We've had a ordinary week here in Vancouver topped with an extraordinary sunday. Throughout the week we went about business as usual getting Odi ready for his baptism, visiting other investigators. It was Stake Conference weekend and so we had to move the Baptism to Sunday afternoon because of the Adult session on saturday. We had the baptismal interview and he passes. The sisters had 2 investigators that decided they wanted to get baptized this weekend too and not wait: A woman named Gloria and her Daughter Giovanna. So they also got them all interviewed and ready to go. So come Sunday morning, we go to the church and start filling the font, and then go to the special Morning session. Elder Gavarret of the first quorom of the Seventy came and he wanted to have a morning session specifically to talk to the Spanish member Recent Converts and Investigators, and also any english Recent Converts. It was a really cool little meeting. We got a pretty good turn out and Odi came as well as Ismael. Elder Gavarret was really funny and there was a great spirit there. One of the things he talked about is how there are to types of members in the church. Mormones, and Mormoncitos ("little mormons" members that lack dedication, conversion, or deep rooted testimony) He said to not be Mormoncitos and to study the scriptures and obey the commandments so that we can have deep rooted faith, conversion and testimonies.
We then went on to Stake Conference where President Barrus President Greer and Sister Greer and Elder Gavarret Spoke. It was very good.
After that we went on to the Relief Society room and got everything situated for what was the most special and spiritual baptisms I think any of us had ever been too. We started with the prayer and hymn, and then Sister Morelli, (a great friend and fellowshipper of Odi) gave a great talk on the importance and meaning of the Ordinance of baptism. Following that Brother Alder, went into the font and first baptized Odi, and then Gloria and Giovanna. By the time it was Giovanna's turn he was in tears. We then watched Gordon B. Hinkley's testimony of the Restoration on the Special Witnesses of Christ DVD and sang another hymn. At this point Bro. Huerena came in and whispered something into our Branch President, President Ross's ear. Then after President Greer, Stake President Barrus, and Elder Gavarret walked into the door and took their seats at the front. It was then announced that All three would bear their testimony. First President Greer Bore his testimony and then President Bairus, with President Ross translating and then Elder Gavarret got up and addressed the converts in Spanish. It was so awesome, we were enveloped in the spirit. The Stake president related how they were on their way to leave and visit a sick member and then take him to the airport, when Elder Gavarret stopped and said he wanted to stop by at the baptism first. What a once in the lifetime opportunity to have a General Authority come to your baptism! That definitely went straight into the Journal. Well we enjoyed the rest of the day going and visiting people.
But Wait There is more. That night we were sitting in the apartment planning when we got a phone call from President Greer. He then asked me to train a new missionary this upcoming transfer. He than asked Elder Anderson to finish the training of a missionary who has been in Pasco with the Zone Leaders for his first transfer. So Transfers are on Wednesday, I purposefully left that for the end. Wow I'm pretty overwhelmed and excited to train. Looks like I'll be in Vancouver until January!
Well thats all the news for this week! Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Derek Partridge