Hey there, friends!! Howdy doo-dee!! This message is gonna be a happy one... oh so so so happy. Like, seriously guys, I'm a happy little missionary Sister today :) And here comes the story!
I stood up from the piano and observed the scene we had so maticulously catered to; music stands holding five sheets, three rows of cushy chairs amid the deep blue gym carpet and gray carpet walls, the closed wooden doors to the filled font, the podium and presiding authority chairs carefully placed, the perfect programs being passed out by Sister Blood, and the few missionaries and families meandering as they waited for the guest to arrive. I trembled in anticipation. "Deep breaths" i told myself. ...haha.
And then, she rolled in. She rolled in on her wheelchair and grinned at us. Sister B and I jumped up toward her, arms extended. Having never experienced this before, we scatter-brained escorted her about, informing her of where to place her wheelchair among the rows, where to change, where to enter the font... and I'm making this story so long.... but then the priesthood holders came, dressed in white. Laura changed into her jumpsuit, her daughter (a non-member) gripping her mother's hand looking excited and at peace. She expressed having been so grateful, that this was an answer to prayers to see her mother find a church at last to welcome her in and love her.
The program went beautifully. Sister Blood's viola came by car from Kaysville, Utah thanks to our WML. We recruited one of our favorite Sister members to play the flute in a trio to perform "Abide With Me." The talks were so spiritual, the Restoration Presentation we had rehearsed was powerfully silent and thought provoking... Sister B stated later that there was not a single set of eyes in that room that were not welling up with joyous tears.
Her poor back has Double Scolios and stinosis, her spine coiled like a snake. Needless to say we were all very worried to see her enter the waters. After the ordinance was said and Brother Dodds gently pushed Laura into the water... Sister B and I clung to each other, so grateful... and then Laura came up looking stunned! Nervously Brother Dodds asked is everything okay, are you alright? She gave a feeble nod. Laura said to me privately and misty-eyed that as she stepped into the font it was bitter cold, but once she went down to leave her sins behind it became incredibly warm, it took her breath and speech away.
And yesterday she was confirmed and the ward happily raised their hands to vote her a wonderful addition to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She beamed!
This is the work of Salvation. It never would have happened were it not for the Fields, her wonderful neighbors, eager to bring her into the fold. And we know, we felt so strongly, that there were many waiting for her to join, and we know by her countenance the Holy Ghost is powerfully inside her, comforting and guiding her.
There is no other joy as exceeding as this, to feed the Lord's sheep. I know this is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is HIS church. I know that His priesthood is pure and it is among the pure and it is a saving power. I know that it is by His grace that we are saved, and as we try to do all that we can do He provides us such wonderful ordinances and holy places to stand so we can live with an assurance that we can make it back to Him someday.
I love you family. I am so grateful for your constant prayers. It has wrought miracles in this field. I am grateful for those of you doing your best to let your light shine, and to share this gospel. I know it will bring you a greater love and joy than anything beside it. I love you I love you!