Monday, January 6, 2014

Baptisms and a birthday, the perfect start for a New Year

January 6, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, I fondly address you today, on January the Sixth of the year Two Thousand and Fourteen. On this day it would please me to offer a few written sentiments......

Ok. I tried to sound more sophisticated as a twenty year old, but I'm going to go ahead and give THAT up. How are you my lovely friends and amistades? If you are familiar with my life, you will note that today is the twentieth anniversary of the first day I cried. well....I assume that I cried when I was born. I'm kind of fuzzy about the details...

I would love to tell you about all of our festivities (hooray for birthdays on p-day!) and offer a few words on the feelings of today, but first, I would like to gift you a few pictures of a happy week.

Starting the first day of the year in the best way possible

Yes, you did infer correctly. This week Hermana Wong and I had the privilege of seeing three of our investigators get baptized. The first two, a Cuban couple, were the most spiritually prepared people I have met on my mission. The first time we met with them they told us that they wanted to get baptized, and they wanted it to be on the first of January, to start off the new year following the steps of Christ. They were such a testimony of faith and love for the Savior. even the wife, at over 8 months pregnant insisted that she did NOT want to procrastinate her baptism. 
The things we do to prepare 

The next investigator that got baptized, Juan (name changed), is such a special person to me. When we began teaching him he rarely did the things that we asked, and didn't really seem to know what good baptism would be for him. By the end of our lessons he was saying things like "I just can't wait for it to be Sunday so that I can go to church!" and "you want to come over in 3 days? Can you come over sooner?" He is eleven years old, but he read the Book of Mormon, and highlighted the words he didn't understand. Then, when we came over, he asked us what they meant.

This is true conversion. People who truly want to follow Christ and be baptized because they understand that baptism isn't the end of the process, rather the beginning. Christ didn't get baptized at the end f his life, rather before he started his ministry. What a great week of baptisms to start this year!

Thoughts about being 20:

Well. Another decade has come and gone. I sadly say goodbye to my teenage years that have seen me through so much. Braces (twice), tears, laughter, riding to school on a bike, getting my ears pierced, my first date, the first time I ate a tamale, exactly one pedicure, way too much time on social media, even more time studying for AP tests, learning how to cha cha at 8:00 in the morning (Tuesdays and Thursdays), playing the flute at Highland football games, deciding to wear mascara on occasion, and many memories that I will cherish until I'm 98 and probably can't remember much anymore.

I thank my teenage years fondly, and spend a moment reminiscing, but after that I look to the future, and all the promises of this next decade of my life. What new experiences will I have? What things will I learn? Regret? Hold close to my heart? I anticipate my second pedicure, maybe learn another language (one every ten years seems pretty manageable) and probably start wearing a ring on my left hand. Oh what joy to have endless possibilities ahead of you, and to know that you are just at the beginning.

But for right now, I am so grateful to be spending the first 10 months of the next ten years in the service of the One who has seen me through those crazy teenage years, and will walk with me the rest of the way. Happy new year(s)!

What 20 looks like....just in case you were wondering.
con mucho amor,
Hermana Thomas

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