October 19, 2015 – Week 56

Hello everyone! What a beautiful week it was!
So as can be seen by the pictures, Mr. Eryc Sprott was baptized last night! It was an amazing service for an amazing man. I feel so blessed to have been able to work with him for these past months. I was really praying to stay in Leeuwarden this transfer to witness such an event, because the power of God really is manifested in ordinances. The Lord has been truly merciful to my companion and I.
I’ve talked about Eryc a bit with some of you but I would love to tell his story from the beginning! So, about five months ago, Sister Jones and I were walking with our bikes on the sidewalk to a dinner appointment.  We saw a man putting his bike in front of his apartment, and even though we were on our way, I stopped to briefly share a mormon.org card with him (what a testimony builder of talking to everyone. You never know who the Lord will put on your path!). He expressed that he was religious and we made a return appointment to come back a week later to share the Book of Mormon. Come to later find out that it was a harvest of seeds planted in the past; elders came by in 2008 and gave him a Book of Mormon but then the time wasn’t ready and they lost contact. A man in our branch also gave him a book about Joseph Smith about five years ago, but still didn’t spark his full interest. Come to also later find out that his brother joined the Church about 30 years ago, but he lives 45 minutes away and they didn’t have much contact.
Anyways, we start teaching him, and most of the information is new, although he had a religious background because he expressed how he knew that Christ is real because many, many years ago he was addicted to hard drugs and was able, with many prayers, to stop. I still remember one of our first lessons we were teaching him about prophets and he repeatedly was telling me “Maar lieve scaat, Joseph Smith was geen profeet!”,  which I guess is sort of like a Southern person saying “Darling, Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet,” insisting that I must have been confused. And he told us he wanted to be baptized, but that it had to be in the ocean on the coast of Spain, no way would it ever be in a pool or font haha.
One day, things really changed as he told us in his Book of Mormon reading that week that he really felt the something different, the Spirit. Really key was also when he attended the Singing Elders’ concert with his brother. From then, things picked up. Since the first week we taught him, he was coming to church, but he started attending more meetings, including Priesthood and Family Home Evening. Although he is really quiet, he always expressed how he felt God’s love in the Church and that the branch members were like his family members. He is so funny by the way. He’s just a funny person. Quiet but opinionated. He was very addicted to smoking but when we challenged him to stop, he did so humbly. He hated when we asked him how it was going because he always just liked making his own progress. So I stopped asking him, but I could tell that it was going much better because his house smelled so much better, his eyes were clearer, and his ability to grasp gospel concepts skyrocketed.  One day I asked him how it was going and he laughed and told me in an annoyed tone that he hadn’t smoked in a month!
Fast forward…to his baptism! He had his interview and understood the covenant that he was making to be obedient to God’s commandments and leave his old life behind. It was a beautiful service. His brother and his brother’s family came and he gave a talk about baptism. Also he had to be baptized twice because his hand came up haha. But the best part of it was that right before the baptism was about to take place, as our ward mission leader was conducting the service, Eryc jumped up and asked if he could say a couple words. He was previously reluctant to share his testimony in front of people at the baptism, but he marched right up to the podium and told everyone how pleased he was to be making this covenant and that the past two days he had been feeling so incredible, like he was on the clouds and flying with the birds. 🙂 Also my companion gave a lovely talk on the Holy Ghost and he will be confirmed next week.
Well, that is the story! How amazing!
In other news, We had temple conference, and I had a lovely experience at the temple – I know that it is a house of God. I also had the neat opportunity of bringing a family name.
I love you all lots!

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