But it was a great conference. Can you feel the time drawing to an end? It sure is scary out there, but as we learned, as long as we stay firm in our testimony and do those things we know we should, we will be safe. The battle is getting brutal and we need to make sure we have on ALL our armor. We've been in a battle where just a sword and shield were good enough to protect us. Now we need our helmets, eye protection, body suits, etc. Bigger weapons call for stronger armor.
So we might have a baptism next weekend. Not sure how I feel. Normally you should feel ecstatic and anxious. Well. I'm sure I've mentioned her; Susan. She was taught last year but failed the baptismal interview due to some differences of beliefs. Hna Hammer and I finally got her approval to reteach her the lessons and to see if she's ready now. It's a crazy story and mess, but she said she is going to petition that she be baptized. How can a church reject her when she hasn't rejected them. It's been a long battle and the ward has been helping her out. Her mom is a member here and wants her to get baptized just as badly. Susan still has not accepted all our beliefs which make it hard for us as missionaries to feel that she is ready for baptism. (She's a feminist and doesn't see why she can't have the priesthood. Also she doesn't believe in Heavenly Father. She believes in God, but that "he" is non-gender, neither male or female, and has no body.) Hna Hammer and I love her and want her to be baptized to receive the blessings that come from it, but we feel it's not good for us to get her baptized when her answers don't align to the actual baptismal questions/interview. Okay so why do I say we might have a baptism next week? Well, our WML thinks it's not good for us to keep these blessings from her. The reason we get baptized is to learn and grow our knowledge. So he called up Pres McAndrews (one of Pres Gelwix councilors) and talked to him about coming down to do the interview. They all set the date for next weekend. We will be cramming in all the lessons these next 2 weeks to get her as prepared as we can. I pray that she will be ready and accepting, but as the ones with the stewardship in this ward and calling to be judges in Israel to baptize, I'm just worried.
Funny story. Tuesday we became dog owners! A dog followed us home after our run and so we gave it some food and took care of it for awhile. Hna Hammer gave it a bath and everything. We tried finding it a home all day, but no one wanted it. We thought we'd get to keep it after getting approval from Sis Vogel, but when we got home that night it had ran away. But it was still fun for awhile. Monkey was mad at us though. :)
The area is getting better. We helped the Elders this week in going down to Dos Palos for them since they don't have a car and teaching the investigators down there. When they told us, I immediately called up the Langs!!!! We went over and visited with them. Georgetta still wants to get baptized and Slim is still a spiritual giant of a prankster. They are just incredible people and I just get so excited to be with them. Hna Hammer was excited to finally meet the ones I talk about all the time. I also did exchanges this week to Chowchilla again. I love exchanges, but it also makes me down. Chowchilla members are really loving. It's hard not to want that in your own area. But we are getting that more now then we have so I shouldn't complain. This week the ward has been on edge though after hearing that Bishop Lee has taken a turn for the worst and is now hospitalized. Not sure how he is doing or how much longer they say he has. But we are praying for him and that what ever happens, his family will be comforted.
This Friday we had a Zone meeting. Our Zone Leaders talked a lot about the Atonement. It was really powerful and it's made me realize how appreciative I am of it. We are literally nothing without the Atonement. Everything we preach and live is because of the Atonement. Everything relates back to it. Christ's whole purpose was to Atone for us. We are all here to accept it and believe in Christ. Hna Hammer and I have made it our goal to teach more of the Atonement with our investigators and members. If they can see the importance of that, then they will be more accepting of our message. We also talked about how we are all Generals here. There are no soldiers, captains, or other ranks. We are in the highest rankings and need to remember that always. We watched a video clip called "My Shoes". You will all have to watch that on YouTube. It made me grateful for my trials and to accept them and not wish them away.
- hermana Sorensen