I teach CTR 7 in Primary and one of my kids was baptized yesterday. I had the opportunity to attend with some of the other kids from our class. It was one of the sweetest feelings I've felt in a really long time and it was an amazing thing to have the other kids there to witness it and be a part of his special day. He was positively shiny. I caught his eye and I couldn't help smiling at him and when he smiled back I could just see how happy he was. I am so proud of the decision he made to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Today in class we talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost. This was a perfect lesson for today and I was able to incorporate some of the things that were said at his baptism into the lesson. The kids are always so excited when we talk about baptism. They like to figure out who's birthday is next and they get really excited and happy for that person. It's awesome. :)
His is the only baptism I'll be here for, which makes me a little sad because I love those kiddos so much. But I'm so grateful for the opportunity and calling I've had to serve these precious angels and teach them all about being baptized. They're all so smart, they already know all the answers. But I love teaching them.
I know that baptism is a saving ordinance, that it is required of a person in order to enter the kingdom of God. Every person is born with the light of Christ and once someone is baptized, they are confirmed a member of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by worthy Melkizadek Priesthood holders. The Holy Ghost is our best friend. If we live worthily and make good choices, we can have him as our constant companion. When we make bad choices, he leaves us. But we can always have him back when we repent and strive to make good decisions and work to be the best person we can be. He can help us feel better when we're sad, scared, or at a loss of what to do in a situation. He is especially aware of our needs and he directs us to make righteous decisions. We feel Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us through him. The Holy Ghost is part of the Godhead. Heavenly Father testifies of Christ, Christ testifies of the Father, and the Holy Ghost testifies of both. The Holy Ghost testifies of truth - he will never lie to you.
A couple things that were brought up during the baptism are that the Holy Ghost helps you make it back home to Heavenly Father, but he can't do it all alone - you have to do the rest. You are responsible for your own actions and you need to do all you can yourself. He will help strengthen you when you're weak and comfort you when you're in need of comfort. But he doesn't shout at you. His is a still small voice and we need to listen very carefully in order to hear him. When we are making righteous decisions, we can have him with us, to help us, always. When we're making good choices, Satan has less of an influence in our lives and we can hear the Holy Ghost more easily.
I'm terrified to begin my mission. This is a scary time in my life - leaving my home, not knowing what to expect. I know what I'm supposed to do and be as a missionary, but I can't predict what will happen. I'm afraid of the unknown - aren't we all? I told my Primary kids this during the lesson today and I asked what I should do. One sweet girl said, "Pack up all your stuff in a pink suitcase and take it with you." :) Another piped in and said "You should ask Heavenly Father for the Holy Ghost to help you feel better." I told her I'd already done that but I was still worried. She said "Keep praying!"
Isn't it awesome to know that we can always pray to our Heavenly Father, numberless times, and that He will answer? Every night when I go to bed, I pray and ask my Heavenly Father for strength and courage to face what I don't know. And every night I fall asleep feeling calm and like I can do anything. My courage is slowly building and I'm able to be more excited about serving a mission instead of being crippled by terrorizing fear. My Heavenly Father loves me and answers my prayers.
I'm grateful for the opportunity and the calling I've received to teach others about the Gospel. I'm not totally knowledgeable about the gospel or other things. I'm only 19. But I know that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth and that if I live worthily, I will have him with me always, especially as a missionary. I know this Church is true. I know that God loves me. I know that He loves you. I know that Jesus Christ died for me and atoned for my sins so that I wouldn't have to go through this life alone. He gave me a loving family and wonderful friends. I know I'm going to my specific mission for a specific reason. All mission calls are inspired. I'm grateful that I live in this dispensation, in a time where the Gospel of the Lord will never be taken again from the earth. I'm grateful to be one of his missionaries at this time, during this wonderful movement of new missionaries flooding the earth, to bring the world his truth. I know that while on my mission he will mold and build me into the person I was meant to become and will continue to do so after I am released as a missionary and as I carry on with my life. I love the people of my mission already. This is the best decision I've ever made and I hope that never changes.