Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Liz's Baptism

I have had the great blessing to get to know and occasionally teach a girl from Florida named Liz. When I first met her in August, she came on to chat and asked what she could have her local missionaries teach her. I had only been on my mission for a few weeks so I had no idea what to say. Knowing what I do now, I would have taken a different approach, but I suggested she ask them about a hard topic. She added me on Facebook and a few days later asked Elder Callahan and I to teach her about that same topic. "Great," I thought, "I guess that's karma!" Anyways, she had been meeting with her local missionaries for a long time. She said that she was going to get baptized in April but her parents were going to make her wait until she turned 18 in October. So for the next two and a half months, Liz and I would occasionally chat and we had a few lessons here and there.

I'm a little bit behind here as she was baptized almost a month ago, but still. Her story is great and her testimony is amazing! In her own words, Liz says:

         "I’ve never felt so close to God as I do now. I remember my first time at church. It was all a joke to me. “Why do these people waster their Sunday’s here?” I thought. “Don’t they have better things to do?” I remember I sat there and tried to listen. I didn’t understand much, so I ended up talking. My best friends, Brianna and Laura, sat next to me. I remember when we sang from the hymn book, all I could do was laugh. Singing had felt so weird to me, especially with all of the church members around us. I felt so awkward. I remember everyone was sleeping. I couldn’t understand, you woke up early on a Sunday morning to be here with God and all you can do is sleep. It made no sense to me. Then I learned that they were all praying.
After that, many months went by. I believe it was an entire year, until I was back at the very same church. Brianna told me the church was having a tour. I didn’t think much of it. All I was doing was spending some time with Brianna. The missionaries were in charge of it all. There were four of them. Elder Dayberry, Rogers, Jarvie, and Kealamakia. Once we got to the chapel they all stood there in front of the podium and spoke about many things. I don’t remember exactly what they said, but I now realize that they were each speaking of the testimony. One of the missionaries stood out to me the most. It was Kealamakia. He stuttered when he spoke with long “ummmmm” pauses. I look up to him and admire him very much. And on that same day when the tour was all over I spoke to Elder Rogers and Kealamakia. I remember I really wanted to ask them a question. But I thought it was too ridiculous. I truly wanted to know how Jesus Christ and the Lord were related, but I was too embarrassed. I didn’t know what they would think of me. So as I approached them I came up with a question at the very top of my head and so I asked when and how the church had been built. It was funny how I never knew this before. I know so many things about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ now and I can thank it all to the missionaries J