So this week I had my first baptism. And it will not be the last! I say my baptism but what I really mean is that it is the Lord's baptism. But I am glad to have done my part. The name of the person who I baptized is SK and he is from Ghana. I actually performed the baptism which was a great experience. It was amazing to see after pulling him up out of the water and getting out of the baptismal font you could just tell how great he felt. In fact I didn't even ask him because I could already tell. Haha Yeah I don't even really know what to say about it. The most precious of things are usually plain and simple. And really our own commitments and promises to the Lord are simple. I am not entirely sure I really understood baptism as much I did until I came on a mission. I don't think I was ever asked what my baptism meant to me until recently. It is such a big step of faith. Yet it is only the beginning of what we must do. I like to think of it as the gate to the perfect path. Before I talk about my week a little bit I feel like I want to talk about that for a little bit. So I have been thinking about this perfect path. And about baptism and about why so many people have problems with some of the commandments. And I think about, why do other churches not have the word of wisdom or the law of chastity or keeping the Sabbath day holy, amongst other things? No Church that I can think of really asks anything of you to join. They only tell you everything that they can give you or they give you pleasing doctrine that is in harmony with your style of life rather than in harmony with Christ. And it reminds me of a few verses I read in Matthew, chapter 5, this morning and it talks about the Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches us and gives us the higher law which is to become perfect even as He and the Father are perfect. That not only are we not to kill but we are also not to be angry with our brothers. And that not also should we not commit adultery but we should not even lust after another woman in our thoughts. So being perfect is not easy and no one will ever be perfect, that is where faith and repentance comes in, but that is not what caught my eye in the chapter. What caught my eye is what happens in the last few verses. In verses 46-47 it says "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?" Anyone can merely give back what is given. That is not Christ. He has given us everything. Therefore the Church of Jesus Christ asks you to give of yourself, to sacrifice yourself for Heavenly Father and for others. To me that is the testimony of the commandments he has given us. Sometimes we look at the path that he has given us and look at the commandments we have been given and we say that we don't want that. Or that we don't understand. But I testify that when we truly follow this path, that when we truly have faith in it and allow our faith to be tested. We will know more of the mercy of the Lord, we will know more of what it means to have the spirit to be with us, and we will have understanding and will know the perfectness of the way. And if ye doubt go to the perfect source of knowledge, Heavenly Father, and ask in faith and act in faith according to that prayer and ye will know for yourselves of the truthfulness. These are but a few things I have thought about this past week and I hope that some of it has helped lift one of you up today.
So anyways a quick overview of what happened this week went like this. It was kind of a strange week to be honest other than the baptism part of it. I don't really feel like me and my companion got a whole lot done and that we were racing around everywhere trying to figure out how everything was going down for the baptism and setting everything up.
Another day one of the Elders in our apartment got sick and I was chosen to stay with him because they had appointments and ours fell out. Initially, I wasn't particularly overjoyed about it but then realized I was happy to serve my fellow Elder. The day before we went on companion exchange again with the other Elders but they had planned two appointments too close together. So we didn't get to find our own investigators that day until later that day when we were teaching a member's wife who is not a member. But even then that was also interesting because the member's husband had us over for far longer than we wanted to or we were supposed to as well. But, we had some really interesting conversations with him that just make me shake my head thinking about why he is even telling us any of this stuff. He is an interesting member to say the least and I am happy he found Christ and joined the Church.
Something else that happened was when we were filling up the font for the baptisms and then we had to head back to the building where we are having church. But our church building has been under renovation since I got here so I haven't had a church meeting in a real church yet since being in Germany and not to mention church is only an hour each Sunday because of the renovation (haha I am sure some people would love that). But getting back to the point, when we came back to the church house, the font was overflowing and flooded a couple bathrooms nearby and the hallways to them. So me and Elder Karlen, one of the zone leaders, had to hurry and brush all the water down the drains or back into the font before anyone else got there. It was kind of comical to say the least. Well, I am already out of time. I hope all is well back home. I certainly hope it is warmer there too because winter has already left here in Germany. It is the coldest August I have ever had in my life.
But anyway, I love you all and you are in my prayers. I would love if I could get more pictures sent to me of the family so I can share them with the members and people of Germany.