It's been an emotional week. We had our devotional on Saturday...it went really well. I was very happy with it, except that I wish more people were there. But we filled the chapel and about a third of the cultural hall. The spirit testified of truth. The program all fell into place. The speakers bore powerful testimony of the Savior, the choir did great, I didn't mess them up too bad, I remembered all the songs I arranged, it was a miracle! I felt so humbled and privileged to have had the opportunity to share my testimony in the best way I know how. I wish you all could have been there. The most amazing part was truly witnessing how the Lord's hand was guiding the entire thing. Because I know we couldn't have put this all together and have it flow the way it did without Him. After the devotional, people said very kind things. Some were impressed with the magnitude of the program-coming from 18-22 year old kids. I was the first to tell them that it wasn't me! It was just very exciting to be able to share that with the people here. It's kinda like what I live for. Other people thought this was good enough to be put on in other missions.
We had an amazing lesson with Debbie this week. She was supposed to be getting baptized on the 13th. She decided that she wanted to wait, to learn more. She has some other struggles right now. We got the impression this past week that she really needed to learn about the Holy Ghost. During our planning for her, revelation truly flowed. We came up with this object lesson to teach her about the difference between the influence of the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We set up a huge obstacle course in the cultural hall at the church. Her object was to make it across the gym to the stage. But the first time, she had to do it without any light. She stumbled her way in the dark, tripping on chairs and other things in the way. We took her out of the gym and explained that that was like going through life without Heavenly Father at all. We changed the obstacle course and invited her in again. This time, I played the role of the Holy Ghost. I held a flashlight in my hand. I would briefly flash the light on and then off again as she asked for my help. Her path was illuminated for a short spurt. Just enough to walk a few steps. But the darkness returned. The more she asked for help, the more light she received. She made it about half way across the gym where there was a wall of chairs blocking the way. There was only one opening to get through. This opening represented baptism. That is the only way we can make it to the stage (our Father in Heaven) because taking upon ourselves the name of Christ by keeping covenants is the only way we can become like our Father in Heaven. Once she found the opening, I gave her the flashlight. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, she will have the power to have that light with her constantly lighting her way. Who wouldn't want this?! When I gave her the flashlight, Debbie said, "I understand. I don't need to go through any more"....to which I said, "But Debbie! You don't even know how good it's going to get!" As she progressed closer and closer to the stage, we started flipping on more and more lights. The more we follow the spirit, the more light we receive through the spirit. Then the light grows brighter and brighter until the perfect day. Debbie made it to the stage. I could tell she was feeling the spirit by the look in her eyes. She said, "I understand. I've got to get baptized". She shared some things with us that were very special. I had no way of knowing exactly what was going on in her life..but the spirit we felt in that room was a testimony to me that God did. This lesson was truly exactly what Debbie needed. And Heavenly Father gave her what she needed because He planned the lesson.
Well, it is kind of a long story after that..but we'll just skip to the part that we think she will be getting baptized this Saturday. :)
Earlier last week, we drove to the church to meet up with Karissa to go on splits. We saw a couple pull up next to us. They got out and looked at the temple. I asked them if they needed anything. (I wanted to find out if they were non-members, because we have met random people who come look at the temple who are not members). Turns out it was a couple from Manti UT who were on a roadtrip. They are actually ordinance workers at the Manti Temple. I asked them if they knew Aunt Margaret but they said no. They mentioned that they needed to get going to find a hotel so that they could be on their way the next morning. Well it just so happens that I know a member of the church who runs a hotel here. I was really excited to tell them about it. I called Brother Boston to tell him that I found a couple who needed a hotel room. He gave them the LDS rate ($79 instead of $120), called the lady at the front desk to tell them they were coming, gave me the address, and I sent them on their way. I had a good time with it because I felt like I was doing the job that Elder Nelson promised I would do when he said, "Ask the missionaries! They can help you!".
President tells us that the bookends to a mission are diligence and virtue. I think it's true...with each passing day, I realize how much room I have for improvement. Ah well.. I'm getting transferred. I haven't really been able to sleep because I'm so sad. Like I didn't know this would happen...I just really can't express to you my love for these people. Also, Sister Gladden goes home next week. I'm not really sure how this all happened...
I love you all.
love sister wilde