The weather this week had been terribly cold and his baptism was going to take place at a rock pool out here in Discovery Bay. Well we kept praying along with the branch and then what do you know,was the perfect day for a baptism. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and the temperature had raised a few degrees. All of the branch members were smiling and excited.
We all gathered at the rock pool and started the service. (pictures next week) Two people were greatly touched. His wife and son.
On the light, funny note, his son was very proud of him. We were all gathered around the pond of water and Gabriel was at the back. After his dad came out of the water he let out a "Woohoo! Yeah!" and a couple claps. Then he pointed to this boy near him and yelled "Hey boy! BOY!" Then pointing to his father and chest puffing with pride yelled "That's my dad!" It was a great thing to see how much Gabriel adored and was proud of his father.
Joel's wife, Jennifer, is from Mainland China so there is not a christian or religious background that she has. She has been raised and taught otherwise. Well that week she wasn't quite sure if she was going to attend his baptismal service. When we came by, she had decided she would. Her english is not the best, so most of the time talking to her is very simple or has Joel translating or me trying my best mandarin to her. That she brought up to us that religion gives people direction and will help them with purpose, but she already had direction and purpose. She said that they do it to feel happy and it is not needed for the Chinese. She brought up that we are just different people. Different cultures and lives. It was an interesting conversation that took place.
The following day at Joel's baptism was very neat. After the ordinance had taken place we had gathered back up to close. Perhaps lost in somewhat confusion of what was happening, she stood next to her wet husband. "Oh my Father" was what we would all sing. She stood their looking at unfamiliar words, but then something happened. Tears streamed down her face. They came from a source that may have never been felt before, Jennifer, I believe, was starting to feel her Father in Heaven's love for her for the first time.
The Holy Spirit had come to her and was so strong, emotions could not stay in. She, in the midst of her tears, tried to sing. This may be the beginning of the journey for her. Joel had testified after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost that sacrament meeting about the journey he was on. He testified of how he started to see God in his daily life. That he was able to notice all of those tender mercies that are the Lord letting us know he loves us. He spoke of this journey and that he will never abandon the path that he had entered. Joel said that he had been looking for this path and is grateful to be on it. It was a powerful testimony borne. This was a very neat experience for Jennifer and pray that she will never forget it. Whether it be the seed of faith had just been planted or that it had just taken root, I do not know. I do know that God does love her and she is starting to understand that now.It was a very powerful experience for all to see.
This week was a good week and we were able to see the Lord help His children. I am grateful for the power and the blessing of this Living Church. That the priesthood is here and it allows us to make covenants with God and that Christ is truly directing this work. May it ever continue on!
out of time pretty quick today..