I'M STAYING IN LEXINGTON!!!
I am so excited! I found out the other day! This will be my 5th transfer here, so at the end of this transfer, I will have been here about 7 months in Lexington/Ft.Jackson. Sister Brown is still my companion and we are beyond excited!
All My Friends-------
This week all my friends got baptized! Pvt. Holley, Hanvey, Tucker, Franks, and Tilley. Here is a little bit about them:
Franks: Pvt. Franks friends were baptized 2 weeks ago. He listened as Pvt. Van Der Graffe, the best member missionary, taught his friends. He listened, prayed, and read the Book of Mormon. Then two weeks ago, he told me that he wanted to be baptized, so I taught him the lessons!
Tilley: Pvt. Tilley was also a friend of Pvt. Van Der Graffe. During the lesson yesterday, I shared a scripture about soilders of Christ in 2 Timothy 2:3. After sharing that, Tilley turned to me and said, "This reminds me of a scripture that (someone) showed to me the other day." He then turns to the story of the Title of Liberty and shares a couple of scriptures with me, skipping over some and shortening others. I was shocked. Couldn't believe it. He was so ready to be baptized.
Tucker: Pvt. Tucker! I taught him the longest. He was a friend of Pvt. Applebaum, Lancaster, Carr, Palacios, and Clayson. He is the third friend of theirs to get baptized. Pvt. Tucker is a crack up. When something is serious, he jokes about it. That is just how he processes it. (Funny, but makes it harder to teach!) Tucker was the one who came up to me last week and asked to be baptized after the Plan of Salvation. He wrote me a letter, it was hilarious. I should have brought it with to share it with y'all. He just talked about how excited he was to be baptized.
Pvt. Tucker's family is catholic. He is going to be the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is telling his family this Thursday at his Basic Training graduation. Please pray for him! He is so excited to be able to use the priesthood and go to the Temple someday. He is determined to be an example to his family.
Hanvey: Pvt. Hanvey came to church a couple of weeks ago and was taught by Sister Roundy. She said that he didn't really have a belief in God. Well, a couple of weeks went by and he showed back up to church. I taught him in the Restoration class and when I asked if anyone wanted to be baptized. His, Holley, and Franks's hands shot up like rockets. They were determined to be baptized. They wanted it really bad.
Well after talking with him, I found out that he was being chaptered out. Meaning he was getting sent home. (You can be chaptered out for many reasons: Health, Disobedience, Refusal, Ect.). He didn't know when he would get sent home. Sister Brown promised him if he would pray and try his best, he would still be here to be baptized, and he was! We sent him home with a lot of information to study. He came to church and was taught a lot of lessons and was baptized before being chaptered out. Miracle!
Pvt. Holley: Pvt. Holley is the best! When I asked him how he felt yesterday, he said I feel "blahhh". He was just shining! He said, "I feel happy for no reason!" We explained that that was the gift of the Holy Ghost. He was just so, so happy! The Spirit will do that to you! His blessing was beautiful, it talked all about him preparing for responsibilites in the church and an eternal marriage. Holley was in my class last week and was also one of the ones who vaulenteered os quickly to be baptized.
I taught a lesson in the morning to a few soilders, two of which were Franks and Tilley. I tried to explain to them that they needed a few more lessons before the could be baptized. I told them that they could get them right now, a little quicker or have them spread out throughout the day and be baptized next week. I explained that this would give them more time. They would not have it. Not at all! They told me how they had been reading, praying, and had been to church several times. They explained that Pvt. Van Der Graft had taught them and how ready they were.
We have been trying to not rush soilders to baptism, that if they have a few weeks left here at basic, to give them more time than 2 weeks. These soilders still had some time left, but they were ready. Very much so. When you're ready, you're ready.
These soilders were so excited to be baptized and to be forgiven of their sins. To think, that they found out that all of the mistakes they had ever made could be washed away. It must have been amazing for them. The Savior said, "Behold, he who hath repented of his sins, the same if forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more."
Heavenly Father sent us here to earth to learn, to be become better, and eventually return home to Him. He knew that along the way we would make mistakes; that on our journey home, we might make a few wrong turns. That is why He sent his son, Jesus Christ to earth, to atone for our sins. To make those wrong turns right, so we could be on the right path.
Repentance is such a beautiful gift, becuase it allows us to live with God again. While on earth, we all make mistakes, "we all fall short of the glory of God" and become dirty. Dirty isn't a very good feeling, its hard, it makes us feel heavy, like we are carrying a burden. Heavenly Father doesn't want us to feel that way. We can repent and feel better, feel lighter, feel pure, feel clean. We can do this as we come to church each week and partake of the sacerment. I sometimes tell the soilders that it is like being baptized on the inside.
I found that asking myself these questions really help:
1) Do I regret it? (You must regret it to be sorry)
2) What did I learn from it? (Even if you messed up, if you learned from it, you can use that experience for good by learning.)
3) Will I do it again? (If you are truly repentant, you will not do it again)
I know that daily repentance makes us happier, it allows us to feel the Spirit more and feel that happy feeling that Pvt. Holley felt. It is the best feeling in the world to see the light of the gospel in someone's face, where it was not so evident before. I love being a missinoary.
Hope y'all enjoy my Ft. Jackson adventure. After reading these things, I invite y'all to ponder what you learned from it and how it can help you, and to then apply what every you learned to your life. I know that if you do this, that you will feel better. Also, please apply the three questions to your life.
I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I am so thankful to be a missionary. I know that repetnance, and this gospel is real becuase I have read the scriptures, prayed, and applied this to my life and it has only made it better.
Sister Susan Anderson