Yea – we got some photos from Australia – finally!
May 23, 2010
Hello Family and Friends,
My goodness, what a week this has been. One companionship left Springvale, leaving all of their work behind for just Elder Vaiho and I to tackle by ourselves. And worse yet, we don’t have a car! Our evenings are overflowing with appointments, referrals are gushing in all of a sudden from other Elders and even members, and we can hardly keep track of all of them! And instead of stress, this is the most actively engaged and joyful I have ever felt on my mission so far.
We have been working further with John, the unexpected nice guy as we walked across the street.
We have been seeing a lot of members and recent converts. And we had Ellen’s long-awaited baptism on Saturday. You guys were all sleeping, and there I was witnessing one of the most powerful culminations of ward support and emotional flow ever. I’ll start with the baptism.
Ellen, as I said before, was investigating maybe 8 months. The whole ward knew her, and had seen her slide back and forth. Since investigating, she has given up alcohol, smoking, and even quit coffee immediately after drinking it several times a day. Her main concern was her mother who is against the church, but despite saying no repeatedly, she did in fact come to the baptism. It started about a half hour late, but everybody understood the significance of it. During a musical number, Ellen’s nieces and her nonmember sister sang a song a cappella, and her sister felt the spirit so strongly it cut off her voice as the tears flowed. We’ll try to schedule a time with her soon, we got her number.
Ward support and activity has skyrocketed. I think we got about 5 new people to teach in the past two days, either brought to the baptism or to church by members. Yesterday in church I a)spoke in sacrament meeting (the ward loved it) b) confirmed Ellen c) taught an investigator and was supposed to d) share some experiences in Primary but the investigator was more important. Her name is Joanna, and she’s been looking for the right church and loves ours so far. She was brought by a member friend.
It’s been incredible. I hope this week Elder Vaiho and I actually have the time to see all these people, because now we have members wanting to feed us every night (one sister said “Good talk! Such a good talk! That deserves a dinner appointment! Where’s your calendar? Oh no! This week is full! Sign me up for next week!”), we have lots of recent converts and potentials to see, and without a car we really can’t get everywhere very easily. But really, how can I complain? We’re up to our neck with people to teach, and I absolutely love teaching. I am so glad to be on a mission to get so much experience with teaching.
Elder Vaiho and I get along great. He’s from Tahiti, and his primary language is French. I help him with English all the time, correcting his mistakes and defining words he doesn’t understand. He’s got such strong faith, he exercises it like granite. The language is a bit of a barrier for him, but he is a good teacher and eager to talk to everyone he sees. And since it’s just the two of us, we are perfectly focused. It’s awesome.
If you were to tell me, “Hey, Elder Baker, it’s time to go home,” I would honestly reply, “What? I’m just getting started! Can I get more time? Please?” I have loved this week. I hope I can get to everything I need to this week, and keep the momentum going. Since the two of us are both fairly new (Elder Vaiho has about 7 months) we both have to step up to the plate in responsibility. That’s what it’s all about.
Thank you for the support you give! I’m having a great time, and I’m doing the best I can to help everyone I see. I’ll pass on to you that Bishop Paki told us we’re doing a great job. 🙂
I love you! Talk to you next week!
-Elder Scott Baker