Friday, April 15, 2011
GLORIA GOT BAPTIZED!!
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 Dad, I didn't get a letter from Mom yet, so I'll just reply to yours this week. Yes, he said the actual "F" bomb, haha. Definitely a classic teaching appointment. Thank you for your nice comments as well! And thank you for the money in my account - I only have one and a half suits that I have to wear (I forgot one of my suit's pants at home when I came back), so I might spend a lot of that money today on a new suit. Mens Wearhouse is having a "buy one, get one free" deal on suits and Elder Lester really needs one too. So, I hope that's alright! And congrats to Jason on the quick engagement! No, I won't be competing with anyone to see how fast I can get married when I get home. I do look forward to it though. My went was awesome! Gloria from Wausau got baptized! I feel like if that was the only thing I got to be a part of in coming back on my mission, I would be worth it. Elder Lester and I were scheduled to be on exchanges with the Wausau zone leaders anyway that day, so I worked out perfectly for us to be up there for it. She asked Elder Lester to baptize her, and the Spirit was very strong during it. We all had tears in our eyes when he stated her name as part of the ordinance. She has good friends in the ward from the Relief Society now, so that has really helped in her conversion. So after all those ups and downs, from discontinuing teaching her to having her call wanting to be taught - she finally had an experience that impressed her so much that she'll never be able to deny the divinity of the Book of Mormon, no matter what other concerns might come up. On one of her "down" days, the elders were teaching her from the Book of Mormon, and because she was not open, she help up her Bible and said, "I have a Bible! I have a Bible! I don't need any other bible!" After testifying, the elders saw her hardened heart, and they told her that she should call them again if she wanted to learn from them. The next day started out terrible, and she was feeling horrible. Even after being "dropped", the Lord guided her to read in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi chapter 29."And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." And not only the words from the page that were almost her exact words the night previous, but the feelings in her heart chastened her intensely, and she knew she had made a mistake. She still doesn't know or understand everything, but through these experiences, she opened her heart to what her Heavenly Father wanted, and she knew she was supposed to be baptized. So, a former devout anti-Mormon is now a member of the Church! She told me, "Elder Vogan, the only reason I'm doing this is because the Lord told me that's what He wanted me to do. The same voice that has guided and directed me throughout my life, told me that I needed to do this." And it definitely wasn't easy for her! But I'm glad I got to be here for it. Since her confirmation, she has felt the peace we promised her and a greater abundance of the Spirit. I can't wait to her about her experience going to the temple! We had a great week otherwise. We were able to teach many lessons, and seek to find more people to teach. We have zone conferences this week, so that will be really busy. Tomorrow through Friday, we will be driving to different parts of Wisconsin for them. One of them will actually be in Wisconsin Rapids, and after our conference in Green Bay, we will get to spend the rest of the day in Manitowoc! It will be great going back to areas I've served. Well, that's all I have for this week. I hope all of you have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Vogan