Monday, April 18, 2016

Baptism and the Power of the Spirit of God

Elder Hilborn moments -

Thursday, Elder Hilborn and I left the car parked outside of WG's house to see a few investigators that lived within close proximity of each other. Elder Hilborn began to read surnames engraved upon decorative stones placed in front of the houses we passed (it's a popular thing to do such in Kansas). Seeing an opportunity, I quoted from Spiderwick, "That's amazing!" Elder Hilborn, excited, curiously asked, "What?" It was too easy! I said, "You can read!" I got a playful icy glare. He knew I was quoting something.

Friday night, I hear: "OH, JESUS!"
"Excuse me?"
"My lock screen is a picture of the Savior, and it was bright! Above the brightness of the sun!"
We had a good laugh.

"I'll definitely be able to make that," Elder Hilborn says, looking to squeeze past a parked car without backing the vehicle.
"No you will not!" I say. It was simply impossible. This isn't enough to convince Elder Hilborn. He makes the attempt anyway. I watch, amused. When it becomes clear the endeavor has been in vain, I see Elder Hilborn rage through the window. It was hysterical!

I See Fire by Peter Hollens plays in the car
"How many times have we sung this song together?"
"Not enough."

I made pancakes for the both of us. Elder Hilborn chowed like a madman. "Don't just hork it down!" and every time Elder Hilborn scarfs food too fast, this happens:
*hiccup* ... *hiccup* ... *hiccup* ... Two seconds apart. This went on until he grabbed some water. He took a sip and said to me, "Sorry. The second I drink some water it stops." .... *hiccup* ... I laughed really hard at this spectacle.

And now to the point -

Saturday, we had an appointment with D.N., a 52 year-old single mother. Her youngest son is a junior in high school. Many instances she expressed she did not want to meet with us, but I felt that we shouldn't give up! Elder Hilborn agreed, so we were able to interest her in a tour of the church. During this tour, we had Sister Unworth with us. The tour went so very well. Sister Unsworth and D are very similar and were able to share an interest of church history with each other. Because D opened her heart, she was able to feel the Spirit and expressed her desire to be baptized! We invited her to church and she accepted.

Later in the evening, WG was baptized! I can't even begin to describe in accurate detail my feelings during this excellent service. So many people came! We couldn't fit everyone in the room to watch the baptism. There was immediate change in WG as he came out of the water. When Bishop Somers brought WG out of the water, he gave WG a big hug. WG just glowed, and radiated happiness. I can't give accurate account of the joyful feeling within my heart. I've never in my life felt happier. When the bishop addressed us after the baptism, welcoming WG into the ward, the Spirit was heavy in the air. It impacted WG in such a way that it was as though WG and the bishop were having a conversation alone. WG is a new man, and the Savior is to thank.

In the early morning of Sunday, Sister Moore gave D a ride to church. I used every ounce of strength I had in my body to follow the Spirit that I would be as welcoming and kind as possible. In sacrament meeting, WG was confirmed a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost. Because it was fast Sunday, he went to the pulpit to bear his testimony. I was shocked! He thanked Elder Hilborn and I, and said he knows this church to be true. It was such a powerful moment. After this, our typically lonely pulpit became flooded with converted testators. Testimonies were borne left and right! Elder Hilborn and I also bore our testimonies. Elder Hilborn bore an amazing testimony of the eternal family. I expressed my gratitude for the ward's service and for the opportunity I have been given to serve them. I bore my testimony of the Spirit in the meeting saying, "I am ASTONISHED by the power of the Spirit in this meeting." Bishop Somers concluded the meeting and pronounced his gratitude for the testimony I had given, adding his witness that the Spirit indeed was SO powerful! I was so thankful D was there for all of it.

Elder Hilborn and I taught about the organization of the priesthood during the second hour in Gospel Principles class. We had a full house! Every chair was taken, and D took the front row! The Spirit carried to the class from sacrament meeting. Everyone taught one another, all of us learned new things, all were edified by all.

One testimony from Brother WG was all it took for the entire ward to feel the Spirit in their hearts. It changed the course of the meeting, the day, and souls there to feel of the power of the Spirit of God.

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