This week we had our first return appointment with Cody and Mason. They weren't there. But that's not the point of this story! We brought a member, Jeffrey, with us. I asked him where he had served his mission. He told me Tulsa, Oklahoma. I asked him when he got back. He told me six months ago. I figured that put him in the perfect time table to know Lincoln Worthington, who served there; so I asked him if he knew an Elder Worthington. He said, "are you kidding me? He was my MTC companion! I love that guy!" Small world! So Lincoln's MTC comp is in my ward.
That morning we also got a surprise announcement on our weekly mission leadership call. President Murdock told us that we would be having Mission Leadership Council on Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm. He also told us several of the missionaries around the mission to invite. So to jump to Thursday, We went to the meeting. There were two brethren from the Missionary Department of the Church there. One was Brother Hemingway, the head of proselyting in the Church! The other was his "junior companion," Brother Gonzales. They taught us a lot about planning effectively for people, focusing on investigators, and how to use our time effectively to meet our goals. It was a good meeting, and I got to see a lot of the missionaries I left on the Western Slope who had been invited! Fun stuff.
On Friday, we went through the baptismal program with Taylor and Shaylan to make sure they were up to speed on how the service was going to happen. Then we taught them about service in the Church, and they both agreed to accept callings in the Church when the time came.
We invited just about everyone we knew to the baptism, and then Saturday came. We went to go fill up the font in the morning. We had some trouble getting the water hot enough (it needs to be about 100 degrees), probably because the building is really old. So we got two giant pots and boiled water to dump in. It probably ended up being about 90 degrees, so not too bad. But there was another problem. As the font filled up, we realized that the water was green. Really green. Again, probably because the building is really old. But I mean, it was like, green. Like it came from a lake. So we were freaking out, because the baptism was like 20 minutes away, and there didn't seem to be anything we could do! The only thing I could think of was to get some chlorine. We would have about 30 minutes after the program started before we would actually perform the ordinances. So we ran to the store and bought some chlorine, getting back just a couple of minutes before the program started. The tablets were slow-dissolving, so I crushed one with my heel and brushed it into the water, then stirred it around. And the water was miraculously clear! Just kidding. I wish. What actually happened is that everyone present (just some other missionaries) choked on the fumes from the chlorine and the water did nothing. I hoped the 30 minutes would give the chlorine a chance to do something to the water. Then we got changed and the program started. It was really good. The time came for the ordinances, and the water was still green as ever. So I told the girls that it was imported straight from the river Jordan, a comment I think I heard another missionary say. Shaylan looked skeptical and a bit confused, so I told her I was kidding.
First I baptized Shaylan, who made a successful effort not to cry, and then Elder Rosequist baptized Taylor. It was great! The next day in Sacrament meeting, Bishop confirmed them both at their request. That day they were both pulled out of Sunday school and given callings! Shaylan is the new Gospel Principles Class President, and Taylor is the Assistant to the President. Basically, they conduct the class and greet people, welcome investigators, and so forth. So cool! Then later in the day Shaylan gave us some cookies!
We were asked to attend the Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting that night, since we, as Zone Leaders, represent the missionaries of the Stake. We counseled with all of the ward mission leaders and the high councilman over missionary work on the things we're doing well as a Stake, and the areas where we need to improve. That was a good meeting, and I hope we got some ideas that will really help hasten the work here in Highlands Ranch!
I know that this Church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! It is so clear! This is the dispensation of the fulness of times. How blessed are we to live in this time! Go share it. I love you all!
A Thought from Mom:
“Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclain your faith! Let your faith show!” ~Russell M. Nelson