Anastasia got baptized yesterday!! It was a beautiful experience. The last baptism had a couple glitches, so sister McLean and I put together a comprehensive list of all the things that need to happen for a baptism here and what needs to be communicated, and then we were very clear with everyone involved and it turned out nicely! Hopefully the upcoming baptisms this month will be even better! I got to help sing in a musical number for the baptism, usually I'm the pianist, but we found a pianist and needed a singer so I jumped in and it wasn't too bad! It was a duet of Nearer My God to Thee and I sang alto. The spirit was so strong, and then we went directly from that to the font and the Spirit was almost tangible.
Speaking of the spirit being strong...We got the privilege to go to the temple today!! What a blessing. Taylor (recent convert from Sam Houston) drove us down there early in the morning. I love the temple. It had been so long since I had been, yet I know I'm so blessed because most missionaries don't have the privilege of going that often. The temple is truly a place of peace and joy and revelation and there is a power that is felt there that continues with you even after you leave, especially when you get to take a family name like I got to this time!
I went pondering on the importance of understanding our purpose and identity. We had recently discussed that principle in institute. When Jesus is teaching in the temple at the age of 12, he tells his mother, "wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" In that short statement we can clearly see that Christ understands very clearly His identity and purpose. I think understanding ours gives us greater power and focus and enables us to bless many more lives. I think that as our investigators really understand those thing that they will begin seeking and recognizing answers much more and they will progress.
We are children of God. He loves us and we have a work to do. We are not just here to piddle around, or even just to get back to God. If that was the case, why did we leave in the first place? We are here to gain experience and to learn and to be tested in a fashion that we could do no other way. This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God and by so doing become like Him. This is the day for us to help others in the same endeavor. Part of this life is to touch and bless the lives of others.
I am so grateful to be able to associate with so many wonderful people. I am glad to serve how I can to be able to bless the lives of those I get to teach and work with and meet in the wards here, but I am incredibly grateful for how my companion, investigators, and members teach me. I have learned so much on my mission thus far and I hope I can keep learning and growing and sharing.
November is coming (when did that happen! time flies) and something I did last year the whole month with my companion was take the time every day to write things we were grateful for, good thing that happened throughout the day, etc. We filled a 3x5 card every day of Nov, and although some days it was easier to think of good things than others, the exercise helped us to focus on the good and to practice gratitude. I would invite you to do the same thing this month and let me know how it changes you. Invite someone you know to do it with you. I promise you will see things in your days that you wouldn't have noticed before. You will see the blessings of the Lord, and you will increase in gratitude, and thus in happiness. I love you lots!!