This past week was amazing. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else right now other than here on a mission, serving the Lord, and being able to see the lives of people change right before my eyes.
We were able to have Terry´s baptism this past weekend and it was incredible. Preparing for his baptism this past week was just so very special for me. He is one of the simplest, sweetest people I have ever met. We tried to see him every day this past week to make sure we had taught him everything and that all of the preparations were complete. Literally every single time we talked to him, he was just so happy, and wanted to do everything just right. It was adorable. We tried our very best to ask as many people we knew to come with us to visits, even if they only knew a little English, because Terry just needed friends.
We had an 18 year-old Spaniard boy, Marc, from our ward come with us. His older sister just got back from her mission, serving in Temple Square, and he is leaving in two weeks to serve in Brazil! I love this family so much! We knew that Marc was really busy getting ready to leave and doing last minute exams, but we knew he spoke a decent amount of English, and so we gave him a call to help us out. He was so excited and willing to help. Friday morning we had a lesson with Marc and Terry and they just completely hit it off like best friends! Marc was so nice and helpful. We talked about our families and how we can live with them forever, and about the power of the priesthood. Marc bore powerful testimony to Terry about the love he has for this gospel and for his family. It is just what Terry needed. We later made the decision that Marc was going to be baptizing Terry. They were both so excited, and it was so fun to see the excitement on their faces. Marc had never baptized anyone before and we thought it would be just perfect right before he left on his mission. As we practiced with them, you could just see the love and friendship that had grown over that short amount of time. It was amazing.
Saturday was the baptism. Terry could not stop talking about it ALL week! The service was so beautiful and so special. The majority of it was in English and we sang the song, "Come Unto Christ" for the musical number. As Marc and Terry entered the baptismal font, dressed in all white, tears started to swell up in my eyes. As Marc recited the baptismal prayer in English and then put Terry under the water, the Spirit just filled the room. It was incredible. Afterwards, Terry bore his testimony of Jesus Christ … testifying that He is our Savior and that all he wants to do right now in his life is follow and come unto Him. It was a day I will never forget.
As I thought about this experience with Terry, I have felt the true love of Christ for him, and for all of those around me. Christ is ALWAYS calling out to us, waiting for us, with His arms open wide, ready to receive us. As we come unto Him, “as little children”, it takes humility and trust. It takes faith, hope and charity. I know that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who just wants us to come home safely, through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. I know we can! We can become perfected through Christ. Oh, how I love my Savior.
"He's the One who healed the leper, and who brought the dead to life. He's the One who fed the hungry, and gave the blind their sight. He's the One who walked on water, then He brought them safe to shore, and whenever you may need Him, He's the One you're looking for. So let Him in, and He will take away your pain. When you feel His love you'll never be the same. Come unto Christ. Come unto Him, and by His grace be made holy again. He's calling your name. He's waiting for you with arms open wide. Come unto Christ. He's the One who taught forgiveness, and who showed a better way. He's the One who helped the hopeless and those who'd gone astray. He's the Savior and Redeemer, the Bread of Life, the Prince of Peace. If you're hungry, lost or captive - He's the One who'll set you free. So let Him in, and you'll remember who you are. He will mold your life and change your willing heart. Come unto Christ. Come unto Him, and by His grace be made holy again. He's calling your name. He's waiting for you with arms open wide. Come unto Christ and you will find eternal life. Come unto Christ. Come unto Him, and by His grace be made holy again. He's calling your name. He's waiting for you with arms open wide. Come unto Christ."
"Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." (3 Nephi 9:22)
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." (Moroni 10:32)
Come unto Him … He is waiting for YOU.
With so much love,
Hermana Lydia Pamela Vance