This week was awesome. So many great things happened. We had a mission conference this morning from 11-1 with Elder Andersen from the Quorum of the 12! It was amazing! It was kind of a last minute thing. We knew he was going to be here to speak in the Hunter's Creek Stake Conference and on Monday he told President Hall that he wanted to speak to the mission. I love hearing from Apostles! He spoke a lot about patience in the work. So good. But yeah I'll share some of our experiences from this week.
1. We were asked to give a girl in our ward a blessing. She was having a hard time with some things. We went over and two of her nonmember roommates were there, Angie and Nozomi. As they listened to us explain what we were about to do, they became very interested, and eventually asked if they could receive blessings as well. We ended up giving all of them blessings. There were three priesthood holders there so we each gave one. I gave one to the member. Elder Gregson gave Angie a blessing in spanish because she is from Puerto Rico. And Ben (a member) gave Nozomi a blessing. The Spirit was in the room so strongly during these blessings. We felt the love the Lord had for these girls. After Elder Gregson gave Angie a blessing she stood up, turned around with tears in her eyes and started to explain herself in Spanish. I obviously had no idea what she was saying, but I could tell that she was filled with the love of God. Elder Gregson translated what she had said after she finished. She said that when we put our hands on her head and started she felt something that she had never felt before flow from her head down to her toes. After the blessings we explained that the Spirit of God was what they were feeling. We had an appointment right then, so we asked if we could come back in an hour and talk to them more about what happened and how important it is. They accepted. We came back and had a great lesson. Invited to baptism. They said if they found out it was true they would. They are coming to church tomorrow.
2. We taught Demi for the fourth time on Wednesday. We had fasted for her on Sunday that she could accept the restoration of the Gospel and be baptized. Each out of the three previous times we had met with her we invited her to be baptized. We had feelings that this, the fourth, would be a pivotal lesson. We went in and eventually were inspired by Heaven to ask if she was scared. When we asked that simple question...everythinggg poured out. She wept as she explained all of her concerns and how she was scared to make the wrong decision. Everyone from her home had been telling her that she was making a mistake to study the Book of Mormon. She had been having an inner-conflict with herself about making the right choice. We helped her through it and explained how the adversary makes us fearful and the Holy Ghost helps us feel peace and love. She recognized that each time she read, prayed, went to church, and so on, she felt the presence of the Spirit. At the right moment, we invited her to be baptized again and she accepted. We set her date for next Saturday, the 22nd. As it set in, she lit up and started beaming. It was like she was being filled with helium-stress and it was finally able to be released and relieved. It was pretty amazing to see it happen. So she is preparing to be baptized!
3. Dave's baptism was this morning before the mission conference. He was SO happy. Everything was amazing. The girls who introduced him to the Church gave the talks and they blew it out of the water. They made Dave cry and brought the Spirit very strongly. We are so thankful for ward members who are devoted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We couldn't do it without them! They also got Dave the quad scripture set with a case and his name engraved. He was so thankful. Charity.
4. We went on exchanges with the Stuart and Hunter's Creek zone leaders this week. Stuart has a lot of great things happening in their area. They are happy and excited. Elder Schmeil and I were able to set 3 dates. One of them was a girl named Mary that accepted to be baptized next Saturday. As we invited her to be baptized the Spirit was being intensely felt by all those present. I was literally burning inside after she accepted the date for next week. One of the few times that I've actually felt a literal burning in my heart. It was an amazing experience. Hunter's Creek has some things going as well. They are excited for the success that their zone is having and are planning on meeting their baptism goal of 16 this month. We were able to set a date with a girl for the 29th of this month. It was their miracle for this month. I love being a part of other missionaries' success and happiness!
Those were the highlights. I LOVE YOU A TON!!! Have a great week!
I apologize for not speaking enough of Uncle Ed last week! I don't know what happened because I thought about it a lot. I emailed Grandma Barnes though and tried to give her some words of encouragement. Tell Aunt Verna and Grandma that I love them very much. I testify that Uncle Ed is not far distant from us. I testify that he still lives as the spirit-child of God that he was first created as. I know that one day, through the resurrection of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, Uncle Ed will have his body again, perfected, and not a hair of his head will be lost. Every limb, joint, and bone will be brought to an immortal state and he will be free from any of the pains and afflictions he suffered in this earthly life. He lives! And it's only through Christ. The reason we have this pure knowledge is through the restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I testify that that man was called of God. I testify that the work that he was called to perform was the work of our God, our Heavenly Father. The Bible contains Christ's resurrection and the Book of Mormon teaches us the wonderful knowledge that resurrection is available to all of God's children. The Book of Mormon teaches us in an in-depth, simple, and clear way the doctrine of the resurrection. That is why it is so important! Aunt Verna, I love you! I am sorry for your loss. You will see your sweet husband once again! I KNOW THAT IS TRUE! I invite you to read the passages in the Book of Mormon that teach of where Uncle Ed is and how happy and set-free he is! Please! I beg of you! And when you do, pray and ask the Lord to help you understand the teachings. It will change your life! It has changed mine! I testify that the fulness Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth. We are led by Apostles and Prophets. God has always worked in the same way and will continue to do so until the second coming of our Savior, when we will see Him face to face. I love you Aunt Verna and Grandma Barnes! All will be made right through Christ.
I will explain about my release date next week! I'm sorry I ran out of time! Love you!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
LATER THAT DAY . . . :
Hey I am so scatter brained when I email you guys I'm so sorry! DAD! HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYY! I love you so much. You are the best father ever. Like...numero uno fo sho! I have learned so much from you in my life. And most of it is things that I've realized on the mission. Weird how that works. But you have blessed me with things that will benefit me for the rest of my life! You aren't that old...don't worry. Adam was like 1000 or something hahaha.
So about the release date thing: I would love to have you here my last few days. I would also love to just come home. Whatever you think would be best. Because I know that you both have waited a long time to see me and however you want that to happen is fine with me. It's because of you that I am even here on the mission :) both have pros and cons. I do want to finish my mission strong though. 100% till the last second. I think it's something you should pray about for sure...just like everything else haha. Get back to me next week and we can talk a little more about it.
Elder Austin Gable Engemann