Dear Family and Friends: This has been a GREAT week!
We had 6 baptisms this week in our ward and we have another 3 baptisms scheduled for his Wednesday! God certainly is blessings us! So, here they are:
We taught: Miss Harriet 50's, Janiya 14, Malaki 10, and Demari 8. Miss Harriet is the great aunt who watches her 3 "grandchildren." They just love the gospel in every single way! [photo of us and the family]. Also, the Elders taught Candice and Debrah who also got baptized! Candice is the Grandma, Debrah the Mom, and Debrah's 2 kids: Naceem 14and Rashawn 16: were baptized in September, so now they are one big happy family! [photo of Candace+Debrah holding hands with Harriet and Janiya].
This week: Three of our investigators are getting baptized! Here is a little bit about them and their stories:
1) Charles King: An older man who lost his wife a year ago and recently had his foot amputated. He wants to set a good example for his family and therefore is getting baptized this week! Please pray for him, he spent the last week in the hospital with some heart problems.
2) Pamela Ogg: She is in her 30's, a mom of two kids: Aiden 7 and Shanaya 5. Her husband Shawn is a less-active. Since teaching them for the past few months, they have both lived the word of widsom and frequently attend church with their family! Another family!
3) Gail Rodgers: She is also in her 50's and is a lively lady! Her daughter Jessica was baptized in September (our first baptism!). She is a grandma and just wants to follow God. Gail has a lot of turmoil in her life so please pray for her too! Pray for peace!
Also, Elder Bednar came and spoke to us on Saturday! Yes, you read that right! Elder David A, Bednar, an apostle of the Lord! (For those of you who don't already know, we have 12 apostles on the earth today just as in Jesus Christ's time here on the earth. Ya'll might know about Peter, James, and John, ... our curent apostles act in the same way as they did!) He held a question and answer meeting for 3 hours with us! We could ask anything! He taught us how to ask question and let the Spirit answer them. After leaving the meeting, I realized that I didn't need him to answer my questions becuase I can pray to God and ask Him and be answered through the Holy Ghost. He also shook all of our hands! Around 236 missionaries! Then he also took a group picture.
Here is some of what he taught: Do ya'll remember the story about Peter walking on water in the Bible? Elder Bednar spoke to us about "jumping out of the boat" meaning having faith to act. Peter didn't know if he could walk on water until he jumped out of the boat and had his feet touch the water. Likewise, we must first act and do. When we jump out of the boat we must have our gaze fixed on Christ. Peter was walking on water until he took his sight away from Christ and looked down. So we likewise must act in faith and then continue to look towards Christ. In regards to acting in faith Elder Bednar said something along the lines of "It means that you walk in the river Jordan and your feet get wet before the water parts."
It was amazing to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church upon the earth. I know that he has called a prophet and 12 apostles to help lead it. I know that Elder Bednar is truly an apostle of the Lord! (For more of his talks, go to http://www.lds.org/church/leader/david-a-bednar )
Also, we got a new bishopric this week! So our new bishop is: Bishop Christ (who previously, was one of the best missionaries in our stake! He was always seting up events for missionaries to attend and was ALWAYS helping us). The 1st Counselor: Our ward mission leader (the man in charge of us missionaries in the ward). The 2nd Counselor: The assistant ward mission leader. So, if you haven't gotten the hint yet, this ward is going to continue to move forward with missionary work. I. can't. wait! The old bishopric was amazing as well and we look forward to be meeting with them.
Well, since so many of our investigators have been getting baptized, we are looking for more people to teach. Last night we went to vist 2 people whom we had been teaching. They very harshly dropped us and told us to not come back. It really hurt my heart knowing what they were giving up and them not even explaining why, but I knew that God would provide. On our way back to the car, Sister Lundholm and I spoke about finding the people to teach who are ready for the gospel. We thanked God for helping us to know that Rachel and Maddy were not quite ready at that time so we can focus on people who are. The very next house we went to was a lady in the ward who gave us a list of people who she wants to share the gospel with. Brothers and Sisters, Friends and Family, I want to testify that God does provide for us! He hears and answers our prayers. This, I know is true!
On a side note, my companion goes home next week. I love her so much, she truly is my best friend. God sent me to South Carolina to find her! I am so grateful for Sister Amanda Lundholm! She has taught me so much. She truly represent Christ in every thought, action, and deed. Please pray for us this week! She wants to stay here forever, so this week will be emotionally a little harder but that's alright because we are going to be working harder than ever before!
Also, another miracle moment! We were at a devotional last week and met a man name James and his friend. James was preparing to be baptized in Myrtle Beach, the city next to us, that Saturday. It turns out that James is friends with Charles King and Jame's friend, can't remember his name, was Charles brother!! Charles brother is a member of the church too! They apparently haven't been in good contact lately, so neither knew! Blessings! We had been praying to find a friend for Charles in the church and the Lord provided. He always does.
I just want ya'll to know that I love being a missionary. I love it so very much! The Lord certainly has blessed me sending me here to the south! Will ya'll go out this week and share something about your baptism with someone else? If you haven't been baptized, will you ponder the question: Why is baptism important? I promise to answer that next week. Also, if you do it, I know that it will invite the Spirit into your life and converstation as you speak about your baptism in which you followed Jesus Christ.
Sister Susan Anderson
110 Oak Park Dr #B
Irmo, SC 29063
P.S. Sister Lundholm and I have been celebrating Christmas since October! I can't wait! I love CHRISTmas! It's never to early to start celebrating Christ and his birth!