Monday, June 23, 2014

Baptism without Water - June 23, 2014

Hey everyone!

This week was fantastic. We had a lot happen. The Lord gave us several tender mercies. This week there has not been any water in all of Lira. No water in houses, taps, spigots, faucets. Nothing at all. So when Saturday came around and there was still no water to fill the font for Simon Opio’s baptism, I just could not get the courage to tell him that we would have to push his baptism back.

He had worked so hard to get everything done. He had organized the event so his family could come from their village. He had traveled to his village multiple times to get proof of his marriage. He was committed to being baptized.

As we constantly tried to find a solution to make it work. Nothing was coming together. It looked like it was not going to happen. I just could not get myself to tell him that he would have to send all of his family back.

After thinking and working for a long time trying to get something to work, we took a little hike to the Adyel branch. It’s another branch up here that is in the same Zone. When we got there, we saw that they didn’t have any water either. They had been experiencing the same thing we had been going through. At this point, our disappointment was complete. We dejectedly walked over to the branch’s outdoor baptismal font. To our surprise, it was completely full!! The Adyel branch had had a baptism the previous week and had forgotten to drain the water. Woot, Woot!

We were so relieved! I cannot express how relieved we were that the water was there. It was really a tender mercy. It was an awesome baptismal service. Listening to the service, the searching and hunting for water was all worth it. As his family poured in to participate in the service, there was such a wonderful spirit in the room. After he was baptized, he bore a powerful and undeniable testimony to his whole family. It was awesome.

For the past five or six weeks, we have been teaching a family (Parents’ names are Dennis and Agnes). Dennis is an alcoholic and his niece is a member. This week his niece stopped us on the road and said, “Don’t give up on my uncle. He is changing. He often refuses to leave the house now so that he will not go out and drink.”

On Sunday, we were very hopeful that they would come to church. (He has not been coming even though Agnes has attended church.) Dennis and Agnes were not there the first hour of church. The second hour went by and they still were not there. Then the third hour to our surprise, we looked back and they were standing in the door way.

Agnes was trying to convince him to come in. He was just standing there looking so nervous. He had not entered a church in a very, very long time. As soon as we saw him, we jumped up and ran over to him giving him a huge smile. We grabbed him by the arm and said, “DENNIS YOUR MOST WELCOME!!” He then smiled and loosened up a bit and hesitantly walked in. He stayed for the last hour.

After church was finished, he stood up, looked at me, shook my hand and said something I will never forget. “You and Elder Sithole are always welcome in my home.” It was awesome to see him feel the difference in his life by just attending church. Dennis and Agnes have both accepted to be baptized in July. We hope and pray that they will continue moving forward and progressing.

Oh, I almost forgot, we had transfer news today. I am staying and so is my companion. Haha. No surprise. There is no problem with staying. Things are going so well.

Calisto the man that we baptized the previous week has given us permission to teach the rest of his family. We will start teaching them this coming week. We hope that it will continue to go well with all of them. Being together as a family for the eternities is what life is really about.

Things are going well and moving forward. We are coming to the hot season in the next couple months so we will see how hot this earth can really get. LOL

I sure love you all and hope that all is well back home. You are all awesome and I appreciate you all.


Elder Bitter

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