Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Robert & Trisha got baptized!

May 30, 2016


Robert and Trisha got baptized on Saturday the 28th! Everything about it was so beautiful! I just could not stop smiling the entire time (and crying but lets focus on the smiling haha). I just was overwhelmed with joy for Trisha and Robert. I reflected on the very first lesson we had with them, they seem like a entirely different couple. They were very solemn, weighed down, cold. Now their entire countenance has such a hope and brightness to it. Even the way they interact with each other has changed. To see Jesus Christ change a family like Robert and Trisha's right now and for all eternity makes me have so much gratitude for the atonement that I just don't even have the words to say. At the baptism, sister winn and I played a special musical number together- I played the violin and she played the piano. We played the hymn (one of my all time favorites) I Believe In Christ, and spiced it up some to make it more interesting. It went so well and it meant a lot to Robert and Trisha that we played for them. There were so many people there to support them from the ward and more. President and Sister Palmer came, as well as the stake president. All week we were inviting everyone we talked to come to the baptism and we had some people show up who are or previously had been investigating the church! One being Lou who we have slowly been teaching at the Palmer's home, another being Silver who we taught a few months back and his family! Also our new investigator Kelly and her boyfriend Marco came too which was so so cool. The best surprise of all was that Robert's friend Steve who introduced him to the Gospel awhile back came to the baptism from Fresno. Steve is just an outstanding person. He was in prison for 15 years and while in prison he had a miracle conversion to Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. His last five years in prison he spent teaching others about the Gospel. Every week people would come listen to him teach and he would pray all week for inspiration on what God wanted him to teach. Steve told us he treated it like his own little mission. Robert was one of those people who he converted in prison and when they both got out, Steve eventually reached out to Robert and encouraged him to go to church and meet with the missionaries, which turned out to be sister winn and I. We were SO excited to meet Steve after hearing all about him from Robert. Steve told us he is living witness that even in the darkest of places, God's light can still reach. Robert and Trisha received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on sunday, and then after church Robert was ordained a priest in the priesthood. They are so excited to get to the temple as soon as they can. AUH  I just love them and I am so happy for them.

We received a referral from the Spanish sisters in our zone for a woman named Kelly this week. We met and taught her on Friday and the first thing she said to us was "Hi I am Kelly, I haven't stopped the whole coffee thing yet but I will soon." And the rest is history from there..hahaha but seriously Kelly is SO AMAZING. She is just so ready and hunger to learn more. She has tried too long to live her live without God in it. Her boyfriend Marco is the sweetest guy ever, and is an inactive member from the Monte Vista Ward (a Spanish speaking ward in the area). She does not speak Spanish and they live in Ripon so they both are going to come to our ward. It is kind of strange because Marco's English is not very good...and her Spanish is near zero... so how they have made it work for the 2+years not sure, but I guess love is love haha. She is really good at interpreting his spanglish. His conversation is like 50% english and 50% spanish. My spanish has really come in handy excitingly so! Marco and I can understand each other pretty perfectly so it all works out. Kelly is just so willing to do anything it takes to be closer to Jesus Christ- which is literally everything we as missionaries have to share. She is going to be baptized on June 18th! Marco is going to get ready and worthy so that he can be the one to baptize her. AND! They got engaged this week too!!! We asked when the wedding was and Kelly said well before June 18th so we can be baptized!! It is so crazy how prepared and ready to make those changes needed to follow God's commandments they are. We are so so excited to teach them more in the coming weeks.

Our other really awesome investigator Karen officially moved to Modesto and the elders there are now teaching her. She went to church on Sunday and is really learning a lot, we are so happy for her! She called us and was telling us how much she loved church. She is so excited to be baptized soon so she can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We will totally be there for her on that day, we just love Karen and are so close to her. 

This week we also went on two overnight exchanges. I left the area both times and went to Ione one night and then Mountain House the next. It is sometimes hard to leave the area so much but being with the sisters always makes it worth it. It was fun to be in Mountain House which was my first area and see some familiar faces, it feels like it has been so long since then!! I feel like a different person and definitely a different missionary since then.

It was just a really amazing week, and we have so much to look forward to. It is the last week of the transfer so next week we will know if we are being transferred or not. I love you!

all my love,
Sister neeley

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