This week we were privileged to taste the fruit of our labor again! We were able to help Adrian into the waters of baptism. Now he has a pretty cool story. Here's the recap:
Adrian was contacted by elders in Rockville just around a year ago. They gave him a Mormon.org card, but Adrian wasn't ready at that time. After an incredibly hard trial in his life, he felt the need to thank God so he called the phone number on that card 6 months after initially receiving it. After meeting with him once, those new elders passed him to the Potomac ward elders and were able to teach him twice. However, not long after that, Adrian moved back in with his family who happens to live in our area. We met Adrian on the 2nd of September this year, and we met with him a few times a week ever since. He told us that his parents always spoke highly of the Church, and turns out, they've been less-active members for about 20 years but they've been coming with Adrian to church these past few weeks. What a miracle family! (We're not sure how interested his siblings are, but we're working with the one step at a time.)
And then on top of that, we briefly touched on how last week we were able to help Paul be baptized as well!
These two families will always hold dear places in my heart.
Last week I was essentially unable to email because we went to Arlington cemetery as all the sisters leaving the mission in the next 6 months.
The senior couple that was guiding our tour said something very profound at the end of it that I'd like to share with all of you. It mostly relates to missionaries that are returning home soon, but anyone can apply the teachings. This was told to us after we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It has probably occurred to you that those who guard the Tomb have a number of things in common with you. They are in the prime of life. They are fit, attractive in a way, well groomed and well dressed. They are acknowledgeable in their duties. They wear a special badge. They are accountable for their behavior. They are designated representatives of a higher power with duties they are expected to perform to a certain time to the best of their ability.
There are, however, significant differences between you and those who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For one, you represent not a multitude of grateful citizens, but one who died to save us from ourselves and death and sin and foolishness. Not one of these guards has authority to heal the sick or confer the Holy Ghost, except he change his fine uniform for undistinguished white clothing and receive baptism from one like you, and receive the priesthood by an authorized servant of the God of both living and dead. Not one of these guards will walk back into the presence of God and be set at the head of his family until he has traded his shiny shoes for white slippers, and his well-pressed tunic for the robes of the priesthood, and has covenanted to give his all to a greater cause than the respectful remembrance of those who have gone before.
Each man and woman assigned here at Arlington will have exactly the same opportunity as everyone you have ever met, to learn and understand and choose which path he or she will take. Some will choose to pace back and forth, back and forth. Others will move forward holding on to the Rod. Some of those, who, like you, have once chosen to move forward, will change their minds and forfeit the progress they have made and slip back into worldly ways, like returned missionaries who go to sacrament meeting wearing striped clown socks, form-fitting dresses, and hurricane hair; or who trade temple attendance for a day at the spa.
But I pray that there will be some, perhaps all of this group, who will retain a remembrance of what they have seen and felt, here and elsewhere in their mission and in other holy places, treasuring up all that is noble and uplifting and good, and go on in greater diligence and service, pursuing their education, forming a family on principles of righteousness and fulfilling the promises of their patriarchal blessings and other scriptures.
For the living, Arlington is a place in which to only spend a short time, like a mission field; but it can serve as a reminder of God's great plan for his children. For at that day when the trump shall sound and the dead shall come forth by thousands here, there will be no more need of guards; but the preaching of the gospel shall go on and on, "till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
The earthly work of those buried is done here, but yours is not. May you continue faithful until it is, until you may receive all that the Father has promised the faithful, I pray.
We must do better. We must do more. On, on to the victory! (D&C 128:22-23)"
May we strive to be changed by the Atonement of Christ and stay changed!
|Paul and family|
|All of the sisters who will be going home in the next six months|
|Baptism of Adrian|
|Sis Galli and Sis Yancey|