Saturday, March 23, 2013

We have had some great experiences on our last two p-day outings that I will be posting pictures of and writing about in the next couple of days.
Tonight I have written two "return with honor" testimonies from West Indies missionaries - they are direct quotes.
First testimony:

"We were having a baptism on Saturday and it was a clear day.  We used the ocean at the back of the church for the ordinance.  We all were in the chapel listening to the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost when it began to pour rain very hard.  I and my companion looked at each other nervous a bit and we both bowed our heads and offered personal prayers for the rain to stop.  The talks were finished and now we had two primary girls that were going to sing 'I Like to Look for Rainbows'.  They got up and started singing; the moment they finished the last word the rain stopped!  We went out and the baptisms were performed for the two people.  Then we all came back inside and as the last person came inside for the closing testimonies, hymn and prayer the rain began again and continued the rest of that day and night.  Heavenly Father provided a miracle for us that day in stopping the rain for just the amount of time for the baptisms to take place." 
I note here that the chapel the missionary talks about sits above the ocean and behind the chapel podium there is a large window with a spectacular view of the Caribbean.  The baptismal font is a very secluded spot accessed by a stairway down to the ocean and the pool of water is ringed by rocks - it is a sacred place.
Second testimony:

"My companion and I were teaching an older woman about how she would be able to know the church is true would be as she reads the Book of Mormon and prays to know that it is true.  She explained that she didn't know how to read and immediately my faith wavered, but the spirit prompted me to promise her that as we come by the Lord will help her to learn how to read if she will exercise faith and trust in Him.  The next visit we returned to find out that she had prayed very sincerely to the Lord for help to read and to know if the church was true.  It was the first time in 25 years that she prayed aloud and sang hymns.  But she felt an irresistible desire to continue to come to church even though she had great troubles with her feet.  She came to church... but the miracle is that she knew how to read the whole time, she just lacked the faith to do so.  Sister Batiste is now baptized and teaches some of the members around her how to read with the "Thou shalt obtain my word book".
Tomorrow we will attend the Chaguanas Branch.  They have no piano and the music is sung a cappella.  The branch members have never heard most of the songs they are trying to sing and they struggle trying to find the right notes to put the words to.  We meet above a garage and the chapel is a small room with loose chairs that seat about thirty.  This is not the type of environment most of us know but it is a place of worship that is respected and loved by the branch members.  I have heard them bear testimony and speak of their conversions and believe they are some of the most spiritual and sincere that I have ever witnessed.  Nettie and I have learned to love and respect them for their simple but powerful faith and meager circumstances.  We are blessed to be among them.

I'm currently serving as the West Indies Mission financial secretary.  I was very touched to recently receive a modest amount of money from two individuals, who then had the balance of their plane ticket provided so they could fly to the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple to receive their endowment.  The money they contributed, determined by their ecclesiastical leader to be an adequate sacrifice, qualified them for this first time opportunity.  I have heard some of them testify to the joy of receiving this wonderful blessing - some which included a sealing to family members on the same occasion.  It is an eternal gift available to new converts who live in poverty yet do so with humble hearts and a mighty testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment