Happy Easter everyone!
Although I did not actually have any ducks or bunnies with me this year, I had a pretty fantastic Easter. We ate dinner with our ward mission leader and his family. They are pretty much the most awesome people ever. I made a cobbler for dessert and everything was delicious. Afterward we got to find a few eggs before sharing an Easter message about Christ and the atonement. It was absolutely fun.
The morning was beautiful and quiet and birds were singing everywhere. It was nice to be in the stillness and reflect upon the morning of the Savior's resurrection in the garden by Jerusalem. For sacrament meeting we had a musical program full of all the hymns about Christ and a narration from the New Testament and Book of Mormon. It was a really great experience all around.
However the best part by far was Melanie. This is Melanie:
She was baptized yesterday. Elder Torres had to help me lower her down due to her back injury, so that is why we are both in white. Also, it makes for a fantastic picture. She was so happy for this. We have been teaching Melanie for five weeks and she completely changed her life around. This is not the same Melanie we first met; she is now a happy, loving, and trusting Melanie who is absolutely excited about being a disciple of Christ. We first met her when we helped her move a 10 by 30 storage unit completely full of broken furniture in a hail storm. Afterwards I was completely frozen and covered with dust from head to foot. Shivering through the rain, all I could teach was, "Here is the Book of Mormon. Read it. You will like it." She did read it, and she loved it! She loved it so much that she came to church that Sunday. She could immediately feel the truth of it all and how much this gospel would bless her family, so she came back again and again.
She had really looking forward to getting baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost for a few weeks already. She really wanted that gift to guide her and help her serve others and teach her children. When she was baptized, she was just absolutely beaming with joy. She could feel the spirit testifying of the truth of her actions and the love of her Father and Savior. The best part was her confirmation yesterday. President Watson confirmed her and she was really happy about that. Afterwards she was so overcome with joy that she just burst out laughing. Then in gospel principles class, she talked to every investigator after the lesson and introduced herself. She told them all about her baptism and confirmation. She taught them each about the gift of the Holy Ghost and bore her testimony of how much she already felt it changing her life. It was just great. She felt the spirit so strong she couldn't contain it within herself. She had to just tell everyone. She has truly had a mighty change of heart and now desires everyone's salvation with her own.
What an amazing way to commemorate Easter. Baptism symbolizes the death and resurrection of the Savior as we are buried in the water and rise up triumphant over sin - truly being born again of water and the spirit. It is because of his atonement that we can become cleansed from sin. On that Sunday morning many years ago, he broke the bands of death and provided the way for our salvation. All he asks in return is that we follow him. That is my invitation for you all this week. Come unto Christ. Follow Him. Discover how you can by feasting upon the words of Christ found in the Book of Mormon, which contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. The promise is extended to all who do so with love of God and all mankind: ye shall have eternal life. I bear my witness of this truth and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.