Sunday, September 7, 2014

Baptism (Bautismo) Week

This has been a crazy busy week with transfers and opening and closing houses, 
moving furniture  and adding a 3rd companionship in our Harrisburg Ward. 
We have been running all week and are weary.
we were invited to 2 wonderful baptisms within 24 hours of each other! 
Both were in the Charlotte Spanish Branch that meets in the same chapel as us.

Melanie Kay Munguia is the 12 year old convert (3rd from the left in glasses) 
standing between her sister and mother.
 Elder Butler and Elder Hettinger invited Elder Urban to join them
 in teaching her shortly before she was baptized.
Melanie was baptized Saturday, September 6th. 
This was the second or third baptism we have attended in the Spanish Branch. 
Even though the music, speaking, baptismal ordinance and everything was in Spanish, 
and entendemos poco (we understand little), 
the Spirit witnessed to us when truth was being taught. 
We don't have the gift of tongues, but we do have the gift of the Spirit!
We truly enjoyed trying to sing the hymns in Spanish.

I've included lines from 3 of the hymns that we sang the past 2 days. 
See if you can figure them out!
For some of you these words are very familiar: 
(Elder Welker Senior, Elder Welker the younger, Elders Cuellar, Elder Anderson) 
and those of you with one or more years of  High School Spanish, 
even if 20-40 years ago, give it a try. I love the words in Spanish!

1. Soy Un Hijo de Dios...... para que algun dia yo con El pueda vivir
2. El Espiritu de Dios....Cantemos, gritemos, conhyestes del cielo: 
Hosanna, hosanna a Dios y Jesus:
3.Hijos del Senor Venid....en acuerdo a cantar. 
Alabanzas ya rendid al Senor, que reinara

Unfortunately there are no amazing prizes to be given out,
just the joy of the challenge.

Today's baptism was for
Ahmed Shawkit Kifah Yuman Shamaon Nench Kildan Alkosh.
Yes, you read it correctly!
Ahmed is from Turkey and was Muslim. 

He had to have a special interview from President Craven to be baptized.
He speaks some English and so you may wonder why he was baptized in the Spanish Branch.
He is married to a woman from Honduras who speaks only Spanish. He speaks little Spanish but  chose attend and be baptized in the Spanish Branch. We sang in Spanish, the talks and prayers were in English and Spanish and the Branch President (who speaks little English) did the ordinance in English so that Ahmed would totally understand. It was quite beautiful!
At the end of the baptism, the Bishop asked Elder Urban to share his thoughts. 
He stood close to Ahmed looked directly at him and bore witness 
of how the Doctrine of Christ can change our hearts for good and bring peace to our lives.
I  felt the Spirit speak to my heart today.
I know that the Lord knows each one of us, no matter what our circumstance, by name....
His love completes us, teaches us, empowers us, and brings joy beyond our greatest hope.
I know Ahmed will find that as he continues to grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are so excited and getting ready for 2 Mission Tour Conferences this week.
Our visiting General Authority will be Elder Larry Y Wilson
 of the Seventy and his wife, Linda!
This is a bonus blessing because I've known them for 26 years, 
when our family first moved to Danville, California. 
He was our bishop in Alamo 1st Ward at the time and we love their family. 
It will be wonderful to see them again!

We send our love to y'all!

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