A Precious Experience

December 9, 2013

This week has been crazy! I am not sure where to start. Good thing I have my journal, so I can just start at the first entry. :) Oh, and two of our lights in our apartment are broken, so I wrote in my journal partially by candle light (thanks mom!)
There was nothing too noteworthy at the start of the week. We had to catch up Isaac (Precious's son) so he would be ready for the baptism interview. We had Paul, his dad, teach the Law of Chastity to him. They were so mean!  It was hilarious!
Then we had a good lesson with John, a new investigator. He is an interesting fellow. Not much to say other than he is pretty interested.

The next day was insane although it started out normal. We have a new investigator named Jesse. We were looking for another less active guy that we had been working with.  He wasn't home, though his mom's boyfriend was. So we asked him if we could teach him, and he said ‘Yes’! It was a good first lesson (he is on date for baptism for Feb. 8th. Now we just need to help the rest of the family get active!).

We then went to the church building where the baptismal interviews for Precious and her kids were to take place, three days before the service. The kids were the first to go, and everything was fine. While they were going on, I was showing off my piano and magic skills, which was kind of fun. Then it was Precious's turn for her interview. Long story short, and without giving too much detail, the baptism almost didn't happen. Actually, for a day or two, it wasn't happening. Through misunderstandings and such, people were offended, depressed, and tried. I had to talk to President VanCott a number of times, trying to figure things out. Satan had done his best to prevent this baptism. Our whole apartment and Paul fasted the next day, hoping and praying for the best. Even with biking in the cold and stressing, it probably was the easiest, most dedicated fast I have ever done.

We felt like we should make brownies for Precious, in hopes to cheer her up. It was the first time EVER in my life, and probably Elder Weaver's life too, that we did not lick the whisk or scrape the bowl for a snack. We just washed it out with hot water. Making brownies while fasting is pretty hard, but we did it! Then, using a spaghetti strainer (my idea) we put powdered sugar on it. It worked. We missed them at the Christmas party, but we learned that things were cooling off, and that the baptism was now a possibility. The whole time we were acting as if it was going to happen regardless of the situation. People kept asking us about them, and we would talk normal as if nothing was wrong. Our hope was pretty strong. The next day, we delivered the brownies, ding-dong-ditch style. We later learned that a) Brownies are her favorite, and that she ate three immediately, and b) Pres. Miskin, a counselor to Pres. VanCott, was able to convince Paul to convince Precious to let him talk to her, something that she did not want to do, which was talk about anything related to the situation. He talked with her the morning of the baptism. Right after, we spoke with Pres. Miskin and eventually Paul, both of which pretty much said there were tears everywhere, strong Spirit, and that the baptism was a go. 
I'm not sure how many people were at the baptism, but a rough count in my head tells me it was around 50 or so. There were family and friends from everywhere. The talks were amazing! The ordinance was performed flawlessly (though Paul started out backwards, raising his left hand and such. It was funny). It was such a great relief to everyone that knew what had happened. It was an amazing lesson for me in faith and patience. 
Later that night, I invited Pres. VanCott to go with us to a lesson, and he blew my mind. The man is an amazing teacher. He gave me a lot of ideas. We tried to squeeze where we were getting transferred to out of him early, but he wouldn't budge. :)

So, parents, you will love what I did yesterday! I helped an awesome couple in the ward set up a fake tree, identical to our old fake tree. We listened to Bing Crosby on a record player. And, as a cherry on top, I suggested it and we did it, we did a time lapse of us setting it up. It was awesome. Nostoglia ensued. The Christmas Devotional was wonderful. Elder Nelson's talk was pretty cool! I loved it.

Today, we learned what's going on with transfers. Much to my surprise, I am staying in Redlands for at least another six weeks, and I will be training another missionary!!!! I was positive that I was going to leave, but God had other plans for me.  I am super happy that I get to stay in this ward and area. I love it here! The price I pay is training, and I accept. 

I am loving the work. I have learned so much!  D&C 90:24 is our mission scripture, and now it makes total sense to me. 
Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.
Keep up the holiday cheer, and if you want to send me Christmas gifts, please mail them to the mission office instead of directly to me. It's safer. :)
Love,  Elder Summerhays


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