Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Baptism isn't the end, it's merely the beginning!"

This week, the last week of the transfer was a slower week, but fantastic! And by the way, the title of this email is a quote from The District, a reality TV show about missionaries. We found out transfer doctrine and both Elder Miller and I are staying put in Greeley. We are excited for this next transfer and for the work in this area. 
Wednesday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. I'll include that pic. We did a lot of service at the Habitat ReStore which was fun. We clean people's donated stuff, unload trucks, move furniture, and load items into people's vehicles. It's an overall good time and they put us to work. You hear some funny things working there.
I guess what this email is mostly about is baptism! I found out late last Monday that the Cooper family, who I taught in Hanna for 3 months, was BAPTIZED!!! I was super stoked because I love them and it was amazing to hear. Andy, Helga, and her son, Jarrod, all made that covenant with God to follow Jesus Christ. I felt that joy referenced in D&C 18. That is how I started my week, and to end my week, we had a baptism here! Heather, who 20 years ago would have laughed in your face if you told her she would become a Mormon, was baptized by her boss at work. She is what we missionaries like to call GOLDEN! That just means she has been prepared by the Lord to receive the Restored Gospel! Her testimony is powerful. She has found the Truth and is not going to let anything stop her on her way to the Celestial Kingdom. I had the opportunity to stand in with other Priesthood holders and confirm Heather a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bless her with the gift of the Holy Ghost. That was real. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost testifying to me this is True. I felt that burning in my bosom and my mind was clear. I could feel God's love for Heather and it was amazing to be a part of her receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Wow.

Baptism isn't the end. It's merely the beginning! It's the strait and narrow gate we must enter in order to receive Eternal Life, which is living with Heavenly Father forever. It's been a blessing to see people make that first step and covenant to follow Christ. I can see them being blessed for doing so. I'm grateful for parents who taught me the Gospel of Jesus Christ when I was young which allowed me to make correct decisions. When I did/do mess up, I can repent and renew those covenants with God by partaking of the sacrament. The sacrament is such a meaningful experience to me. Growing up, I always either passed, prepared, or blessed the sacrament every Sunday. Partaking of the sacrament in remembrance of Jesus Christ is the highlight of my week. I feel God's love for me and His satisfaction with the work I am doing.

I'm happy right now. Well, more like joyful. Happy is a changing emotion but joy is a state of mind. I have JOY! We learn in 2 Nephi 2:25 that "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." That's why we are here: to have that lasting joy that ONLY comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's not fleeting. It's always there for those who desire and strive for it. Be joyful, love life, and enjoy it! 
-Elder Sell

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