Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week Twenty: "Behold Your Little Ones"

Ponderizing 3 Nephi 17:21-23
And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
And when he had done this he wept again;
And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

Hello my dearest friends and family,

This message is long, yes.
This message contains a powerful, testimony building experience, very yes.

This week has been absolutely wonderful. I've been working hard in the Office as we get ready for transfers on Tuesday, we have had many teaching opportunities, we have gotten to help out some sister missionaries, and today we have a baptism.


So let's start with the Office. I've been very busy getting things ready for the departing missionaries. We have needed to put all their stuff in packets, I've been a proof reader for the letters from the Mission President, and I also needed to organize letters for the new zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers. There was quite a shock in the office this transfer, when we learned that Elder Robison, from my MTC group, only in his 4th transfer, is now a Zone Leader! My zone leader in fact, it is so exciting! He is a very powerful missionary and I have no doubt he will be a wonderful Zone Leader.

It is quite interesting how the Lord is changing the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. I mean, already Elder Shepherd (after 3 transfers) and I (after 2 transfers) were put in the office, but now also young missionaries (In Elder Shepherd and my MTC groups) are being put as Zone Leaders. Which really, has not really happened before at all. Normally people aren't in positions of leadership until after the first year.

Also, we were blessed with the presence of Sister Missionaries in the Highlands area with us! Granted it was only this last week, and the go back on Monday, but still. Sisters Stegelmeier and Murenza were emergency transferred to Harare for medical attention so President Mkhabela put them in our area, allowed them to proselyte or rest as needed, and let them just be a help to us. So Elder Shepherd and I brought them to some of our lessons and Dinner Appointments. It was great to have them help us with the kids that were baptized today.

Now onto the Baptism.
Trial. Of. Faith. And answers to prayers.

So first of all, it was supposed to be at 10am, but yesterday we had to reschedule it to 2pm because some of those getting baptized were busy till 1pm. Already we were worried things wouldn't work out, but it was working. We went and cleaned the font, found a drain plug, started filling it, and then checked on it after an hour and was half full. Checked on it after another hour it was almost full, and full enough. So at 9:40am (just in time for the original schedule) we closed up the chapel with a full font, the water turned off, and everything good to go.

At 1:30 we went to set up chairs. The font was half empty.
We turned the water back on, and I told Elder Shepherd "This is a matter of faith elder, we are closing these doors and when the baptism is ready to start the font will be full." We even found out that the reason it was leaking was that we didn't close the drain valve like we were supposed to, so we did that. We fixed our mistake.

Someone then asked where the baptismal clothes were. (1:50pm) we looked everywhere and couldn't find them. We even got help, called people, etc. Finally someone found them in a closet. (right around 2pm) and they were dirty. We immediately started making calls to other missionaries "where can we find baptismal clothes to borrow" We were having no luck, and finally about 2:15 Elder Shepherd said "I think we need to postpone". Immediately after I told the presiding authority that we were gonna postpone, Elder shepherd got a phone call. Our zone leaders directed us to the closest elders with baptismal clothes, and much to our joy "we will be there with them in 20 minutes"

They decided 20 minutes was worth the wait. And from that point on Elder Shepherd and I stopped worrying. I felt at peace even though everything was stressful. At about 2:30 I remembered the font was filling so I ran in there to check on it. It was completely full. It was here that Elder Shepherd pointed out "The font is filled by the time we are ready to start."

When the baptism finally started at 3pm, after everyone waited for an hour, it went wonderfully. Seeing the children in the water with Elder Shepherd made everything worth it. The joy and peace we felt was overwhelming.

So let me just tell you all now. I know God answers prayers, even if it isn't how you expected. I asked him to let the font be filled by the time we were ready to start. And the time we were ready to start was moved, which allowed the font to fill.
I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love the little children. As it shows in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God, especially the children.

I love you all, have a wonderful week.
-Elder Wilcken

PS. When we first filled the font, it was up to the 4th tile, or the next step.

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