This past week was spent getting everything prepared for Vanesa Duarte
to be baptized so I will apologize now if that is all I really talk
about. We met with Vanesa one last time on Thursday night to go over
all the little things that she needed to know about Saturday. We had
the Young Women's president and her daughter come to the lesson with
us to help explain what she needed to wear and how to do her hair. All
the things that don't really matter to boys but make or break a girls
day, you know? The lesson was super effective and we had a blast
talking with her. She knew everything to be baptized but my only worry
was that she wasn't fully committed in her heart. But faith is needed
if we will ever see the blessings so I took that leap.
Saturday was the big day. We drove down to the church at 12:30 to fill
up the font and set up the chairs. Our Ward mission leader Ammon took
us out to Sonic for a burger while the font filled. We got back to the
church and had a little over an hour to wait so I ate and Elder Thomas
practiced his piano piece that he was performing at the baptism.
People starting arriving at around 1:45 and there were more people
there then I had expected. But the most important person, Vanesa, was
no where to be found. We waited, and waited for what seemed like
forever. Finally she showed up and had to run in to get changed into
her little white jumper. She brought a couple of non member friends
which was pretty cool. The baptism went great and she only needed to
go under once which is always a good start. After she got up in front
of everyone and bore her testimony which was powerful. It made me
happy. Her mom was supposed to give the closing prayer but instead she
got up there and bore her testimony then just went and sat down! Don't
get me wrong the testimony was great but everyone didn't know what to
do. Finally I just stood up and said the prayer haha. It was a good
day for sure. I had the privilege to confirm her a member of the
church on Sunday which was fantastic!
It really hit Elder Thomas on Sunday that he was leaving for Brazil in
two days. He leaned over and said that it was going to be the last
time for 18 months that he would hear sacrament in English haha. We
had dinner with our elders quorum president who served his mission in
Taiwan so he gave some advice for going to a foreign mission. Elder
Thomas soaked it all up and got even more excited about the whole
thing. Sister McKinney offered to give Elder Thomas a last descent
haircut and there was no way he was going to pass up on that! We went
over to their house and there were two other member families there. We
just hung out and I felt so comfortable. I didn't feel like a visitor
in the ward or in the home. I felt like they wanted me there and that
was where I belonged. It was neat. Elder Thomas left for he mission
home on Monday afternoon. It made me miss home pretty bad. But I know
my day will come when I go home. I don't want to have any regrets.
That would be no bueno.
Well I will write you all again next week. Love you!
Elder Cole Safford
|Rachel, Vanessa and the little one is Elizabeth|
|Last picture of me with Elder Thomas|