Sunday, November 25, 2012

"I Am a Changed Man"

The highlight of this week was definitely yesterday. Brother Julius was baptized! I wish you could have been there, and seen him. He was so happy all day--smiling, laughing. He was glowing with excitement and joy and inner peace.

At the beginning of his baptism, Brother Jesse (baptized in August) gave a very good and personal talk on baptism. The funny thing was the primary, in the next room, was practicing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and it was very loud and very long. We had to strain our ears and work to focus on Brother Jesse's talk, and I was a little stressed about it, but it was also funny. Near the end of his talk I could feel the Spirit strongly.

Julius has developed a friendship with the first counselor in the bishopric--Brother Raoul, and he baptized Julius. It was great. But the best part was Julius's testimony. He has a very strong spirit about him.

During his testimony, Julius recounted his "spiritual history." He told us that he was born into a household of faith, that he'd jumped around churches, and when he was 18 years old he had a traumatizing experience that left him in doubt and darkness. He told us these stories and it led to, "And then I was offered a job in Singapore." He met missionaries. He said that at the first meeting, his heart was hard, but soon he gave up his pride and let God in and Spirit came into his life. He feels like a prodigal son that has come home to his father. His faith has returned and is strong.  He said, "I am a changed man."  He compared his life to Lehi's dream--he was wandering in darkness, about to fall, and someone (the missionaries) came to rescue him and bring him back so that now he is holding to the rod, on the path. On the way back to his Father.

Bishop Osun, who is also close to Julius, bore his testimony of baptism as a beginning and of the need for constant nourishment. He was very bold and loving. The Spirit was there in such abundance. It was a deeply rewarding experience.

I am so grateful to be a part of this work... to be the Lord's missionary, to be a tool for Him. It's truly humbling, and it's something I thank God for every day. I know that Christ lives and that this is His church. The Book of Mormon is true.

Sister Gopinath

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