(NOTE FROM BRANDON'S MOM: - Because the blog is public, I have elected to change the names of the people Brandon is meeting. I want to protect their privacy and the tender miracles of their stories.)
February 4, 2013
I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the baptism of Debbie this last Thursday in the Heatheridge ward. To help understand how much this baptism means to me, let me give a brief outline of her conversion. Debbie was Dave’s girlfriend when I came to Heatheridge last August. We were teaching Dave outside of his girlfriend’s house (she owned the house and he lived with her). She wouldn't let us in. Dave was going through a hard time. He had struggled with a lot of substance abuse and had been attending the church’s ARP (addiction recovery program) class. Eventually it got really hard to teach them. She was getting unhappy with us coming over and she and Dave were constantly fighting. Dave called us up and told us that he wanted to have the church in his life, and Debbie wasn't letting him, so he was going to move out. We prayed a lot the next few days.
Then one day when Elder Jennings was sick, I get a call from Dave. "Hey guys, are you available now?" "Well, Elder Jennings is extremely sick and can't get out of bed." "Can you come over right now?" "What's the matter?" "Debbie and I have been talking and she has agreed to take the missionary lessons, but you need to come now." So I called our ward mission leader and set up emergency exchanges with two men from Elder’s Quorum. I went with the Elder's Quorum President to see them.
The lesson was extremely abrasive. Debbie was not receptive at all. She started throwing all these super deep questions and such that there was no way we could answer. We tried and tried, but she wasn't receptive. The second meeting was similar, but it turned into kind of a fighting match between Dave and Debbie.
But despite her difficulties, she did what we asked her to do. She read the Book of Mormon, she came to church, and she prayed. Pretty soon the spirit of those lessons changed. She listened and didn't argue, her questions were searching, her spirit sincere. I really grew to love them. She told Dave that she had always wanted to learn more about the church, but felt she couldn't because he didn't ever invite her to learn more. Then I left the area.
Eight weeks later, Debbie and Dave were married, and she was baptized. I've sent a picture attachment. Dave gave me the biggest hug afterwards and said "thanks for sticking with me through all of the tears. Now I've seen a miracle." The service was wonderful, half the ward came and the room was so full people were standing against the back wall. So much friendship and fellowship happened there. Elder Jennings baptized her and Dave was able to be a witness for the baptism.
|"Debbie" with her newlywed husband. She was baptized just a few minutes before this picture. Look how happy they are!|
In other news, we still haven't been able to meet the guy we ran into on the road, but he is still interested in learning. We will keep trying. Still trying to work with our other investigator, but she's getting really anxious about baptism. Hope we can get things rolling.