Monday, September 15, 2014

By Faith of a New Member

Hello everyone!!

I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life this past weekend - I was able to baptize a man who Elder Skinner and I worked with down in Drammen.  He asked that I come down and perform the ordinance, which I was so grateful to do!  It was certainly a miracle and a mercy from Heavenly Father.  I'll write a little about his story.

The first time I called him down in Drammen, he told me, "you don't know me bro" and hung up the phone on me.  Obviously, he was not very open to speak with us missionaries (common).  What eventually happened, was there was a member from the church in Drammen who told us about his friend he wanted us to meet.  We went to this man's home - the same man.  This member told him, "I brought them to you because I know how important their message is."  From then on we began to teach him.

He eventually came to church, wearing street clothes (the equivalent of training clothes).  He has one of the greatest smiles you can imagine, and loved the members at the church.  He came back several times.  A few weeks after the initial time he came to church, he came wearing a suit.

We eventually began bringing members to the teaches with him.  He was not desirous to be baptized. As he continued to meet with us and the members, even eat dinners in members' homes, he became more and more open to learning about the Gospel.  The last week I was in Drammen, he was sad that I was leaving.  He told me "vi er sammen"... "we are together" I assured him that we are together.  During last teach, he accepted a date to be baptized - September 13th.

In accepting the invitation to be baptized, he had problems with paying rent.  He wasn't receiving help to pay for his situation.  He was struggling and was stressed.  We assured him that as he showed his faith, everything would work out.  This lasted for several months.  The day came for his baptism and still, nothing had been resolved.  I baptized him on September 13th, that very day he went home and found in his mailbox, a check to help him pay for his rent.  He shared his testimony immediately after receiving the Holy Ghost during Sacrament meeting.

When he was taught about the Word of Wisdom, he told me that he knew that our church was the true church of God.  It was through the Spirit and the light of the members that helped open him to this understanding.  He is completely a changed man.

I shared with him also the testimony of a humble member from my home ward in Rockford.  He is originally from the Congo and wrote a powerful testimony in Swahili for me to share with the people here.  I shared that testimony and this man said, "hilse på mannen som ga deg vitnesbyrdet." - "Say hi to the man who gave you the testimony."

This church is The Church of Jesus Christ.  I continue to learn that for myself.  I continue to see that the Lord's blessings are poured out unto His children so that we may know that He lives and knows us individually.  He loves us and He wants the best for us. It all occurs "one by one".

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