I don't think it's possible for someone to be as happy as I am right now haha. So.... we had a BAPTISM on Saturday and Jesus is now an OFFICIAL member of
La Iglesia de JesuCristo de los Santos de los Ultimos dias!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ohh my goodness I could not be happier!!!! It has been the most incredible week/weekend and I could not be happier!!! And the baptism went PERFECT!!! I kept a ton of the programs so I'll send one home..... but it was sooo perfect. And as for the program, little Oscar spoke about the baptism (it was his FIRST church talk... soo cute!!) and Brother Orme spoke on the Holy Ghost (which was so powerful and spiritual) and then our district of missionaries did a musical number.... we sang the YM/YW medley... we couldn't find it in Spanish so we sang it in English, but the spirit was soo strong and some of our branch understand English so it worked out just fine.... and we sang that right before the ordinance was performed. Sooo spiritual and powerful!!! I always feel the spirit so strong when I sing that song but singing it at my first baptism as a full-time missionary.... at Jesus's baptism with all those I love sooo very much... my branch, district and other church members we've grown so close too. It could not have been better. And what is pretty cool for me is that all of my friends sang that together at Jane's baptism so it took me back to that night as well.... which is very very special to me. Such precious memories I have.
But really singing that song was amazing.... and many people listening, including us missionaries, were getting teary eyed. And when I would look at Jesus he just had the biggest grin on his face. SOO cute!!! And MARCELLA came too!!!!!!! With her little baby girl Estrella (star) and Wendy. Which made me all the happier!!! She just had a permanent big smile on her face the entire time too. I loved it soooo much!!!!! But yeah so then Jesus was baptized by Elder Call (which was his first time baptizing someone and he goes home in 4 weeks.... so that was super special for him) ... but it was amazing!!!! My heart felt soooo full when I was watching Jesus enter into the waters of baptism. Seeing him be completely cleaned and purified... there's nothing like it and it was something I will never ever forget. It was soo special I don't even know how to describe it!!!! My spirit was truly touched soo so much and I was overwhelmed with the spirit, happiness, love, gratitude, etc. I wish you all could have been there soo badly. But I've made a giant addition to my family... here in Gridley... so I was still able to be with everyone I love so very much. Really, everyone that was in the room is soooo dear and close to me. Ahhh I never want to leave this place!!!! It has become a second home to me!!!!! But so the baptism went amazing and after the ordinance was performed and me and Hermana Piggott were about to play some Mormon Messages for everyone to watch while Jesus was changing... we all of the sudden heard a hoot and a holler from Jesus from back in the changing room.... hahahaha it was hilarious!! He was soo happy and excited!!!! I love it so so much!!! But then after the baptism we finished by singing Abide With Me Tis Eventide (my favorite hymn.... I chose it haha) and then Jesus said "I am so thankful for Hermana Barth and Hermana Piggott for introducing me to the true church... I know I am not perfect but I am going to try to be." Sooo simple yet so powerful to me!!!!!! I love Jesus and know he is going to be a wonderful addition to this church. He will grow to appreciate it more and more as time goes on too.... as do we all haha.
I am so thankful for him and so impressed with his decision to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ and be baptized. I know Heavenly Father and the Savior himself are even more excited and happy about it as well. Entonces, EXITO con el bautismo!!!!!!!! SUCCESS with the baptism!!!!! Hahaha ohhh and after the baptism, we had freshly made donuts and an ice cream sundae bar. We asked Jesus what dessert he wanted afterwards and at first he just said, "Me gusta las galletas Chips Ahoy!!" Haha but we told him he could choose an actual dessert so that's what it was. And we were going to have the branch help us out with that but they would have wanted to make it a fiesta with tortillas, tacos, etc. so Sister Orme said she wanted to do it all so she did. She is the BEST!!!!! Honestly.... I cannot even express to you how much I love the Orme family!!!!!! We love them sooooo much. But so the dessert afterwards was lovely and everyone had a wonderful time. It was soo special!!!!! And Marcella LOVED it, said it was such a special experience for her and kept telling people she met that she was getting baptized on the 30th!!! Which we are all SO excited for. She honestly cannot WAIT to be baptized and is sooo prepared and ready. If we could, we'd already have her baptized haha. But the 30th will come sooner than we think..... weeks flyyy by here.
Oh and Marcella also loves joking around and saying how when she gets baptized they'll have to keep her under the water for a loooong time. Hahahaha she always jokes and says how everyone will be able to take a lunch break and that she just needs to get a super long straw so she can breathe.... hahaha we were all laughing and laughing about it. And Brother Orme has this distinct laugh which only makes me laugh more... well anyways, she is so excited. We taught her a few times last week and all of the lessons went wonderful!!! Last Monday we had her over at the Orme's and we all ate dinner and then had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation... it was soooo spiritual and amazing. Then we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ the next day, went perfectly. And then the next time we went to teach her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and her BOYFRIEND (Oscar - another Oscar I know....) was there!!! So he joined us and we taught the both of them. It was the first lesson he heard but he was suuuper respectful about it, was reading through the pamphlets like crazy and afterwards said he wants to learn more. And it was probably an answer to our prayers that he was there when we taught those two lessons..... they can help each other out with all of that. Haha and of course the no Coffee was different for her at first but we taught her why it is important to abstain from all of these things and she has a firm testimony in Joseph Smith so she understood. And when we told her she has to obey both the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity for two solid weeks before her baptism, she counted to herself and said phewwwfff I still have enough time!!!!!!!! So she promised she would. She is the CUTEST!!!!! And her boyfriend was soo awesome and nice too. They are both the cutest!!!! And his aunt is a member (we're thinking less-active) but so he's somewhat familiar with the church but yeah we are super excited about him too.
