Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 9, 2015

Family and Kin,

It's already spring weather there? haha it's been pretty hot in Texas for the last few weeks (besides the rain storms). Today is really bright, sunny and hot! Winter lasted a couple of days haha now it's already hot and humid again. I love it though! I love the Texas heat.t.

A Wonderful Experience:
This past Tuesday, the Round Rock missionaries (my last area) called me and told me that one of the investigators that I was teaching was getting baptized this Saturday. His name is Richard Martin and he is 23 years old. He reached out to us wanting to know more about what we believe. I was able to have 3 lessons before I got transferred, and on the last lesson I had with him he committed to be baptized on February 7th.
The Elders called and told me that he was still getting baptized on the 7th, and then they told me that Richard asked that I baptize him...
Well, the baptism was about 2 1/2 hours away on Saturday evening. I talked to President Slaughter about it, and he said that I should go and baptize him.

So, we had to leave at 4pm on Saturday and had a fun road trip all the way up to Georgetown, Texas (where the baptism was).
It was very special to see many of my great friends from the Chisholm Trial ward again. It was a sweet reunion.

The baptism was beautiful and planned out very well. As Richard and I were about to walk into the baptismal font, I told him that I was proud of him and we shared a hug. We walked into the water, and the room went silent. When Richard came up out of the water, he just stood there for a moment.. and the reached his arms out and gave me a big hug!
We walked out of the font, and went into the stalls to change.
As I was standing in that bathroom in Georgetown, Texas, dripping wet and standing in white, I felt so much happiness and thankfulness to my God! I just stood there for a few minutes, too happy to move. I was stuck in the moment when I heard Richard's voice from the other stall saying, "thank you". 

I asked him why he asked for me to come back and baptize him. He said, "It's all because of something you told me. The first time I met you, you told me your testimony of the Book Of Mormon, and said that I could know it is true by reading it. I didn't believe you. I honestly thought you were full of it....but..... it was enough to get me to try it"

Three weeks later we were both dripping wet, standing in white.

This was yet another life-changing, testimony-strengthening experience for me.

What I told Richard, I will always say to all: The Book Of Mormon is absolutely true. It has the power to truly changed your nature, to expand your mind or even bring peace in a moment of concern. I will always declare the truthfulness and divinity of that book! 

There is also a great principle demonstrated in what Richard said. He didn't believe me, he even thought that I was "full of it", but... it was enough.
It was enough for him to "awake and arouse [his] faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith" even though he had "no more than a desire to believe", he "let his desire work in [him]" (Alma 32:27)
and that was enough to cultivate and grow his faith.
This happens with everyone. We may not always believe everything right at first, but if we have that desire and let it work in us, God "will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Moroni 10:4)

Other Stuff:
Elder Nebeker and I are doing great together, we are super good friends and always find ourselves in hilarious situations hahaha we laugh hysterically every day.
We have been staying safe in our area. We are getting to know many people here, and we love them! We have been so extremely busy! Sometimes we only have time to eat like a 15 minute dinner before our next lesson. We have been teaching A LOT and enjoying the work here.

We had a great lesson with a man and his mother yesterday (Anthony & Dana). They were so appreciative of us coming over and teaching them. The Spirit was strong throughout the lesson and the both accepted to be baptized at the beginning on March! There are just so many great people here... and they are all going to get baptized! haha

This was fun: Elder Nebeker and I went to a Mongolian all-you-can-eat buffet this week and ate quite a bit if Mongolian food.

I love y'all and I love my mission!
Please be safe this week, and have a Happy Valentine's Day :)

Love, Elder Giles

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