Monday, February 23, 2015
How was my week, you may ask? Allow me to refer you to my fellow Mormon homeboys, imagine dragons:
"The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell."
The days leading up to Edison’s baptism were not pleasant ones.
We got a call from our branch president on Tuesday, who advised us to postpone the baptism. He felt that we were "rushing it" and explained that it’d be in everyone’s best interest to hold off on the taufe. We called President Stoddard and asked for his advice, and he called our branch president to sort out the whole situation. We got a call from a not-so-happy branch president a little while later, who reluctantly told us to go ahead with the baptism. All was fine and dandy...until later that night. He called us back and, among other things, let us know that he wasn't so sure he'd confirm Edison at church on Sunday...like excuse me, what? As if that wasn’t bad enough, President Stoddard called us the next morning and proceeded to (lovingly) chastise us a wee bit because of something my comp said on the phone while talking to our branch president and oh my gosh I just wanted someone to buy me a plane ticket so I could go home.
Despite all the opposition we faced this week... EDISON GOT BAPTIZED.
Everything worked out!
His service was BEYOND PERFECT.
The spirit was SO. STRONG. And Edison was beaming the whole time!! I was literally BURSTING. AT. THE. SEEMS. With joy!
With all the excitement, I realized I totally forgot to tell y’all "his story"
It’s an awesome one.
In Albania, there’s a law which legalizes the killings of males over the age of 18 if someone from their family killed someone from yours. Well, Edison’s crazy aunt murdered someone and Edison, being 20, had to flee the country or risk dying. He'd been acquainted with the church for about 7 years in Albania, but was never able to be baptized because of the dangerous circumstances he was living in. 3 months after moving to Germany, he ran into the Mormon missionaries on the street (the elders one day and the sisters the very next...after angels had pressed buttons on their elevator, making them miss their bus, remember?). About a month later, he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and confirmed the following Sunday.
What a blessing it was to be involved in that process!
Bertrand came to the baptism...and he LOVED it. We had two really amazing lessons with him this past week. We watched the restoration with him on Monday night. Bertrand, who is usually full of questions and concerns was completely speechless. After the lesson, I told him he could keep the video if he'd like and he acted like I was giving him GOLD. He expressed how much he loved it and told us it was his new favorite. On Saturday, we taught him the word of wisdom, which we found out is something he struggles with. He loves beer. Apparently can’t go to sleep at night without having some. At one point, we thought we were going to lose him! He was saying things along the lines of "This is way too hard" and "I don’t want to give it up". I had NO IDEA what to say...but the spirit did! I asked Bertrand to turn to a certain page in the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and read a paragraph about the blessings promised to those who keep it (i.e. increased spiritual capacity to receive guidance from god, more knowledge and wisdom, greater peace of mind, increased self-control, confidence, etc.), then asked "are all these blessings REALLY worth a bottle beer every day?" His humble heart understood that no sacrifice was too big for blessings like those and he agreed to stop drinking and live the word of wisdom!!(:
Before the lessons was over, I said something along the lines of "Bertrand, if you’re ever struggling or feel like you can’t do it, please just give us a call. We’ll drop whatever we're doing to help you. We'd LOVE to help you through this." As I was saying that, I was completely overcome with emotion. Those words had a familiar ring to them- a loving Father in Heaven has spoken to my heart time and time again. He cares about me, about EVERYONE, so much! He knows our weaknesses and struggles and wants nothing more than for us to "call him", to turn to him in heartfelt prayer so that he can help us. He LOVES to help us.
Ha-ha, that's something that is going to be VERY IMPORTANT for me to remember these next couple weeks because...
I GOT CALLED TO BE A TRAINER.
Sister Knutson will be leaving the area (she got called to train, too!!) and I’ll be stickin' around and showing a golden the ropes...BUT UMM EMERGENCY- I DON'T EVEN KNOW THE ROPES.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING.
Oh my heavens, I’m TERRIFIED.
We'll be taking a train up to Frankfurt on Wednesday for a "train the trainers" meeting, we'll be paired up on Thursday morning and I’ll be back in Kaiserslautern with my golden on Thursday night!
WISH ME LOTS OF LUCK!
Heavens knows I’ll be needing it!
Love y’all lots!! (:
- Sister Terry