Now on to the crazy adventures of this week. Earlier this week, there was an emergency that called away Sisters Verkist and Nunn so they called in a sister that is in another trio to come into the area with me so we could still work. She has only been out one transfer more than me and knew nothing about our area so I was made senior for the three days that she was here, I even got driving privileges (which was awesome)! It was kind of crazy, especially since they told me it was happening about 10 minutes before Sister Jackson got to our house. It was a stretch but such a learning experience! We survived, didn't get lost (too badly) and this week is our record high in lessons taught! It was weird teaching with someone else because I have gotten so used to how to work with the other two that you have to adjust and work a little harder to make things flow and adjust to how each other does things. It was fun though!
The next exciting thing that happened was Helga's baptism! Probably the most stressful thing of my life, no joke! So this week we visited Helga every single day just to provide support etc. because things always happen the week before the baptism. Every single day, something happened and it was more bad news after another but through it all she was so excited for Saturday and to be baptized. Friday night we were talking to her and she was in such a giddy mood about the next day and told us that Heaven or Hell, she would be there and the devil himself couldn't stop her. So Saturday rolls around and we talk to her in the morning and she is as excited as ever! That night, we show up at the church early to fill up the font and set things up. People start showing up and as it grows closer to 6, the more nervous we get. 6:15 rolls around and still no sign of Helga and we can't get a hold of her or any of her neighbors. We are a little panicking now. Then we (finally) get a call from Helga and she is just sobbing and tells us to come over. So we tell the Bishop that the baptism is off and we run over to her house. Outside her house, there is a ring of cops, swat team, ambulances, everything. We walk in through the cops and they let us in because we are representatives of the church (which is pretty dang cool) and finally get to Helga. Apparently, one of her son's friends is a fugitive and was hiding out in their garage and the cops found him and shots were fired and a whole bunch of other stuff went down. It made the news! And we found out later that we had met this guy that got arrested just the day before and shook his hand! First time I have ever talked to someone who is a fugitive! But then some other things happened too which really shook up her life and has turned her world upside down; I am naive and sheltered enough to think that stuff like this happened in the movies. We talked to her for a while and asked what we could do to help and she said she was so sad she couldn't be baptized and she wanted to still do it today! The font was still filled so we called the bishop back and got two witnesses and had a baptism! It was small, just a song, prayer and baptism but it was the best experience ever. Before her baptism, her whole face was down and she looked unhappy (understandably so!) but then she went into the water. When she came up, I have never seen someone glow so much or have such a smile of happiness and peace. It was a complete 360 change! The Spirit was so strong and there was not a dry eye in that place. She said to us when we sat down that it was as if a huge burden had been lifted and she felt like the happiest person in the world. She said nothing would stop her and even though literately all hell broke loose, she lived up to those words! God has something so amazing in store for her because of her faith and just the things she is going through right now in her life. I have never seen so much faith in a person!
Then the next exciting thing that happened was our fireside that was about the joy the gospel brings to people. We had members invite their friends and then asked some converts to share their experiences. It was so amazing. The people that we had speak were truly inspired and had such powerful testimonies that just light up their faces. At the end of it, TWO people came up to us and said they wanted to learn more and be baptized. Can we say miracles?! It was an amazing end to my time here in Sparks 2nd ward! This gospel is so amazing and is the true restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth and provides each of us with so much joy and comfort in this life! I love this opportunity I have to share that joy and blessings with others, it is seriously the best thing in the world.
I love you all and you are in my prayers!
Helga at her baptism
Kailey and Ivy, two of the coolest kids in the ward
The coolest zone ever