Friday, February 3, 2017

Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts

We had dinner with Elliot and Philip on Monday! It went really well, we were just talking to them and Elliot was expecting Mormons to have these weird crazy beliefs that Elliot had never heard of before and wasn't going to believe. We shared the Plan of Salvation and Elliot loved it. Elliot agreed and loved everything that we had to share, and wants to meet with us again! So that went really well.

Wednesday was the world wide missionary broadcast where they officially announced to everybody the schedule change, and they also changed the key indicators which is what we focus on doing each week. It used to be a pretty long list of things we would keep track of, now it is only four things. I love it because it really helps me focus on my purpose and what I need to be doing. I love when Elder Bednar talked about making the doctrine of Christ one. We shouldn't be having all these lessons on baptism to try and get them baptized because that is not what it is about. We need to be teaching repentance and baptizing CONVERTS. We should be teaching faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end all together not separately. That is mostly what I have been studying this week. How to do baptism invites using the whole doctrine of Christ. 
A question was asked during the broadcast, how missionaries can be better teachers and how we could teach better lessons. Elder Oaks said to take the sacrament seriously. That was really interesting to me because that was not what I was expecting him to say. As I thought about it more, and as they talked about it more during the broadcast it made tons of sense. As missionaries, we need to be clean so that we can be worthy vessels of the Spirit. We are not the teachers here the Spirit needs to be the teacher or nothing is going to get done. We need to constantly be doing what we are teaching.

Friday was return and report! I don't know if you remember when I went there in the middle of my first transfer, but this is the middle of Sister Jackson's first transfer so we were able to go. It is when we go to Richmond and have a little meeting about how training is going, and then we get some training from President and Sister Smith, then we get to go street contacting in downtown Richmond (which is seriously my favorite thing in the whole world, SO MUCH FUN), and a testimony meeting. Since Richmond is pretty far away, some senior missionaries from the mission office drove a giant van down to our church and all the greenies and their trainers in our area could get a ride. Pretty much a van full of elders haha. It was fun though. There were only two sisters who came out so there were only four sisters at the meeting. It was lots of fun! We learned so much and found so many great people on the streets of downtown Richmond who are willing to meet with the missionaries. I was able to go with the other new sister who came out with Sister Jackson. Her name is Sister Kennard and she is seriously the sweetest!

Saturday... BELLEH GOT BAPTIZED! It was a long process getting it all together, but of course it all worked out. At first he said he was a little nervous. I wish I could show you his face as he came out of the water. He was the happiest person in the whole world. He took a big breath of relief and smiled from ear to ear. The Spirit was almost tangible in the room it was so strong. After he got all dressed he bore his testimony to everyone. He told his story of how he went from the bottom of being dirt poor, a professor at Mary Washington University. He is so grateful for all that God has done for him in his life, and is happy that he now has the gospel to help him as he goes through future struggles. Not to many months ago, he was very catholic. But as he read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, he found that it was true. He knew that this is where he needs to be. It was such a beautiful baptism!! 

Belleh was confirmed on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting. Something that I have noticed with people after they are baptized is that they understand the gospel so much better! In gospel principles class the teacher was asking Belleh questions and he knew all of the answers! You could tell he was just so happy and he knew he had made the right choice!
Also I just have to tell you about the gospel principles teacher, he is HUGE. He works for the government to hunt down terrorists all over the world and speaks like nine different languages and has died twice. It is amazing how is testimony is still so strong in how we are all children of God. 

That was another long email, but so many great things are happening here in Fredericksburg I just had to share.
Love you all!

Sister Ruffner

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