Sunday, October 11, 2015

September 21, 2015 - First baptism - Joshua, Texas

So, it was a pretty good week here in Joshua. I had my first baptism whom is awesome. I honestly only met him a couple times because he was in Houston for a couple weeks taking care of his friend who has cancer. I did teach him once over the phone though. Definitely not the best way to teach someone the gospel, but it works. He didn't end up coming back until Friday so we had to go pick up our district leader, Elder Allison, in Fort Worth and get the interview done quickly. Elder Allison was all worried because "what if there's an issue?" But he came out in tears because our investigator was so ready and humble. It's also his last transfer so everything is pretty emotional for him, haha. There were only like ten people at the baptism so I ended up having to play piano and give the talk on baptism. We were super rushed getting everything together but it all worked out. 

On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Allison in Fort Worth which is a biking area. I am certainly grateful I have a car right now. I sweat so much and was completely sore by the end of the day, but I guess I'll have to get used to it at some point. We did a couple hours of contacting to begin with. We had one good lesson with a guy who was totally out of it at first and slowly woke up more as we taught him about the restoration and plan of salvation. It was cool to see him go from a dazed "huh..." to an excited "what?! When can you come back and explain this more?" We also met this other lady who is a Seventh Day Adventist. She talked for a good fifteen minutes about how clear the bible is about the Sabbath day and how the pope is leading the whole world astray trying to get them to worship on Sunday of all days. One thing most Texans agree on is that the Catholics have gone off the path. Her spiel really showed me how far other religions have gone from actually worshipping the Savior. A lot of them around here get so caught up in a single doctrine that they completely forget why it even matters.  It seems like this lady's only firm belief was that Saturday was the Sabbath. I don't think she mentioned the Savior once. 

The rest of the exchange went pretty well too. We taught about four lessons that day. The most interesting one was with a Baptist seminary student who didn't believe in the apostasy. He honestly wanted to know what proof we had though. Most of his arguments were based on small phrases in the English Standard Version of the Bible. One was in Jude 1:3. The ESV Bible said "the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints." implying that the gospel was revealed once and it didn't need to be revealed again. The King James says "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Implying that the gospel was once delivered but has now been departed from. I didn't bring that up, but I'm regretting it now.

That night Elder Allison also gave an awesome prayer. He prayed for me first which was cool but he then prayed for you guys. He prayed that my family would be protected and blessed as I serve and that they would gain greater knowledge and understanding. It brought me to tears. I really wish you could have heard it.

Zone conference was also this week. It was focused on becoming a full purpose missionary and working with members more. I'll just send my notes, because I'm running out of time. 

No funny stories for this week, but have a good one!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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