Monday, September 22, 2014

It is True

The moment has come!!!! Drum roll please!!! EVA WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll start with how we met Eva. Around my first or second week here in Chamblee, Sister Vasquez and I went to go visit with a less active member. We had lesson plans to discuss the temple but we should have known that God had other plans. When we got there, we gathered the family around and met Eva, the mother of this less active member. Sister Vasquez and I sort of looked at each other thinking the same thing. From the moment we met her, we knew it would only be a short matter of time teaching her. As we talked with her, we found she had met briefly with elders before. So we dug out her teaching record and went to work!! Within two months she was more than willing to take that first step!

Now I'd be lying to you if I said it was as easy as that. Unfortunately, Eva hit a few roadblocks along the way. Some non-supportive family and a coffee addiction made the trip to baptism a whirlwind. But let me just tell you how much of a rock Eva is!! I've never seen such a strong woman so willing to submit to the Lord's will. She is one of the greatest examples to me of the way we should all rely and depend on the Savior.

Her baptism was amazing. It was early Sunday morning before church. Sister Vasquez and I put together a beautiful program and hardly any of it went as planned. Of course, the alarm of the member who drove her didn't go off so the baptism started a half hour late!  With determination, we sang an opening hymn, had a prayer, then the Branch president said a few words and off she went, stepping into the font to start more than just a new life, but a full one at that. As we stood beside the font we waited with open arms. It didn't matter how wet her clothes were I gave her a tight squeeze as soon as we stepped into the changing room.

Just a few moments later we ended the service and sacrament meeting began. Eva went up and was confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost. I find the confirming part of baptism to be the most powerful. Even just as Eva was walking to the front of the chapel I felt the Spirit fill my chest!

The chapel was incredibly full and I was squished on the pew between families. It wasn't just full of people but of course the Spirit was there. I felt so small, like I really had no part in helping Eva receive two of the greatest gifts we can receive in this life:remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost. In fact it felt like the only part I played was that I was just there, witnessing it all. Really, I believe that too! Eva was incredibly prepared. All we did was show up to say, "hey, there's a paved trail right next to the gravel one you're traveling on." 

It was an incredible honor to teach Eva, to watch her change her life and set her eyes completely on the Savior. She's an inspiration to me in her willingness to do what she knows is right and true... no matter what forces are against her. She has a light that is so bright and she's fierce and bold in her commitment to let it shine. Because of her, some family members in Honduras are now taking missionary discussions!

Just to close, I'll repeat again Eva's own words:

"I used to go to a Christian church, but now I've found the true church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"

If I could tell you, family and friends, with all the conviction and power in the world, I would, but it's maybe just as powerful to say simply that I know this church is true! Without a doubt in my heart, it is the true restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Love you all!! 

Hermana Hawkins

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