We had another baptism this week! His name is Mingo (see the pic) He's Hawaiian, so his real name is like 10 names put together (Hawaiian names are novels, I swear) but everyone just calls him Mingo. It was kind of interesting, his grandpa baptized him, and while he was in the font, which is freezing cold by the way, his grandpa gave like a 10 minute speech.
There was also another baptism in our zone that has a really cool story. The missionaries taught and baptized this 16 year-old boy. They begged and pleaded with his mom for an hour until she finally agreed to come to the baptism. After the program, she went up to the missionaries and started crying. She told them the story of how at first she didn't like the elders coming over at all. When they asked if she wanted to sit in on the lessons, she replied she was busy, and would go inside. Then as time went on, she recognized they were there every tuesday and thursday, so she started to clean the house so it looked nice (even though their lessons were outside) Then after a little bit longer, she started to sit on the couch inside and listen through the window to the elders teaching. She told them she believed everything they said, and was just baptized this past week by her son!
I want to relate this story to a Marshallese saying "An pilinlin koba rej komman lome to" It basically translates to: drops of water, combined, form an ocean. This saying always reminds me of Alma 37: 6-7, which talks about how by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. One drop of water is small, and insignificant, but when thousands, or even millions are combined, they form something incredible. Just like in the story, the elders asked if she would join every time, even though they knew she would say no. But because of their diligence and faith, over time, this woman eventually made the choice to follow Christ and be baptized!
I believe that some of the things we're asked to do in this church may at first seem insignificant and unimportant. However, there is a reason for everything, and often times, God is the only one who knows or can see that reason. We're only asked to exercise our faith and trust in him, and in the end, we can see miracles, or great things, brought about in our lives.
I love watching as people take that initial step of faith and pray about the Book of Mormon. Many times, it takes a while and a lot of convincing before they'll pray about it. But once they receive that witness, that key to their conversion, that the Book of Mormon is true, they see great things in their lives, and it's truly a miracle. I'm so grateful for all of you, my friends and family, and hope that you recognize that nothing God asks you to do is small, or insignificant.
Kojparok wot im kememej Anij!
Love, Elder Merrill