Farah Lamore Lester was baptized on Friday the 13th of February 2009!
That's really all I have to say, but I'll provide more details because they are amazing!First, the other things of the week.
Tuesday we had district meeting and it was the last one for the Zabriskies, a senior couple that went home on Friday. They serve two years in Quincy and accomplished miracles. We will miss the wisdom and insight as well as the fun they bring to district meetings. We then hiked up much farther than necessary (we couldn't find it at first) to contact a referral from last week. We had dinner with Kristen Hill - she always feed us very well :). And she has non-member roommates and friends that we get to spend time talking with. One of them even holds a bible study with Kristen each night and they use the Book of Mormon too! She is an excellent missionary :)
Wednesday we spent literally hours making phone calls an updating the area book. We taught a couple less-active lessons and they are all doing so well! One has said that she decided to quit smoking and drinking because she is reading the Book of Mormon and no longer has a desire to do those things. Hooray!
Thursday we spent most of the day at the TCC booth and had a lesson fall through and an unexpected lesson pop-up. It was fantastic! I love getting to talk to people about the Book of Mormon and all the ways it blesses my life. We helped Kristen Hill clean her room and were able to sit on her bible study with her roommate Rachel. It was a great chance to serve and to teach. :)
Thursday night we were on our way to a lesson with Farah when she called and told us not to come because they were leaving to follow the ambulance with her grandma to the hospital. We didn't hear from her that night and so in the morning we took cookies over (what else do we do) to make sure her grandma was okay (honestly, I was afraid she'd die or be really sick and Farah would want to postpone or something). Her grandma answered the door! Whew! We talked to Farah and everything was good to go. Talk about over reacting :)
Friday we had service for a bit at the Ronald McDonald House and then we were off to get ready for Farah's baptism. It was amazing! Eddie Wester, the friend that introduced her to the church, was able to baptize her. He was baptized the week we met Farah and was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and perform the ordinance. He did a great job too. It was amazing! The Spirit was so strong. When we met Farah in the bathroom after all she could do was cry (but she cries pretty, not sobbing) and we cried with her and hugged before we let her get dressed. The Spirit is so strong whenever we are with Farah. Several people commented that it was the most spiritual baptism they have attended, even recently returned missionaries. I am so thankful that I've had such a cherished opportunity to get to know her. That I'll be able to continue to spend time learning and growing with her. I am thankful that she will be able to uplift the members of 5th ward with her sweet and gentle spirit. She is an amazing woman that has overcome numerous obstacles. She is so happy and feels so good that you can't help but feel the same way. It is truly amazing.
Saturday was tricky since it was Valentines Day, so we planned, let someone into the institute, made phone calls, updated the area and member books (the member book helps us to know who all the members are and a little about them- I'd be lost without it! but it is NOT a gossip book as some missionaries call them. We treat the information we have with the respect it deserves so that we can best help the members of the ward- sorry, I'm a little sensitive on the issue...)
Sunday was wonderful! Farah was confirmed by Brother Dennis Prescott, a member of the 4th ward that she works with at Publix (a local grocery store- possibly the best ever). It was a beautiful blessing and reflected who Farah is. Her countenance has changed since we met her about 2 months ago. It was always sweet, but now it is even brighter! She has also made numerous friends in the ward and is growing more and more each time we see her. We had other miracles Sunday. We had a goal of 4 new investigators this week, but we didn't really have time to tract. A member brought someone to church that we are going to teach, and when we went to contact a referral, we were able to teach her and her boyfriend as well as tract around her complex really briefly and find another new investigator. 4 in a matter of hours! It was a huge blessing and an amazing miracle to witness. When we went to church we had 2 appointments set up for the week. By the end of last night we had 8. The work is amazing!
So Katie Hawkes shared a bit of a talk by Elder Bednar with me, one that I've been studying for months and I realized that I should share some of the great talks I've found and had shared with me.
Pray Always & Ask in Faith by Elder Bednar
The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols by John W. Welch
In the Strength of the Lord by Elder Bednar (this is the one Katie found too) It has also been a theme for our mission. I love it!
We also read the Ensign each month and there are always things that relate directly to our own lives and/or the lives of our investigators. I encourage all of you to get a subscription! Enjoy! I'll try and remember to send more later.
Katie Hawkes- I did get your letter and will reply asap. Thanks so much! Happy 22nd!
Katie Lewis- I have to find out you are dating someone from Katie Hawkes? Consider your self rebuked. I want to hear about it! You can email me!
Caraline- Katie says you aren't in the circus yet, there are circus classes at FSU, you should come down here.
Katie Lee- how goes student teaching? What would it take to get your last From The Heart cd from you?
Erek - congrats on BYU Hawaii!! Way to go!
The rest of you- I'd love to hear from you :)