Monday, February 11, 2013

The Spirit of Elijah

Can I just say new converts going to the temple for baptisms is awesome?!
On Tuesday night, we had last minute scheduled Zaya, our Mongolian recent convert (my first baptism here in December), to meet with our family history specialist in the ward. Out of nowhere, Zaya had asked if she could be baptized for her grandma one day, so we really wanted to help her out. Mind you, we have no idea how she understood anything about family history, we taught it once in gospel principles class, and she has been to the Visitor's Center and said she looooved being around the temple and her new goal was to go inside. But this is a miracle because Zaya still struggles with English, especially gospel language english, and some people were worried about her retention as a new member. But somehow she understood and had gotten all the information/death dates of both her grandmas and her husbands grandmas, so when we took her to get the names printed, we had had a goal of one name, and came out with FOUR!
We had zone conference that next day, Wednesday, and right after, Sister Hewett and I headed over to the temple, which was just across the parking lot. Our ward was having a youth temple trip that night and we had been invited to tag along with our recent convert. We went and got the names officially printed and waited for our ward missionary to bring Zaya. Of course, first time through Satan works really hard to not get someone to the temple. She was really late. Most of the youth were baptized and changing by the time she showed up. But we were able to just sit in the waiting room with President Lopez, a member of the temple presidency, and he kept sooo calm and said 'have faith. have faith. she will come." then we had an amzing conversation with him about calling men with cigars in their mouth to be stake presidents, miracles of being able to retire so they could be on a senior mission, and the power of ward unity bringing forth convert baptisms. It was a blessing to be able to wait just so we could learn from him. Finally when Zaya came, we went in to do the baptisms. The YM/YW presidents said it was such a cool experience to see someone do their own family names, it really did change the whole atmosphere of the trip. Zaya went into the font and the poor priesthood holder from our ward didn't know how to pronounce the names so she whispered them to him every time, he said those were probably the only names he got completely right all day :). It was really powerful. She also did some extra names the temple had, she was worried at first about being dunked 10 times, but she loved it! We then went to confirmations, where our bishop and ward mission leader were helping out. Zaya later said she felt the Holy Ghost strongly when the hands were on her head. A kind temple worker asked if she wanted to sit somewhere for a while or if she needed to go. The look on her face was so clear, she was really torn, she wanted to stay so badly! We kindly reminded her she had a hungry baby at home she needed to feed and she said "oookay". Then when we got to the parking lot, she literally skipped across and kept saying how happy she was! My companion and I still have no idea how it all came together, except to say literally the Spirit of Elijah had touched her heart to turn to her ancestors so they could be as happy as she was. I have actually never felt the spirit so strongly in temple baptisms before. I realized that because we helped Zaya receive the gospel, we ended up helping others we didn't even think about. I hope to meet these wonderful grandmothers someday that have such an amazing granddaughter :). Little did they know someday in Oakland California, their posterity would receive the truth.This is a testimony of it is literally not us (missionaries) doing anything, it is all the Lord and His work.
We are still teaching her husband, Peter. He is a little harder to teach, he understands even less English and struggles to know if God is there. However, we got a call this week from President Meredith saying we were going to be in a trio for one week. The sister we are getting is from Mongolia! MIRACLE! Prayers really are answered, we will be visiting him as much as we can with our Mongolian speaker sister. Her companion was from the Temple Square mission and their transfer days are different from ours, so she will be companionless for a week. They are in the area right next door, so we picked her up. We are really excited. I will send pictures with Sister Erdenbataar next week.
Well, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! I hope you all feel loved from each other, your ward, your Savior, and your Heavenly Father. Even if it may seem like a silly holiday, we have been commanded to love our neighbor, so now is a great excuse to show some Christlike love for someone who needs it more than we do. Go serve someone else. Make a visit, a note, anything to make someone smile. Give the missionaries work to do and people to teach, and you will experience no greater joy.
Also, happy birthday to Jen and Todd this week! I am sending cards.
This really is the truth on the earth restored again, and it brings no greater happiness!
Sister Martin

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