This was much slower than our last week, but we had some crazy miracles happen. We will be having an "unexpected" baptism this thursday. I try not to use the word unexpected because "unexpected" is a dumb word, in missionary work. Nothing really is unexpected. The unexpected is always expected out here when God is in control of things. He has different plans sometimes and we just need to have the sensitivity to hear and the courage to execute them.
So we got transfer calls this week. Not much changed in the mission but we did. I will be staying in Midwest City and training a new zone leader again. His name is Elder Dallin Gardner. I know, cool first name....thanks. ;) He is a spanish missionary, so my wishes are coming true...in a way. Elder Apedaile will be trucking off to Pauls Valley to be with Elder Bender. I am gonna miss Elder Apedaile alot, we got alot of work done out here and had some crazy things happen. He did so much amazing work in Midwest City and now I have the privelege to reap the fruits of his labors. He is the man. We are planning on golfing when I get home, he's taught me the ways of the "tiger". Sikeeee.
So transfers are wednesday morning and then the next day, is the baptism for Rosa Wagner. Her family is way awesome. Dad grew up in the church his whole life, but kinda fell away for a time. Their son, Iran (10), was baptized recently right before I came into MWC and is simply a stud. He has come to church with his grandma for years and decided that he wanted to be baptized. Ever since then, we have been meeting with his whole family. His mom, Rosa, is an amazing lady with such strong faith. She was having difficulty moving away from her Catholic faith because so much of it had become family "culture". She felt like she would be rejecting her past if she were to be baptized. Two weeks ago we set a tentative baptismal date for a month in advance hoping that she would feel comfortable with it, but our lesson last monday was "unexpected" yet expected. The whole lesson was guuided by the spirit and we ended up teaching something completely different then what we had planned. Finally we asked her if she was ready to be baptized and she smiled confidently and said yes. This thursday, she will be baptized. In a year from that date, her family will be able to be sealed in God's temple by His authorized servant, who holds the power to bind in heaven what is bound on earth. What a beautiful thing. All because one 14 year old boy in 1820 decided to ask God.
If you want, take some time to read 2 Nephi 25-28. What an amazing set of chapters. Truly the prophets of old saw our day. Alot of people question why we need the Book of Mormon if we have a Bible. That question pains my soul!!! The Book of Mormon was written for our day. Not only does it invite all to come unto Christ, but it also exposes the enemies of Christ in this day and age. If we know what the enemy is using, we can properly prepare our defense. The enemies of Christ are outlined perfectly in those chapters above. Read them and ponder what they mean. You will be surprised to see that everything Nephi prophesies has happened or is happening already. I am so eternally grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sees the end from the beginning and has provided the Book of Mormon to us in this day so that we can properly prepare to defend ourselves from the adversary.
Alot of people ask us what they should have their kids do to prepare for missionary work. Read the Book of Mormon. Pick it apart. Learn to love it. Put down the iPhones, put down the iPads, turn off the t.v and go get a paper copy of the Book of Mormon and a pen and read. Then read it again. If you do that, the Spirit will come into your life, your knowledge of the Gospel will grow exponentially, and your love and gratitude of Jesus Christ will overflow. But first, you have to leave the world behind. Leave your "nets" and go and study. Then go serve. Do not let a day go by without having first opened a copy of the Book of Mormon. I am a witness of all these things. If I weren't I wouldn't have said it. I am very passionate about it, and you can be too if you want it (yes it is a cool thing to be passionate about).
Hope you all have a good week!! Keep on smiling and serving happily. Always remember who you are and act accordingly.
Elder Dallin Cutler