"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
-- Alma 26:12

Monday, September 26, 2011

First Baptism!!!

Well my beloved family who I love so very mucho,

This week was pretty good. It started of slow, and then got fast, then slow again, then time basically stopped, then it sped up again. Kind of like a roller coaster. So last pday I pretty much had a cruddy day (mostly due to my bad attitude since I didn't get to read any emails or anything like that) but the good news is I bought a UW nike shirt that says "Bleed brown and gold". It's pretty sweet.

We met with the Binghams pretty much every day this week. It was good, we finished up the lessons, reviewed them with Garrett, and went over the baptismal interview questions. The Baptism was amazing!! I felt the Spirit so strongly and I was so proud of Kelly and Garrett and I was so immensely happy and overjoyed to see them take this step. It was awesome. Jake baptized both of them, and had to do it twice because he forgot a word, but it was still stellar. Then Jake's dad, his brother, the bishopric, Brother Olsen (WardMissionLeader), and Elder Washburn and I got to stand in the circle to confirm them. Jake's dad Craig confirmed them, and both times I felt the Spirit overwhelmingly as he said the words "Receive the Holy Ghost". It brought me back to a talk that one of the devotional speakers in the MTC gave us about the Holy Ghost. It was an awesome talk about sanctifying ourselves to have the Holy Ghost with us. At the very end of this talk he said, "You all have the authority. Receive the Holy Ghost." He was telling us that we needed to let the Holy Ghost into our lives. We've all been given this gift; when I was confirmed, and probably up until the last few months, I haven't fully realized how powerful the ordinance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is. As I've been reading Elder F. Enzio Busche's talk "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit", I have realized just how critical that really is. It should be our quest in life to continually receive the Holy Ghost and it's promptings. We need to let our desires go, give up our will for God's, and truly receive the Holy Ghost. The Baptism helped me realize how blessed we all are to have the opportunity to be guided in our lives by the Holy Ghost--a perfect being that won't let us go astray if we constantly are focused on seeking its guidance. It's so cool.

On other notes this week: I went on exchanges with Elder Quicaño on Thursday. He really doesn't like biking but is a super funny guy. Every day we have to ride up a big hill to get to wherever we're going, and yup you guessed it. We have to ride up that hill every night too. It's awesome. And yes Dad, to answer your question I would say this area is hilly. In a weird way. Our area basically has part of it down the big hill (not the one aforementioned) and up it. We live up it, but most of the people live down it. Since you know where I am on google earth, the dimensions of the area run east of converse to whitney. South of four mile rd to dell range. Then there's a chunk on the east side above four mile that we hardly ever go because almost nobody lives there. But most of the houses are south of Storey, and we live north of it. There are basically four roads we take to go down and up the hill: Blue Bluff, Ridge, College, and Panorama. They all suck to bike up, but it's super fun to bike down them. Panorama is the steepest. So enough about the area. Back to Elder Quicaño. As we were riding up the first hill Elder Quicaño yelled to me from behind me "Did you bring your oil?" I said "What do you mean?" He said "Did you bring your consecrated oil?" I said "Yeah, why?" He said "I'm going to need some." I started busting up laughing. He's awesome and is doing great at learning English. I would be excited if we were made companions one day.

So about Fred and Todd. Todd is progressing. We talked with him this week about how if we're committed then God helps us achieve our goals. We said that as we set a goal, God can do whatever He needs to to get us there. Then we dropped the question: "Will you prepare to be baptized on October 22nd?" He sat there for ages!!! Didn't say anything! I felt like Ammon in front of King Lamoni, except for it was nowhere near an hour of silence. But then he said "I'll give it my best shot". We tried to get him to say a full on yes, but after a while, we were happy with a "I'll give it my best shot". Todd's awesome, he and Trudee and Tanner were at church on Sunday, and they were at the baptism. I am just hoping above all hope that he sees the light and finds his answers. During our lesson with him, Elder Washburn brought up 3 Nephi 11 and how the Spirit felt to the people there-it pierced them to the very center. It was great, and then I talked about how interesting and insightful I have found that the people didn't recognize the voice until the third time. They looked all around them first, and the second time they couldn't tell what it was saying or who it was. It wasn't until the third time where they looked up to heaven (figuratively and literally sacrificing their preconceived notions or desires to God) and they heard the voice and saw the light. I told Todd, we may have ideas of how our answer may come, or from where or who, etc. BUT, we have to realize that it isn't until we get rid of our will and ideas that we find our answer--and it may come from sources to which we gave absolutely no consideration. I'm sure the people at the temple didn't think this voice was coming from the clouds, but they turned and looked, and were saved. It doesn't matter where our answer comes from, but we have to be ready for it, and we have to be willing to look to sources beyond our own comprehension or comfort zone. It was a great lesson, and I really am happy for Todd, and we're going to do all we can to get him to progress.

Fred is a little slower. But this week he is realizing that he needs desire and hard work to find answers. He made a comment to us at the end of the lesson that he prides himself on being a good student and learner, but maybe he wasn't being a very good student for us and for God. He's seeing the light and he's seeing how he's going to get his answers. It's good, and we're excited.

We did a lot of service this week: we helped Brother Mayne put up drywall, and we helped Brian Thomas with his deck. Speaking of Brian Thomas, we have an appointment this week on Thursday with him and Jess, and we're starting the lessons with her. We're taking Brother and Sister Baum with us (they're studs) to fellowship and help teach her. I'm excited about Jess taking the lessons, and I keep feeling that she will progress very quickly and very well. We'll see how it goes. It should be awesome though.

The work here is awesome. I love it here in Buffalo Ridge, and I don't want to leave. Today hopefully on pday we'll go bowling. if not, we'll probably write letters or play frisbee golf (which I am coming to hate because apparently in this mission this is all people ever do on pday). (pdays are way more glorious in concept than in actuality) The working is the fun part. Well, I love you all, and I truly do appreciate the letters and emails that have been sent to me. They help me out so much, you guys have no idea.

Elder Logan Bryan

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