The days leading up to the baptism were relatively unexciting. We went on exchanges back to back days Thursday and Friday with the Zone leaders and our District Leader and his companion. That was a little weird to not be with Elder Pearce for 2 straight days right before our baptism haha. It was kind of just a big week of contacting and helping our investigators to progress.
A early highlight of the week was getting a new camera, I took way too many pictures this week, and have a ton of super good ones to send back :) I got a little camera belt attachment so I can take pics whenever, I'm getting pretty good.
I really want to focus my thought today on how awesome the baptism was. It was just the perfect night, and by far my favorite experience of my mission. William's Dad and oldest brother that is at college are both inactive, and the rest of his family are non members. We didn't really know if anyone besides maybe his dad would come, but then his whole family, and even some extended relatives showed up! Even his brother off at college! Crazy, the whole family being there made it really cool. (We also had another part member family come, as well as our next baptismal goal Mackey. They all loved it as well, so much spirit was there!)
Our ward was just getting back from a big trip to the Taipei Temple, so like 15 minutes before the baptism we had almost no one at the church. I was a little worried, because we were hoping for a good turnout from the ward (a lot of ward members have been really invested in this family because they know the dad and brother from when they got baptized.) Then the big bus of members arrived from Taipei, and they all stormed into the chapel! So cool, a ton of people came, and our assistant ward mission leader put together such a smooth meeting. (We were particularly grateful for this, because the other ward in our building had absolutely the worst baptismal service a few weeks ago. They sung the opening hymn twice in a row for some reason, nobody knew what to do because the guy conducting the meeting was 25 minutes late, and it was just a really awkward service. haha lets just say we were more appreciative than other wise thanks to that last one.)
We had two talks right before that were basically perfect. One young guy in our ward gave a talk that had a pretty good message that we actually thought was super good for one of our investigators there, Mackey. Then our ward member Ricky absolutely threw down! He has been friends with William's family for a while and has really helped William get ready for baptism. He's some form of professional speaker, so he's really good at giving talks, and he absolutely hit a home run he compared William to Joseph Smith because he is 14. William's mom and dad both at separate times have expressed concern that he's not ready for baptism, but Ricky talked about how he's seen William change and gain a testimony. by the end of his talk, the mom was crying, and you could totally tell that the whole family was feeling the spirit.
The service itself was so special, because I had the opportunity to baptize him! it brought back fun memories of baptizing Grace, Mary, and Emma :) But also a lot scarier, because i had to do the ordinance in Chinese... Outside of the cold water though, it thankfully went smoothly. Apparently as we were changing, the dad went up to all 5 of the other Elders in our District and thanked them for helping his son. Elders Booth, Bradford, Varvel, and Moody, were also awesome in helping William get ready and really love him.
After the service, William was a little scared to bear his testimony in front of so many people, so Elder Pearce went up with him. It was a really nice moment as the two went back and forth talking a little bit about the experiences of the last two months we've been teaching him.
On Sunday William received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and is now a member of the ward! I'm excited to see where this goes, and I think we can start working with the family more too. Such an awesome weekend, so powerful to be a part of!
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers :))