Well the miracle of the week was that the Elders' investigator in our Ward got baptized. He is a whopping 495 pounds with understandable bum, knees, and hips. For two weeks, the Elders have been on a hunt for something for him to wear in the font. We miraculously were going to the temple, so we got a 5x suit from the font there....but not so miraculously, because it didn't fit. They ended up having a member make new pants.
The night before we were asking the Missionaries how they felt towards the baptism ,and one said, "Normally I am excited with butterfly's and everything, but this is a different kind of nervousness." The Elders are two sticks and our Mission Leader was planning on baptizing him with the Elders catching him and lifting him up. I was so excited to see how it would work....it didn't.
They first tried with chairs, but the chairs were too tall. So, we took a little intermission where one Bishopric member came out of the font with suits and told a couple more burly Elders to suit up. Then, with one Ward Mission Leader, one Bishopric member and 3 Missionaries, they attempted to baptize him. But, he was so scared and he half screamed; which, is not so cool when you are about to go under water. He came up coughing, and it was a mess. So, they attempted one more time, and I prayed in my head SO HARD. Well, like one intense spiritual trust fall that 495 pound man got completely immersed, and he came back up a new man. It was fantastic and we couldn't help but ring out an applause! It was incredible!!
The temple was also an awesome experience. Such a blessing we can go there! After we did our session, I was lucky enough to be one of the first in the celestial room. It was so cool, because slowly, one by one each of my fellow missionaries came in and each time they came in, in my head it was like, "Yes, they made it."
Funny story...but not...the night before the temple I realized that I didn't have the phone with me and we could NOT find it. At first, I was like, aw man, we can't talk with anyone. Then I was like, Aw YES, we can't talk with anyone! I didn't realize how much stress that thing gave me. I figured it would come back somehow...which it did...but that night, before the temple trip. The phone is our only alarm, so that was scary seeing if we would wake up. But after waking up for 7 months at exactly 6:30 every day, it was not a problem. It ended up being in the driveway of our dinner appointment the night before.
We also had another miracle. We were able to put an investigator...who coincidentally also is named Debbie...on date. Exactly one day after transfers...yay...send in prayers that I stay here! We also have our District Leader...an ex AP talking with President about it. So, fingers crossed. We have been teaching her since we first got here. She was the investigator we met the night we got here at the member's home. We have been texting her every day scriptures and she eats them up. She loves the church. Her only hold up was her kids weren't so hot about it and she doesn't want to get into something with out them. But we told her how she will be a fantastic example for them, and we made a pro/con list for her. After a giant group fast... she's getting baptized!
Baptism as written by Elder Mcgee:
"So, it's the day of Raymonds baptism! Me, Elder Stum, our Ward Mission Leader, and Raymond are all dressed in white and the baptismal service has begun. We struggled to help him down the steps and into the baptismal font. When he was finally in the font we were relieved, but we had no idea what kind of struggles laid ahead. Attempt number one was very unsuccessful. As we tipped him down into the water, for some reason he inhaled and kept his eyes wide open. He started to panic. The look on his face was the essence of fear. So naturally, the moment we heard gargling we brought him back up. That's when we knew we couldn't do this alone. I summoned another Elder, whom is our District Leader and is known by the name of Elder Ives and the 2nd counselor in our Bishopric. We told them to put some jumpsuits on and hop in! Once the five of us, not including Raymond himself, were in the font we were ready to get this guy baptized. After one more failed attempt, we were more determined then ever! Third time's the charm we got this 495 pound man fully submersed! We all smiled from ear to ear and Raymond was entered into a covenant. Doesn't get better than that folks!"
Also, I found out that there was no trust fall! Elder Ives kicked out his legs as he went down, subtly enough that we couldn't see, but it must've taken the leg strength of a pro soccer player.
|Ward Mission Leader, Man being baptized, |
his Wife, Elder Stum, Elder Mcgee
Elder Mcgee and Elder Stum
fitting into his pants.