October 12, 2015
How are y'all doing today?! It was a wonderful-ish week here in Odessa!To start off, I will tell you all about Mark's baptism on Saturday! Dang was is sweet! Mark had a rough week dealing with this and that. He didn't have very much support at all from his family and in fact had a really interesting week with that. However, he didn't even bat an eye at it! He has just been so prepared for this and didn't let that affect his decision and his faith. Good grief, he was just so prepared and ready to be baptized. Anyway, the service was pretty good, however the baptism itself was insane. Mark got into the font with Bro Noyes and we had to direct them and get them situated in the font correctly and that created a few chuckles from Mark and the audience and I actually was worried that it may have detracted from the spirit and anticipation that Mark was feeling. You could see the calm excitement on his face. So, Bro Noyes dunked his pretty good, and pulled him back up. When Mark came up out of the water he just started weeping! He was nearly sobbing in the font for about 15 seconds when he just looked up and said "Thank you, God!" and then continued to weep for another 15 seconds or so before they walked out of the font. Holy cow. All the females there were crying, I just had a nice spiritual smile on my face the whole time. I don't know how to describe a spiritual smile but I'll leave that up to your imagination. Anyway, that was super awesome to experience! His life has been changed SO much in the last month and its all because a family made him a part of them in such a short time and he realized that he wanted what they had! I wish sometimes that I could have more experiences like that on my mission. Mark is really the first person in almost a year now that I truly feel has let the gospel CHANGE him and his life. It's done so for Michael as well, but I feel like its much more profound for Mark. It is such an amazing thing to be able to experience and is such a big testimony builder to me of the power that the gospel brings. I definitely think I take advantage of it all the time. I grew up with the gift of the Holy Ghost and lived in a home where the spirit was present, and its crazy to watch the change that people have when that is all of a sudden part of their lives. Simply the gift of the Holy Ghost is something that I never even think about having because at this point I am just so used to its presence that the times I usually think about it is when its presence isn't with me and I know I need to do something different. I have talked to so many people who have never even felt the Holy Ghost in their lives. So when we speak with them and they feel that presence it scares them. Yes, the Holy Spirit of COMFORT scares them. They have no idea how to respond to it so they run from it. How grateful I am go have that gift with me so that I can always feel the COMFORT that the first comforter brings!