I guess I will be leaving for Mexico on Monday the 24th, which is the day of transfers into Xalapa. Regardless, I know the Lord put me in Vegas to help a 9-year old girl.
One trait I have noticed about being a missionary that every person who has served a mission has affirmed is this: A mission is one big time warp! Every day seems like a week. Every week seems like a day. Every month seems like an hour, and the years fly by in an instant. I am grateful I know there is actually no such thing as time or I would be confused at how that actually works, but it's true. Every week goes by and it seems like everything I did that week happened in just a day. So seems this last week, especially given the precious weekend we had.
We baptized two converts yesterday: J and B, two of the P family children. J is 13 and B is nine. Elder Frost started visiting the P family a few months ago after contacting Justin in the street. The parents have come back to activity recently and the children wanted to be baptized, too -- except for B. She is very shy and introverted and didn't express herself to the missionaries before, except that "I was already baptized and I don't want to be baptized again." Her mother said that she didn't want to force her daughter to do anything and it looked like B just wouldn't be baptized and start going to Church with her parents. "All it took was one thing to change her life forever," she said as she looked me in the eyes, "and that was you."
B felt a special bond the first time I went to the P's home. As we talked, she opened up and talked to me and even gave me a hug after the lesson! Her mom couldn't believe it. The next time we came over, B said why she didn't want to be baptized and I taught her plainly why baptism by God's authority is necessary and told her the blessing that will come with baptism. A unique combination of my Abram-ness and the Holy Ghost worked in that sweet little girl's heart and she told us the next lesson that she wanted to be baptized, and she wanted me to baptize her! I am very grateful I am the oldest in my family. Having grown up with six younger siblings and constantly interacting with children of all ages for 19 years, I know how to make kids grow, learn, have fun, and be happy.
On Saturday we held a baptism for both J and B and we confirmed them on Sunday. I give thanks to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to further His work among the children of men. The feelings I had as I baptized B and gave her the Holy Ghost are indescribably wonderful. I blessed B that she may use her artistic talents to draw closer to her Heavenly Father and do missionary work in the future. Truly, I used the gift of discernment. I had no idea she had made crafty little treat baskets for the missionaries to keep or that she loved to do artsy things. The Spirit is real and He works wonders.
B said in her prayer with the family and us last night: "Thank you for changing Elder Dorrough's name on a computer list so that he would come to Vegas instead of anywhere else while he waited to go to Mexico. We are so happy he teaches us and helps us. Thank you for sending him over to our house so that he could convert me and baptize me and make me happy and smiley with all of my family." That was actually her whole prayer. Now I know why I was needed in Vegas as a detour to Mexico - for B, who will be sealed with her family for all eternity a year from now. The gospel is powerful. The gospel is about families. Families are everything.
The experience with B was the higlight of my mission so far. Right after her baptism, she wanted to take silly pictures with me, the ones in which you hold the camera yourself and take pictures randomly.
Again, I am grateful for goofball companions. They are tons of fun. We are all hard workers and that is why we are so blessed to teach so many lessons.
Soon I will be in Mexico!
Elder Abram Dorrough