It was sure nice to talk to ya'll on Christmas! We spent a lot of the day there at the Clays. We played lots of spike ball and ate tons of food and just had a good time. The baptism on Saturday went great too! Elder Andersen baptized him, but I got in, too, to help lift him out of the water. Surprisingly there were quite a few people there! We weren't expecting many the day after Christmas, but we had the whole room pretty full. On Sunday I confirmed him in Sacrament and next week he'll be interviewing for the priesthood. I feel really good about Johnny; he's reading the Book of Mormon a lot, coming to church every week, and seems to know a lot of people at the church. He also loves family history so we'll be starting him up on some Family Search this week. We've also got a few more investigators coming well along towards baptism and now we're just fixin' for more new investigators.
I read a talk today that reminded me of some of the feelings I have towards the sacrament. First off; the sacrament can be an extremely spiritual experience if you want it to be. In fact it can, with proper spiritual preparation, invite just as much revelation as the temple. The sacrament is for the renewal of all covenants, including the temple covenants, which is why we do it over and over again. Second, before we're baptized we just have the light of Christ to guide us. When we're baptized, we're baptized by water, by the Holy Ghost and by fire. The baptism by water is pretty self explanatory, but the baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost are actually two different things. When we're baptized by the Holy Ghost, we just receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (the first comforter) but the baptism by fire is a continual process. That is when the Spirit sanctifies us and renews us. It is the key to repentance and essential to entering the Celestial Kingdom. The very heart of the baptism by fire is the partaking of the sacrament. Without that weekly recommitment we can't be renewed. So yeah, make sure when you go to sacrament meeting you've spiritually prepared to have a spiritual experience. I'll end on a quote from my MTC branch president. "If you truly knew how sacred and significant the sacrament is, you'd be willing to crawl on your hands and knees all the way to church just to partake of it."
I love ya'll!
Christmas sweater vest from Grandma...