Monday night Sister Goodwin and I got a call from Alexis. She told us she had been praying about a day to be baptized and got “The peaceful feeling” about the 20th. We were so excited for her as we frantically rushed this week to pull together a baptism and get her interviewed! Not only that she needed to be taught and live the Word of Wisdom ASAP!
We went over on Tuesday and taught the sweetest most peaceful Word of Wisdom lesson I’ve ever sat in. She’s a determined one and when she realized her tea drinking days needed to be over she got off the couch and grabbed one last cup. As she drank it down I had the strongest impression she would remember that night for the rest of her life.
Friday we went over the baptismal interview questions and taught her about the law of tithing. Again, another difficult commandment she was being asked to obey, but she accepted it with all her heart and snuggled up to us as we taught her about the covenants she was prepearing to make.
Saturday we were getting her baptismal suit from bishops house and he asked us why her younger sister, Trinidy, wasn’t also being baptized the same day. Realizing we had not even asked her we rushed over to their house around 8 in the evening. As Alexis tried on her baptismal suit we sat down on the couch with Trinidy and her mother Maria. We asked her if she wanted to be baptized tomorrow and her immediate response was yes! After her mothers approval was given she hopped right off the couch and grabbed the other baptismal suit!
Sunday we went over early before church to help the girls get ready and be there for Trinidy’s interview. We brought some of my clothes for Alexis to wear and Sister Goodwin did her hair. We scrambled to get them ready before our ride came and fortunately everyone made it out of the door almost on time!
In sacrament I thought over the week we had gone through. It was far from easy. There were so many things being stacked on my shoulders I felt as if I was going to break. Then one more thing was added and I did break. It wasn’t pretty. Fortunately, God is a very forgiving and loving God. He gave me the best companion in the mission and she carried me through a lot of this week, but ultimately I had to stand alone before God with all my sins on my shoulders and ask to be forgiven. I have never begged to be stripped of my pride like I begged on Saturday night.
When the bread and water came to me it wasn’t like angels came down from heaven, or I heard an audible voice reassuring me my sins had been forgiven and I could start anew. Rather it was a quiet, simple, almost indiscernible peaceful feeling deep in my heart that helped me to smile and move forward. The words to the song, “When I am Baptized” came to my mind,
“I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
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.”
As Alexis and Trinidy entered the waters of baptism together the peaceful feeling became much more apparent and full. It was so clear to me that those two little girls had made a covenant with God they would never forget, and I had made the same covenant 12 years previous. Sister Goodwin and I sang “I’m trying to be Like Jesus” before the girls were confirmed and then The Spirit poured out on me like a waterfall.
I know we all make mistakes and we all have flaws, and it can be depressing and discouraging. But I also know all that God asks of us is that we keep trying. Elder Holland said, “Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.”
I love you all more than I can say. Luke 1:37
Love, Sister Johnson