Well, it's been a truly wonderful week, and everything went just as planned with Cynthia and Herman. We had our last actual lesson with them on Tuesday, the new district leader Elder Adams and his greenie Elder Ashworth came with us on Thursday to do the interviews, the baptism was held on Friday evening and they were confirmed on Sunday. We had some trouble with there not being hot water for the font, but we got the member who has the keys to the furnace room to come over and turn on the water heater, so I now know why we're supposed to the church two hours early when it only takes about one to fill the font. Cynthia and Herman and their daughter Nyla, (who we had never before met) arrived at 6:30 and we walked them through the program and all got dressed in white. The young women's president gave an excellent talk on the meaning and importance of baptism, and got to meet Nyla and leave a great first impression with her. Something memorable from her talk was that she said that a big part of baptism is that it is the act of picking a side; that it's all about getting off the fence of 'yeah I'll be a good person' and saying, in essence, 'I'm with Jesus no matter what'. Elder Roundy baptized Herman (twice) and then I baptized Cynthia (twice) and then afterwards Bishop Bloxham pointed out, with some amusement, that the water was 6 inches below where it should have been. Once we were all back in the relief society room, Brother Merrill gave a talk on the Holy Ghost which included a lot of his experiences with personal revelation, and then the elder's quorum president, the relief society president, and the bishop all said a few words. Throughout the whole experience there was a powerful spirit of love, purpose, and welcome. We didn't ask anyone to bring refreshments, but true to form, Sister Wenck, Sister Tingey, Sister Puster, Sister Pluim, and maybe a couple others all brought treats, and the party didn't even start to clear out until around 9. Eagle Creek really does feel like a ward family, and the Adams can't help but feel loved here.
On Sunday I confirmed Herman as a member of the church, conferred upon him the gift of the Holy Ghost, and gave him a blessing. Elder Roundy did the same with Cynthia. It was a good day :) Nyla didn't end up coming to church but she's planning on going to young women's activity on Wednesday. We had five other investigators that were planning on coming to church, but none of them ended up coming.
We taught Kelli the plan of salvation giving Kim a review and they're both progressing well. Kim really enjoyed Alma 40 and just kept reading from there. Unfortunately she's going to be going to a hospital out of state for up to a month, which throws a wrench in their baptismal date, but hopefully we'll be able to at least stay in contact.
We had a mediocre lesson with Jeff on Tuesday, which serves as an object lesson on why having good questions to ask throughout the lesson is important. On Thursday we ended up meeting his quiet, one-legged neighbor Anthony and his 19-year old cousin-in-law Edward and we taught them the restoration, and gave them each a Book of Mormon. When we were walking to our car to get the books some guy in a car started yelling anti-mormon stuff at us. He clearly thought he knew what he was talking about, and was really annoying, especially because Jeff and Edward were walking with us.
We planned on having Sister Tellus give those two a ride to church on Sunday, (Anthony would be in the hospital) but on the day of, due to some miscommunication between Jeff, his mom, us and Sister Tellus, he never made it to church. We stopped by that afternoon and figured out what happened. His mom told us that he could for sure go next week, and while we were talking to her Jeff was helping his aunt with something over by her car and we overheard him excitedly telling her about Joseph Smith. Jeff's a really great guy.
An interesting thought that has come up a few times this week in my personal studies is the idea that knowledge is only as useful as the action that it leads to or allows for. I think that the reason my personal study doesn't always seem productive is because I am often searching for answers to doctrinal questions without asking "therefore what?" often enough. Elder Talmage wrote if theology be theory then religion is practice, which makes me think that if theology is knowing about the 3 kingdoms then religion is using that as motivation to live the celestial law. If theology is knowing that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are perfectly unified in purpose, then religion is attempting to unify our purpose with theirs (Moses 1:39). If theology is understanding the atonement, then religion is actually kneeling down and using it. I've been finding it interesting to look at points of doctrine like that and then try to think of why God thought we should know that.
Elder Roundy says this is the busiest he's ever been on his mission and I'm really glad I got to be here for the beginning of mine. Our list of people that we're working with has been shooting up, and the work here is going great.
Sorry to hear that the province is on fire again. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a regular thing. Have fun at the Lake of the Hanging Glacier.