Monday, June 3, 2013

Wonderful Baptism! - June 3, 2013

What a Wonderful Week!

It has been such a wonderful week! We saw the baptism of two wonderful people on Saturday, June 1st. How blessed we are to have seen them and their true conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Three other people were baptized that the Assistants have been teaching. When Elder Clarke of the Seventy visited our mission last November, he invited us to teach the Message of the Restoration at baptismal services as those involved in the baptismal ordinance change from their wet clothes to their dry clothes. During this time at baptisms throughout the church, a variety of things will happen, such as piano music is played, testimonies are borne, or a video is shared.

Elder Clarke encouraged us to share this message and to bear testimony of the steps that those who were just baptized took and what the believed in as relating to this specific message of the Restoration. As Elder Sierra and I were not involved in the actual ordinance, we had the opportunity to teach the Message of the Restoration to the group as we waited. We had role played before people started arriving and it was a bit shaky.

It was incredible what happened. As we taught, we testified of what each other said and we testified of the choices those individuals had made to be baptized. It was the most powerful experience of my mission, and maybe the most powerful spiritual experience of my life. The Spirit was so strong it was almost tangible in the room. I have not been that touched or constantly led by the Spirit than in that experience. I have had intense spiritual experiences, but none of them lasted as long as that did. It was truly astonishing to me that God trusted me enough to teach with such a powerful influence of the Spirit.

The newly baptized ladies were confirmed and received the Holy Ghost on Sunday, June 2nd, in Sacrament Meeting. It was truly wonderful that they made the decisions that they made. There are so many cool parts to this story. The fact that the ladies were not Christian before this, but Muslim. We found them and first taught them on Elder Sierra's first day as a missionary. They were baptized on the last Saturday of the transfer.

It is even cooler as I have been told that I will be transferred this Thursday. I do not know where yet, but I know I will be a new missionary's 2nd companion. It has been such a blessing to serve in Des Moines. I guess I am not supposed to be in Des Moines without Elder Hess. He is going home to Utah this week! The ward here has been phenomenal to serve in. So many willing people that are ready to help! I am sad to be leaving this large city, but the Lord has other plans for me somewhere else.

Here closes a chapter of my life. I am satisfied that I have done all that I can here. I would have like to have done more, but I am not yet perfect. I won't reach that in this life. My companions and I had a nice discussion about being, becoming, and doing. Elde Sierra brought his researched, philisophical ideas forward, Elder Hess brought his ideas forward, and I am now moving forward to becoming a consecrated missionary. This understanding puts me at the view of this actually being attainable, and to be okay with my shortcomings, as long as I am improving. To not be too hard on myself, but to acknowledge when I could have done better.

Enjoy the best times and the worst times, as they are all for your good! If we endure it well. (see D&C 121:7-8; see also Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail).

Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
    D&C 6:34, 36
Doubt Not, Fear Not.
550 Souls to Christ

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