Thursday, April 2, 2015

come into the fold

One of the investigators we have been teaching recently is named Pamela. Pamela comes from an extremely rough background of abuse, neglect, and even more. When she moved to Manti she was at a point where she was ready to change her life around and start anew. We've been teaching her ever since I got here. She lived in the Manti Motel for a long time and just recently moved to an apartment a few blocks away.
Teaching her is an absolute joy! Despite attending school at Snow College and working at Walmart, she still manages to have us over and keeps all the commitments we leave with her. In fact, she even goes beyond that!
Just to give you an idea of how awesome she is: She was reading through all the war chapters in Alma and started to question the reason for including all of it in the Book of Mormon. Right then she was going through an awful divorce and issues with school. She prayed about what Heavenly Father wanted her to get out of these chapters and the next time we came over she told us that she knows why she needs to read about all of these wars. She said that she's been going through her own wars lately (overcoming smoking, forgiving, the divorce, schooling) and God was helping her to understand the importance of fortifying herself with righteousness. I feel like we are more of the ones getting taught when we go over!! 

One of the lessons we taught Pamela was about missionary work. We committed her to sharing her testimony and what she's learning about with the man who lives in the hotel room right next to her. The man, named David, is very lonely and loves talking to Pamela outside. Pamela had a big smile on her face and told us that she had already been talking to David about the gospel. In the past when we tried contacting David he has slammed the door on us and other ward members that would come by. Well, that Sunday guess who came to church? Pamela and David. Everyone was totally shocked. He went to all 3 hours! Pamela told us that she would continue to prepare him to meet with us.
As Pamela was in the process of moving, we went over to help her clean the rest of the room out. We got to the door and no one answered. So we went next door to David's (a little hesitant to do that) and asked him if Pamela had already moved. While we were talking we asked him how he liked church and if he had nay questions about it. He told us that he felt weird since he hadn't been to church in 50 years. Later on in the conversation, we asked him how he feels about his relationship with God. He told us that he feels really shaky with God. He then really opened up and started talking about the death of his wife and how now he just feels lost. We testified of God's love and the importance of the scriptures and the foundation they lay for us in life. He told us that he has never been able to read so the scriptures would be useless. We then quickly offered to come to his home and read to him. He was excited about that!
So that was a complete miracle right there. The next week we were preparing for Pam's baptism. She was actually on probation for a few years but we were able to get permission from Salt Lake to have her baptized after a few extensive interviews. So the process took awhile but FINALLY we were able to set a date for her. Her baptism was this past Saturday. She invited David but he was really unsure about going. We called him that morning and invited him once again and HE CAME! button up white shirt, slacks and everything.
The baptismal service was just beautiful. The ward is magnificent and the entire relief society room was packed full of neighbors, fellowshippers, and friends. I have never felt the spirit so strong in a baptismal service before. As Pamela walked into the water the scriptures in Mosiah 18 came to mind.

"As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;  Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God."
Pamela is the epitome of these verses. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. I know without a doubt that God led Pamela to Manti. I have seen the Atonement in action through this whole process of preparing her for baptism. You can see the change in her eyes and in her countenance.

She received the gift of the Holy Ghost the day after in sacrament meeting. When she came back to sit by us after receiving the blessing she said, "Wow! That was wild! That was just amazing! I've never felt that so strongly!" She was all smiles all weekend. She is a perfect example to me of diligence, humility, patience, and charity. I just love that lady. 
David enjoyed the baptismal service and committed to coming back to church next Sunday :)
What a great weekend it was. I love you all and appreciate the kind words that are sent my way :) I can feel your prayers daily. I love you :)
Love, Sister Martin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a message for Madeline!