I suppose that to start off I should share the good news. I baptized
for the first time in my mission! It was the same fellow I mentioned
that we extended the invitation to on the day of the dedication. His
name is Josnei Anton (pronounced Antun here) and he is of mixed German
and Polish ancestry. Really quite a special fellow of 18 years of age.
He was contacted the 27th of July, or the day after I got into the
MTC. The baptismal service on Saturday afternoon was really quite nice
and we had a good amount of members there present, though nobody
really participated and it was up to the missionaries to conduct, bear
testimony and play the music (that would be me - as we once again we have
a profound lack of pianists in the branch). After having had the
missionaries perform the Rainbow Song from the primary songbook,
(I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain and ponder on the beauty of an
earth made clean again. ... Chorus: I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven
and improve myself each day. Chorus...) (sung in Protuguese!)
Josnei and I proceeded to the baptismal fount and I baptized him.
Really quite special, though the feeling was really just one that I
had been working as a tool to serve the Lord´s purpose.
While gratifying in the sense that I was able to help him progress in
his personal salvation, it wasn´t so in the sense that I had down very
much to get him to the point of baptism. I am not quite sure why he
asked for me to perform the baptism, but that answer came on Thursday
after his interview and after I had been asking myself what I have
been accomplishing so far on the mission. Clearly, the Lord works in
mysterious ways to bless us or make us feel blest in so many different
In reality, that was rather a new concept. Or not so much. But the
thing is, I might just work every hard and not ever really baptize
anybody again, but the point is is that I will have been able to say
that I truly did give all; though I do have a hard time figuring out
what that might just really mean.
Can my beloved and experienced family share what it means to keep on going?
One thing that has been on my mind is that the mission, while
physically demanding,I should be establishing habits that I will
continue the day after I get home from the airport, and so on for the
rest of my life. That is to say that I hope that I´ll be able to
return at a running pace and with working habits that will get me an
internship and then a good scholarship, both in pecuniary remuneration
as well as actually learned material.
Anyhow, with one baptism having taken place here in Concórdia, we will
have to continue at a strong place as it seems that none of the people
we already know at this point will really progress. A fellow named
Victor that we had started teaching last week was going along really
well. He was accepting everything about the gospel, but something
caused him to freeze up on Sunday. A very genuine and sincere widow
with three children that we had taught the plan of salvation to didn´t
come to church when she had said she would.
Maybe the mission is also just teaching me habits that I want to avoid
and things that I won´t do in the future. Perhaps that is a great lesson:
We can´t control everything in our time plan, as we are dependent on
others, but we can certainly do our part.
Two things I have been wondering about
-Things that I should maybe buy: what would be a good belt to buy? (my
plastic-type nike belt is wearing out because I had to put three holes
-What is the best way to drink water as well as to posture when
climbing hills? Some research would be appreciated.
Elder Frederick Luschin