Tuesday, May 28, 2013
This week has definitely been a great week. I'll begin with one of the most memorable and exciting experiences of a missionary. My first baptism. Sister Gaira was baptized this week and i was the one that was able to baptize her. One of the most amazing experiences of my life. Those are the days that make every hardship, every hour of study, and all the trials of a mission worth it. I'll give you a quick account of the events of the day. The baptism wasn't till 3 in the afternoon so we started the day with our normal morning schedule. After studies we went out to lunch to celebrate both the baptism and the new missionary that has moved into our house. It was great. Following lunch, elder Atoigue went to the bakery to buy refreshments. (We had to coordinate everything, the ward isn't too supportive). Then, we were off to Cabar. We got to the church at around 1:45 or so. We told all those that wanted to attend the baptism to be there at 2. I don't think anyone in the philippines owns a watch. No one showed up till 2:20 haha so we left around 2:30 and began our 30 minute walk, through the forest, to sister Gaira's house. When we got there, we quickly changed into our white clothing and headed for the river. Yes the river. No one uses baptismal fonts anymore. It was awesome because there was four of us in white clothing making our way through trees on a muddy path. Totally worth it. The sight of the baptism was beautiful. We began the service which consisted of two talks followed by a musical number. The music man strikes again. I was asked to sing the musical number hahah so i sang Joseph Smiths First Prayer to the music of Come Thou Fount in Tagalog. (an arrangement we used to sing in my 9th grade seminary class). It went well. Something about being on the side of the mountain next to a river makes everything better. After the musical number, it was time to perform the baptism. Elder Atoigue first baptized the young boy, then it was Sister Gaira's turn. We both waded out into the middle of the river. She grasped my wrist, i rose my right arm to the square and said the baptismal prayer in Tagalog. I concluded the prayer and slowly immersed Sister Gaira into the water. I then pulled her back out of the water. Everything went perfectly. I could not have asked for a better experience. I was filled with a joy unlike any other. Sister Gaira has been investigating the church for over a year. A lot of missionaries have taught and grown to love her. I was lucky enough to represent all these missionaries and officially bring Sister Gaira into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She's an amazing person and will be an amazing member of the Church.