Monday, October 11, 2010

Midnight Baptism

Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 12:10:21 +0300
Subject: Midnight Baptism

Let me try starting this again, the internet club we are just had to restart every computer.  Hopefully we won't have any more problems.
Yep that is right we had a baptism Saturday night!  Okay it wasn't right at midnight but it was pretty late I think he got baptized at about 10 o'clock.  Needless to say Saturday was one of the craziest stressfull days of my life but with many prayers all things were overcome and one of my new greatest friends entered into the covenant of baptism.  Mom if you got the picture from the baptism from the Ewarts please forward it with this e-mail to those you send this e-mail too. 

Okay now I'll back up a little.  If you remember 2 weeks ago C---- got baptized and his friend S-- came to the Baptism and the very next day told us he wanted to be baptized as well.  So we had set the 9th of October as his goal.  Well we met with S-- pretty much everyday for the past two weeks preparing him for the day.  S-- got greater and greater and more and more excited for his baptism.  So on Friday he had his interview and as a result it was determined he would probably need to visit with President Steinagel.  We weren't able to get in touch with President until almost 10:30 Friday night.  We then found out he could meet with S-- tomorrow if we got him to Kyiv.  Sam was all in and didn't want to wait any longer than he needed to.  So we got up early Saturday morning to meet S-- at the Voksal (train station) to get him on a train to Kyiv.  Got everything sorted out and sent him on his way.  I then made all the arrangements with Elders in Kyiv to get him back after his interview.  So then we headed off to Church to watch Conference.  Had a lovely time watching the first session, at the end of which S-- should have been arriving.  However, the adversary was doing everything in his power to stop S--'s progress and his train was over an hour late.  So I spent much of the afternoon conference session on phone calls with S-- and President Steinagel working everything out.  Eventually they were able to met up and got him to President's office by the temple.  Everything went well with the two of them and then began the work in getting him back.  With the help of many different Elders we were finally able to get him on a Marshrutka (small bus) back to Vinnytsya.  We had no clue though when it would arrive back in Vinnytsya.  I had asked S-- if he wanted to get baptized when he got back or wait till Sunday to do it.  He told me this was the day he'd been waiting for and he wanted it as soon as possible.  He was however worried about us as missionaries not getting home on time, but with President's permission saying that a baptism is important enough to be out late we told him we'd have the service when ever he arrived.  So we scrambled to get things together for the baptism that would happen sometime just not sure exactly when.  The hardest thing was finding white underwear, which I won't go into too much detail in that story other than we eventually found some for S-- because he'd be coming straight there.  So then we just sat and waited at the church.  We had some members there and I felt way bad because they waited as long as they could but had to leave about 9 because otherwise there wouldn't be public transport to get home.  So it ended up just being the 4 elders, the Ewarts, S---- (who got his mission call this week to Yukaterinburg Russia), C---- and another Nigerian friend J---. 
S-- walked in just after 9:30 pm after the longest day of his life and having prettty much not eaten a thing all day.  He got changed and then we were able to hold a simple beautiful baptismal service.  I was hoping that it would work out for C---- to baptize S-- but S-- had been pretty persistent that I do it so at about 10 PM I had the wonderful privelege of baptizing Sam.  Then because Conference was this weekend for us and there wouldn't be a sacrament meeting we had special permission to also do the confirmation right there.  The spirit was so strong and it was a day and experience I will not forget for the rest of my life.  S-- was so happy and after going through trials that many of us have never faced was able to recieve the greatest gift on earth, the Holy Ghost.  Yesterday we were able to meet with S-- and watch Priesthood Session and he loved it and is so excited to live the Gospel!  He kept having us pause the priesthood session so he get written down something that really struck him.  He also had somethings work out in his life yesterday that have been problems for years.  The Lord is surely showing his love and giving his blessings to his son who has been so faithful in coming to his Gospel.  So that is my big story of the week!

A few other things.  Tuesday morning we wake up at 3:30 to catch our 4:30 train to Zone Meeting and it was the coldest most miserable train ride of my life but there is a price for everything and we had an amazing Zone Meeting that has truly blessed and enriched my life as the blessings of the Lord after trials.  We were able to do a role play and zone meeting that was so needed for a lesson the next day and helped us have the spirit in an extraordinary way in that lesson which has created a lot of progress with our investigator N------. 
Conference was so good by the way!  Loved all that I saw, going to have to go back.  Was able to watch all but the last session in English.  Had an investigator for the last one so I watched in Ukrainian and got the jist of everything.  It was fun to see people I know in all of the choirs.  (Including the mr. blanch look a like katie)  Cousin Elder Larsen in Moscow thanks for the note you had delievered somehow, was really funny how it eventually got to me.  Mom I was talking to a missionary who was standing next to A----- M---- so she found missionaries that know me.  Aunt C-------, Elder F---- from your ward has been in my district.  Um I'm running out of time.  Transfers are this week and we haven't been told yet but I think I'll be leaving Vinnytsya which makes me so sad but I know the Lord has a plan for me in his work.  I love you all!  Thanks for all your prayers.  Sister Ewart is really sick again, please pray for her.
Elder Alexander Dean Larsen