl into the world this last week! Her name is Amara Lynn Orchard, and she is probably the cutest little baby in the whole world! I may not be able to hold her for another year still, but at least I'll get pictures from time to time and will get to see her grow.
That's all the news that I have to share, I hope everyone has a great week!
A picture of our zone after our zone activity this last Monday
While taking a short break between service projects, we found a bagof marshmallows in a chapel and decided to make s'mores
A picture from Gage and Karma's baptism
Amara Lynn Orchard
A picture from Tammy's baptism