Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life in Eden

Dear Family,

Once again, it has been an almost perfect week.  I am sure that you are getting tired of hearing about my practically perfect life as a missionary.  I had my interview with President Watkins and we both agreed that things are perfect.  At times this scares me because it means that any change would be for the worse.  I hope that isn’t the case.
This last weekend we were blessed to witness the baptism of Simon Orduna. It was one of the best baptisms since arriving in Gilroy.  Until Thursday night, we weren’t sure if it was going to happen.  As we sat down in the lesson, we thought that the baptism was off.  Throughout the lesson we focused on inviting the Spirit.  We taught about faith by using the story of Peter walking on water.  We used a little bit of Oobleck to demonstrate the principle (cornstarch and water).  It was actually really fun.  I love how creative we are able to make our lessons.  As the principle became clearer to Anaberta (Simon’s mother), she asked us if we could do the baptism on Friday at 8 instead of 7.  Her answer shocked us so much that we had to ask, “Do what Friday at 8?”  With about twenty-four hours of confirmation Simon was baptized Friday at 8.  It was a very spiritual baptism.  Everybody involved in the fellowship process participated in the program.  Brother Arriola performed the baptism for his nephew.  The Spirit especially impacted his mother who is even more anxious to put things in her life in order so she can be baptized. 
The only kink in the whole week was the fact that Simon got sick between his baptism and his confirmation.  Fortunately, he stuck it out and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and a blessing of health at church on Sunday.  He is the pioneer in his family.  We hope that the rest of the family will soon follow.
Another reason we were grateful for an awesome week was the visit we received from President Watkins.  The assigned speakers in Sacrament meeting were President Watkins, Elders Smoot, and I.  It was a very missionary oriented meeting.  Before Sacrament meeting, President Watkins joined us in our branch council meeting.  It was one of the best branch council meetings of my mission.  A lot of our recent efforts have really been paying off.  At the end of the meeting, President Watkins made his first comment of the day.  He talked about how awesome the meeting was.  It was centered entirely on people.  Most ward councils have the tendency to get distracted with programs and events, but our meeting was people oriented.   This gives us lots of work for the entire week.   All in all, I think President Watkins was thoroughly impressed by the Gavilan branch.
Elder Badger

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