Monday, October 29, 2012

My first week on BYU and my first baptism :)

So much has happened, I don't even know where to start. Transfers were Wednesday. Everything is so different - the area, my companion, our investigators, everything. It's taking some getting used to, that's for sure. Sister Cha is awesome though and we get along so well. We're basically the same person. She helps me a lot with my Spanish and I've made it a goal to learn 200 new words every transfer (which is about 5 words a day). It's also nice not being in a trio for once, and teaching in English, I feel like I get to say more in lessons than I was before.

It's been SO cold lately. I'm wearing so many clothes all the time; tights, leggings, my dress, a cardigan, a coat, and scarf, and it's still not enough! It doesn't help that our house doesn't have heat. Some days I wake up early and take a hot shower just to get back in bed because I'm so cold. It's rough. AND this is a walking area. I didn't realize how spoiled we were with our car until I came here. Please mail me a car! That'd be just fantastic.

On Wednesday after transfers we got right to work. We had dinner with our investigators (Justin and Stephanie) and their member friends (James and Kendra), and then had a lesson. Justin and Stephanie are so great. They've been taught all the lessons, they're reading their scriptures and going to church, and they know a ton. The problem is that they want to know everything before they get baptized. Right now they're hung up on the nature of God - who He was before He was our Heavenly Father, and how He became who He is. From what I understand, they feel like not knowing everything is affecting their relationship with Him and that until they get the answers they want, they can't get baptized. That's hard for me. I was baptized when I was 8 years old, didn't know half of what I do now, and I don't expect to know everything in this life. But knowing that God is my Father, that He loves me and that He is all-knowing, is enough for me. Some things we just have to take on faith, knowing that more light and truth will be given to us with time and as we're seeking for it.

Hey Paola Ward people, this is for you! Sister Cha and I had a meeting this week with Phil Hickman. He asked where I was from and we got talking about Kansas. I guess he was in the Paola Ward for 23 years or something? He asked about the Kesters and the Cunninghams, Gerry Sue, and Iris! It made me miss the Paola Ward so bad; it was great to meet him.

On Thursday we met with Connor. He first heard about the Church two years ago in Connecticut with his family. His dad was diagnosed with cancer in February, so he says his family has gotten really close through prayer for his dad. He decided to come to BYU because it's a conservative school with high standards. When he came out here, his roommates took him to watch the Joseph Smith movie at Temple Square and then he met and talked with some sister missionaries there. Apparently he'd been having bi-weekly appointments with them over the phone, but they encouraged him to meet with real live missionaries, so that's when he called us! He's so awesome. All the nonmember students here have to take an Intro to the LDS Church class, so he's in that, and he's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying a lot. He got to go to General Conference and he said the Spirit he felt there, in the same room as the living Prophet and Apostles, was incredible. We're meeting with him again on Wednesday and I can't wait to talk to him about the message that we can live with our families forever!

Saturday morning we had a lesson with Sonya. Sister Cha said she'd been progressing really quickly and she even had a date set to get baptized (this last Saturday), but that lately she's kind of hit a wall. She's not even really sure she has faith in God anymore. We watched the moving Finding Faith in Christ with her and the Spirit quickly came into the room. I almost started crying as I bore my testimony that God lives. My voice began to shake as I explained to her that her feelings of doubt and fear did not come from God. I encouraged her to remember the feelings she'd had before as she read and prayed and made the decision to be baptized. Yesterday we fasted for her in the hopes that she would begin to regain that faith she's seemed to have lost.

The highlight of my week was definitely Saturday afternoon. I had my first baptism! She has an incredible story and it was probably one of the coolest things I've been apart of. So many people were there -- 50-60. The Spirit was incredible and she was so happy. She texts us every day and tells us she's still on cloud nine.

Last night we had dinner with the Gill family. They live up by the Y and have a beauuuuutiful home. They said Sunday dinners are always really big (they had like 10-15 kids from BYU over; some of their kids' friends, some they knew from past wards, and then us). It was awesome. One of the guys that was there served in Madrid, and another one served in the Louisville Mission! I talked to them and that was really awesome. Speaking of dinners, it's fantastic eating American food again. I'm going to miss it when I get to Spain!

I think that's about it! Today we're going to a corn maze with our district and one of their investigator's who's getting baptized on Saturday, so I'm looking forward to that! Halloween is Wednesday and the movie President McCune approved us to watch is Narnia. We stop proselyting at 5 and get to have a little party with our district and watch our movie. Yay for Halloween! I love and miss you all. I can't believe how the time is flying. I never want to leave :)

Hermana Munden

P.S. A high council member told me on Sunday that the Spain Ambassador was actually at the MTC this last week and that he promised to do something about the Visa situation! Maybe I'll spend Christmas in Spain?

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