Well this week is transfer week and most of our Zone is getting new companionships. Sister Gilmer and I, plus two Chinese-speaking Elders, are the only two companionships that didn't change! Crazy! Sister Boyd and Sister Moea'i, who live with us, are getting doubled-out and we are so sad! I will miss them dearly, but the Lord needs them in other parts of His vineyard, so it will be okay. We know that lots of great things will happen for them. But changes all around for the Riverside Zone!
I almost forgot, Elder Linzey from our stake, is the new Assistant to the President. Very cool!
VICTOR WAS BAPTIZED! Victor was baptized yesterday and it was wonderful! We had so many of the ward members there, it was wonderful! He was baptized and confirmed by two of the YM leaders, which was amazing. Victor is 17 and is already excited for a mission. He came out from his baptismal interview and was talking with Elder Opeda, our District Leader, about being a missionary. At the baptism yesterday he said, "Next is the Priesthood, then a mission." It is amazing and he was most definitely prepared by the Lord. Most of his immediate family, his aunt, and his grandma came to the baptism! While Victor was changing, there was time for bearing testimonies. His Sunday School teacher stood up and told how the Spirit was very strong in class that day. She couldn't understand why. Then at the end of the class Victor told them that he was fasting for his baptism. His teacher knew why. He had brought such an amazing Spirit to the class and was preparing through fasting. We didn't even mention fasting that day, but Victor had felt impressed to do that. He is a miracle for us as missionaries. He is going to be a great missionary!
We also had four younger boys at the baptism and they are just so excited to be baptized. Some of them were scared about the water, but after seeing it done, they aren't nervous anymore. Three of them are old enough to be baptized, but one will be 8 in February. We are so excited for them! We talked to their mom, who is not a member, and explained that baptism is a commitment and covenant with God, so we don't know exactly when they will be baptized, but we are hoping and praying for next month!
Things are going very well here in Riverside. We didn't teach as many lessons as we would have liked, but we were able to talk to many people this week! We had 6 investigators at church and things are going well. We have a lot of finding to do right now, but that is part of this great work!
I have been thinking about the importance of a positive attitude today. Missionary work is not easy, we all know that, but even when things are going well, we must be positive. Satan wants nothing more than to get us discouraged and disappointed. We can choose to be positive in this work, and then great things will happen. I know that we need to always strive to smile and be happy. Again, I know that is not always possible, but even when we are sad, we can be positive. A positive attitude brings blessings. And those blessings are often miracles.
I love this work so much. I love serving a mission. This is the greatest experience that I have had. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know this is His Church. This is a work that will continue to go forth. We can either be with it or against it, but no matter what it will move forward. I am honored and privileged to be with the Lord in this great work. I am so thankful to have been called to this wonderful mission and be blessed with wonderful companions, roommates, leaders, and people to serve. I love it!
And I love you! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat
Picture: Victor's baptism!