September 3, 2018


Piqua, Ohio


Elder Tavis Smith

Bill's Baptism

What an amazing week!!! :)
I don't really want to write everything that happened this week, so I will just write a cool experience that happened to us on Thursday and then write a little bit about Bill!
So Thursday we had a lesson planned with a man named Brent. Elder Smith and I ran into him my first day here.  We keep finding the "coolest guys". What I mean by "coolest guys" is: motorcycle riding, fast car driving, tattoo and no shirt wearing men! Brent told us to come back so we did. When we knocked on the door a giant pit bull came running right at the door, shaking the entire house!  It was gnashing his teeth and telling us to get lost. After another knock on the door, Brent came. He took a step outside and began talking. He told us that he had talked to his pastor and his pastor told him that "Mormons believe differently" so he didn't want to talk. In the past I may have shied away from the situation so I didn't cause any contention and because I would be afraid that I wouldn't be able to answer his questions, but this time elder Smith and I at the exact moment said, "what did your pastor tell you, we can clear things up. "Brent told us what his pastor had said and we were able to set him straight.  After that he asked, "So what makes you all different from other religions? "We then began to explain the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.
He had no problem with what we were saying.  He was actually really intrigued!  We then gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and answer more of his questions. He said yes!
It was a cool experience for me because 1st of all God was able to give elder Smith and I the courage to ask what his concerns were and then He was able to give us what we needed to say when we needed to say it! 2nd thing was, it taught me that we should never be afraid of questions. Answers to our questions help us learn, which in turn help us grow!  Joseph Smith had a question which was answered and allowed for the earth to be filled with religious light!
Now for Bill! He was baptized on Saturday! After his baptism we were all talking with his family, who are not members. His sister is pretty interested in the church, so Bill being the loud energetic person he is says, "man I feel so good. I should pulled you (speaking to his sister) in with me and you could of felt this good!" Then his mom came around the corner and said, "I need to be baptized again, you should of pulled me in too!" Then Bill said, "If I would of done that then the water would of burst to flames! "We all had a good laugh, but it made me think a little bit. What was going through my mind was how much effort, teaching, faith, and repentance went into Bills baptism. It wasn't taken lightly. A lot of other churches take baptism pretty lightly, saying anyone that is willing to follow Christ can be baptized.  That's not the case with us. Because we know that baptism isn't the end. It is the beginning, it is the gate to eternal life. After we have repented and been baptized we continue to keep doing the things necessary to obtain eternal life!
I am so grateful for this knowledge and the love God has for His children! I am grateful for this mission and I know that I am serving God and this is His work! I know that as we go through trials we are able to grow!
Love you all Elder Johnson


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