Monday, September 8, 2014

[9/8/2014] Week 79: Emma is baptized!

Emma's Baptism
Well, shoot.

This was the end of my third transfer with Elder Haupu. We both learned and grew a lot, having finally figured out how to get along and stay along. Emma Torve was baptized last weekend, but I didn't have time to tell you about it. She's the investigator that Elder Haupu and I taught for about three months, and then handed to the sisters in the Silver Lake ward because Emma's mom thought she was only being baptized because she was infatuated with elders. But what her mom doesn't know is that Emma has read through about three-quarters of the Book of Mormon by now and has a brazen testimony of its truthfulness.
Emma Torve
That young lady faced a lot of trial and opposition from even the closest members of her family, but she knows what is right. Man, she is just like a pioneer from early Church history. Now, she's a ward missionary, and she even helped us teach an investigator, Mario, who lives across the street from her.

Speaking of, Mario has continued to make progress, and really, really tried to come to church yesterday, but his dad nixed that with a last-minute order to help install new stereos in the family car. It seems as though his parents are more opposed to Mario's decision to be baptized than they are letting on. After all, they raised him Catholic. He feels our message is true and he enjoys reading the Book of Mormon, but at this point, he doesn't recognize the need to do what is right in the face of opposition. He'd rather stay where he is comfortable.

We reached out to Bonnie again this week, and she finally responded, and she even came to church yesterday! However, she complained the whole time that it was boring, and blah, blah, blah. If she would agree to meet with us, she would learn more about the gospel, would understand what is being taught, and would learn to love church! But she's really busy getting ready for the new semester and whatnot.

We're teaching another young man named Aaron. Once the star quarterback of the local high school and on his way to greatness, his life has been ravaged by idleness and addiction. Every time we teach him, he asks about how he ought to go about being baptized, but as one might guess, he has an issue with commitment. We were able, however, to knock on his door at 1pm yesterday, get him dressed and walk with him to church for sacrament meeting at 1:30. Every one of the testimonies given seemed geared right at him, and he knew it. The Spirit testified to his heart that it was true. But it seemed too much for him. He walked back home after the first hour. I asked him how he felt about the meeting, and his response, "I feel dirty..." was telling as to the true role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. Brother Donaldson of the Missionary Department of the Church taught when he visited our mission that when people come to church for the first time, they ought to feel terrible. This is because they look around at all of these people who seem to be perfect and they feel the Holy Ghost prompting them that they need to change.

So we're working with a lot people who have immense potential to be changed and do a lot of good for others, but don't seem to have enough interest or commitment to progress. Right now, I'm just trying to pray for more charity for these people and for more faith in Jesus Christ.

Josh, a young man who is returning
to activity in the Church.
Well, we got transfer calls this morning, and Elder Haupu is leaving. After eighteen weeks, they're tearing us apart. And he's training too! So that'll be good. He's a great guy with an awesome testimony. He always knew just what to say in contacts when I got caught up. He's certainly a "Preach My Gospel" missionary, and I'm going to miss him.

Please pray for my new companion and I to have a great start to an awesome transfer!

That's heart-breaking to hear about Roland. I remember he was always the go-to guy for anything maintenance-related. That is an immense trial to endure, but I think he can do it. Elder Haupu trained a missionary from Utah named Elder Bahr who was born with clubbed feet. He had many, many corrective surgeries throughout his life, but missionary work is a lot of walking, so he faced a lot of pain and suffering. Eventually, he had his right foot removed, and he ended his mission after three months, but his story and testimony are very inspiring. That kid works hard with the right perspective. His name is Ryan Bahr; maybe he's on Facebook or Blogspot or something.


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