First off, I am not leaving this transfer, I’m staying in Flowery Branch with Elder Moulton again for round 3!
This weekend we experienced how dangerous snow is, I’ve never seen so many people freak out over snow…. Businesses closed early, schools got out early, all the milk and bread in stores have vanished. Really though! I don’t know what it is about milk and bread but those are the first things to go. But these little flecks of snow nearly shut down Georgia! Now me being from Arizona I didn’t really think much of a humid snow verses a regular snow so I didn’t take the necessary precautions for snow, example: lifting windshield wipers off the windshield…. I came to regret that one in the morning. But it comes with time!
So on Friday night we were told that if there was frost outside then we would need to postpone the baptism, and that terrified me! Because that would mean I may not be here for the Brazeal’s baptism. The roads would be to dangerous to drive on due to all the black ice. So Friday night we prayed and prayed that it wouldn’t snow, but we unfortunately faced our worst fear. As the rain came down it started to turn to snow and stick. A little bitter about the whole thing I stopped to realize that this isn’t something I can control, and if it is the Lords will for them to be baptized Saturday than it will happen and I am just grateful I was able to be apart of teaching and helping this family grow closer to God.
Before I went to bed I walked outside and watched as the snow fell to the grass, the scripture in Matthew 26:39 ran through my head of Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane when he fell on his face and prayed to his father begging him to remove the cup from him, the next few words is what stuck with me, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” and it was then when I truly started to understand humility and submissiveness. I felt the Spirit comfort me and I started to truly see my duty as a missionary, this isn’t my work and because it’s not I can’t control when people need to be baptized or who does or does not accept the message, the only thing I can control is my efforts and what I do to be placed where the Lord needs me to be.
I went to bed that night praying for the strength to move forward and accept whatever the Lord’s will may be. Saturday morning we woke up to frost everywhere. My heart sank but I knew it was what the Lord needed at that time. I started to think about how God can’t please everyone in the world, we are always placed on one of two sides when it comes to situations, we can choose to view it as a blessing or a trial, but either way we are growing in someway closer to God. Maybe someone prayed for snow and this was a blessing to them, but because it was a blessing for them it was a trial for others. I started to view the whether as a trial that was holding the Brazeal’s back from entering the waters of baptism, but my heart started to change as I viewed it as a blessing. I saw that the Lord loved me enough to test my humility because he saw it was something I have been studying and wanting to obtain, how can we learn if we are never tested? How can we improve if we are never faced with challenges that push us to put our knowledge to the test? I was grateful for the snow.
It became time to leave the apartment to go do service at another churches food bank, as we walked outside we found that the snow had frozen to the car… Freezing the car doors shut and we had no ice scraper. Luckily there was a gas station down the street so we walked to see if they had an ice scraper. The worker had told us they didn’t have any but he gave us some advice… He told us to boil some water and dump it on the windshield and it will melt the ice away. That’s what he did that morning so he could get to work… I told him that was a brilliant idea and that I would have never thought to do that, we politely thanked him and left to the next store to find a scraper. We may not be from Georgia, but Elder Moulton and I both know that dumping hot water on a windshield is THE WORST possible thing you could do. Fortunately we found a scraper and were able to get into the car. The roads were perfectly fine! Sadly everything was shut down because there was snow on the ground but hey we were happy the possibility of having a baptism was pretty high! We soon got a call confirming that we were still okay to have it!
Patrick and Angel have been experiencing a series of trials these past two weeks, especially Saturday right before the baptism! Just as they were going to leave to come to the baptism their friends car broke down inches away from the Brazeal’s car so they couldn’t get out of the car port to leave for the baptism… Patrick was determined and inched his way out and was able to get everyone to the church on time for their baptism! It was a little rushed but the service went wonderfully. Elder Moulton baptized Angel and I baptized Patrick… Barely.
If getting someone to enter the waters of baptism wasn’t a miracle enough then me baptizing Patrick was, it was definitely the power of God that’s for sure! I almost baptized myself with Patrick because I couldn’t get him out of the water! But we did it on the first try which was great! As we were walking out of the font I was filled with the Spirit stronger than I ever have before, it just engulfed me. I can’t explain the feeling but it was truly God’s love and Spirit, it’s almost like God himself hugged me after stepping out of the font, it was warm and comforting and such sincere love. We all felt it.
Patrick expressed to us how clean he felt and how it’s a different feeling, it was a great feeling to know he was sinless. And I think that’s what brought me the greatest happiness, knowing I helped someone feel that. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I had to help the Brazeal family as well as help in the spreading of this wonderful gospel. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he set the example for us through charity and humility, his willingness to take up him our mistakes and our trials is what I am so grateful for.
I love that we have the opportunity to experience true cleanliness though baptism and through the sacrament each week as we can be forgiven of mistakes we make along this journey back to heaven. I’m grateful that families can be together forever and that in a year from now we get to take the Brazeal family to the temple to be sealed for eternity. I know that because we have such a loving Father in Heaven that we will be able to live with him again, no matter how far away from the path we may be, I know that he is there with us every step of the way and won’t leave us. He knows us, he wants to help us, and he loves us. And with that I’d like to end in Jesus’ humble name, amen.