Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two baptisms and St. Patrick's Day

This morning as I look outside my window I see white, fluffy clouds (nothing new there) and spots of blue shining through. I thrive on those spots of blue. The gray days are very difficult for me. But let's focus on what we have in front of us, shall we? 

Last Saturday we had a baptism of two middle-aged men, one black, one white. One from Congo, one from Ireland. It was a special day and very joyous. Here are some pictures:

These men were both taught by the sisters. Michael Phelan had been taught previously, but just wasn't ready to commit. However, this time around he felt much more assured and was able to go forward. Zacharie Loukombo's biggest obstacle was smoking and it was very hard for him to quit, but he knows it was the Holy Spirit who helped him gain the strength and now he says he has no craving for cigarettes. What a wonderful miracle that is!

This coming Saturday we have another baptism.This time it is a mother of two young children. She is also from Congo, but we don't know if she (Crystal Rusine) and Zacharie know each other yet. Obviously, we are hopeful that they will fall in love and form a beautiful family. However, we don't know how much older Zacharie is than Crystal, so we'll just see what happens. Crystal's' mother and sister have been baptized previously, but Crystal knows the truth now and is ready to commit herself. 

In the picture at the bottom it is Elder Johnson (serving in Cork) and Elder Evans (serving in Waterford) who did the baptisms. Elder Evans served as an extra support for Michael so that he wouldn't bump his head on the way down in the very small font.

Crystal's baptism will take place in Lough Ballyscanlon (Ballyscanlon Lake) which is in Tramore. It's trickier to get to the water, but really a beautiful spot.

Crystal has been an amazing investigator for the elders. When they taught her the lesson about fasting, she told them that this is something she already practices to get closer to the Spirit. When they asked her if knew the Book of Mormon to be true, she told them she had had a dream in which an angel came to her and told her it was true. We have been amazed at the number of African people who are being taught here in Ireland and how readily they are accepting the gospel. There was a large article in the Ensign magazine a month or two back about how willing Africans are to accept the truth and I know first hand that this is true.

One other thing I wanted to mention was the St. Patrick's Day parade. We were actually able to attend the parade here in Waterford with the junior missionaries. It was a beautiful day. I will attach some pictures. I wanted to add a video of the bagpipers below, but it's on my iPhone and I don't know how to do it. Ah, well.

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