Supposedly he was talking to Wendy at work too and telling her he wants to learn more from what's he's heard thus far from us and Marcella.... soooo great!! And he joined in on the next lesson as well! Where we taught obedience and following the Prophet. He LOVED it and although it's a simple question, I asked him why he thinks we should be obedient and he said, "Because the Lord knows what's best for us." It sounds so simple but when he said it I felt soo happy. We want to teach him the lessons he has missed, the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ.... hopefully sometime this week. I know he'll love them and that he'll really start gaining a testimony when he hears them. We're hoping to put him on date for baptism this week too. I can just feel it!!! They are both going to get baptized..... I know it!!!!!!! But and after our lesson we showed them a couple of Mormon messages and they LOVED them so much that they asked if they could keep watching them. So we let them keep the dvd for the night...... amazing.
But so anyways, we cannot wait for Marcella's upcoming baptism and hopefully Oscar's as well!!!! And anyways, the branch is sooo excited about these baptisms. Especially our Branch President, President Lopez... and Brother Orme. I was talking to President yesterday though and he was telling me how he has been going to the temple multiple times each week to pray about missionary work, building our branch, getting people baptized, etc. and he said it was sincerely starting to be really hard on him because he didn't know what he needed to do to help with the work.... well then he told me that we really have been such a blessing to him and the branch and that he's finally starting to see miracles and knows it's because of our efforts. I told him then that it's definitely not us.... has nothing to do with us... but is all the Lord. And he said how he thinks that the Lord saw how we were just knocking and knocking on door after door... and he has now placed those we constantly pray for in our paths.
I remember Cynthia Haller telling me, when we went out to lunch and she gave me mission advice, to not let the 95 take away from the 5.... something like that. But to not let the 95 people who want nothing to do with you... take away from the 5 you will find who do!!! I love that!! Because it's soo true. I love that!! And oh!!! Cynthia!!! I took your advice and we taught Jesus from 1 Nephi chapters 8 & 11 ... when it talks about Lehi's dream/vision of the tree of life, iron rod... etc. We talked to him about how we must hold on to that rod, the word of God, when "mist of darkness" comes our way (the temptations of the devil) or people are mocking us for what we believe in "people in the large and spacious building", etc. because the reward we will get at the end..... "the tree of life" THE LOVE OF GOD & ETERNAL LIFE will be better than we can possibly imagine. Well anyways, we even had visual aids for this lesson and it went SO well. So thank you for giving us the idea to teach him it!! It was our last lesson with him before he was baptized. So good!!
But okay, so everything is WONDERFUL!!!!!
Oh, and on top of President Lopez... Brother Orme has been soo excited as well. He has even been getting emotional about it. Ohhhh I love him!!! But yesterday was his Birthday and we were talking to him a ton at church and then dropped a Birthday card off to him later.... well he was super touched all day and last night when we were talking to him at one point he was talking about how our branch has been really struggling and how we've been needing baptisms so badly, to strengthen the branch and get the members more excited and he looked me directly in the eyes and said, "YOU are the answer to our prayers." And he even got a little choked up about it. It hit me so strong when he said that. And made me want to work THAT much harder to bring all I can unto our Savior, Jesus Christ. But the thing is..... it has seriously NOTHING to do with me and Hermana Piggott......
it's ALL the Lord's work.
We're just servants in his hands. He then said how me and Hermana Piggott just seem to be perfect for each other and work really well together and how he wants to box us up so that we'll never be allowed to leave Gridley. Hahaha I love it. This place has truly become home to me. It's the best!!!! Everyone is the best!! And yesterday I had to conduct in Sacrament, oh yeah I had to conduct for the baptism too hahaha but I am awful at it!!! And so when I was conducting I was just smiling away because I kept messing up hahaha and afterwards Hermana Ceja came up to me with tears running down her face and said, "Never stop smiling. You're our light." So cute. It touched me so much. I love her!!! And she speaks the FASTEST Spanish I've ever heard haha but I love her to death and we always laugh our heads off together. She also makes the BEST Mexican food. Which reminds me, I'm getting fed WAY too many tamales. I think half my body is made up of them now haha. But okay, well I have to go but I love you all soooooo much!!! Oh!! And mom!!! I got your letter with all the notes from the Barth side, the Gardiners, Jen & Phil (diiiied when I read Jen HATHAWAY hahaha) and everyone!!! MADE MY DAYYYY!!!!!!!!!! Really, I loved them soo much. And can I have the Gardiner's home address please?? I want to send them a letter, including Benjamin!! But okay.... well keep Marcella in your prayers!! As well as Oscar (her NOVIO - boyfriend) haha. And I'll update you next weeeek!!!!!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Barth
OH!!!!! BEST NEWS!!!!!!! So Nubia is heading back to Utah the end of November for school (UVU) and Brother Orme is going to be in Disneyland on the 30th with his family so they both were going to miss Marcella's baptism and both REALLY want to be there.... so we called President Weston just barely to see if we could bump up the date to the 23rd so that they could both be there. Because the rule is you have to attend church 3 times.... and it's 2 before the 23rd... however, she is sooo prepared and pretty much found US and has the desire all on her own so President just said we can bumb it up!!!! BAPTISM on the 23rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!!! Okay, have to go. OH!! And I am turning 21 a WEEK from tomorrow...... ahhhhhhh I am getting so old!!!!! Hahaha okay, LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!