I have my "hijo." Elder Steven Russell is from Dallas, Texas. He did two years at BYU prior to his mission so he is 21 instead of the usual 19. He just got into the accounting major at BYU. As a finance major I will overlook this since we get along really well. Already we have had some pretty amazing experiences. Below is an excerpt from my weekly email to President Jackson.
"Wednesday night while introducing Elder Russel to our Elder's Quorum President, I asked him what he thought our investigator Ernesto needed to accept a baptismal date. He told us that he had actually prayed about it and felt that Ernesto needed to know how to get answers to prayers. He knew the how to pray, but didn't quite know how to listen.
The next night we began reteaching prayer. I thought we had done a sufficient job the first time, but I realize that we hadn't taught to his needs. This time was different. We taught him that God will answer him if he prays. We emphasized that the Spirit will teach us the things to pray for. After Ernest offered a kneeling prayer, we just listened for a good five minutes. We then asked him to be baptized. He told us that he felt different and that he had never felt that way before. It was wonderful to see this change in him. He didn't accept the date that night, but wanted to continue praying like this over the next 24 hours. We set an appointment for the next night.
In the time between the two appointments an amazing change occurred. Ernesto came to the Friday appointment waiting for us to ask him to be baptized. During that time he also was offerred a Monday through Friday job, something he hasn't had since arriving in the United States twenty years earlier. He knew he had an answer and was eager to accept.
It was amazing to see the difference between this lesson and the previous lessons. I realize we had almost been fumbling in the dark. It must have been the twentieth time he was invited to be baptized, but the change was definite. It wasn't until he learned how to receive answers to prayers that he was able to resolve some of his own concerns."
We are so excitied for this. Baptisms make me happy, very happy.
Please express my condolence to the Aalona family. I am very sad to hear that. I wasn't expecting to come back to a different Lake City Ward. It won't feel the same without him.