Christine, a baptism and a really unexpected baptismal date

Hola! Como estas? No, I’m still in the english program, don’t worry
about me, but this week has been amazing!!

Monday was P-day, and we got to go to Sky Zone with the Woodbridge
Elders, Elder LaRocco and Elder Woods, who are the coolest, and with a
member that invited them. She actually paid for some of us, which was
really nice of her. We had a blast! Between dodgeball, basketball
slams, regular jumping with flips, and flipping into a foam pit, we
had a blast. After getting ready, we headed over to the Gathros for
dinner.

Brother Gathro is a Seminary teacher, but is getting a degree
in photography or art and Sister Gathro is a Senior at Yale studying
Political Science. They are super professional people, but have a lot
of fun! Brother Gathro served in LA on his mission and loves the
gospel! We got to share the Rubik’s Cube lesson and they loved it! By
the way, Elder Greding got a 7x7x7 for Christmas, so we are going to
try to solve it today! After the Gathro’s we taught Christine the Law
of Chastity. She is so amazing! Her desire to be better and to be
baptized is so strong, and we teach her commandments, and except for
one, she has just about no concerns about any of them. We had Sister
Gathro come with us and she was there to make it more comfortable for
Christine, since it was usually just us, Joe, and Christine there.
Having her in the lesson and bear testimony of the blessings that she
has seen from living the law of chastity really helped and brought the
Spirit.

Tuesday we headed out a little early and met up with Argenis and his
family! Argenis is 8 and his sisters were both baptized about a year
ago, and since his birthday was in February, we are helping him get to
baptism as much as we can. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ at
their home, and even though the parents are not members, they are glad
that the kids are getting involved, because it is something to ground
them and is good for them as they grow up to have a faith. The mom
works super long hours and works a ton, and the husband is catholic,
but doesn’t have any problems with the church. It’s a really cool
situation that allows the kids to really grow and flourish in the
gospel while they are still young! We had to teach it really simply,
but the sisters are really solid, so they helped too!

After Argenis,we went over to a media referral, but the front door was locked and
the phone was left back at home…so we went to the back door, and knocked
really hard, and it just turned out that one of the back doors went to
her apartment! Amazing miracles…But we had a good conversation. She
didn’t have a man in the home, but we shared a doorstep Restoration
and picked her up as an investigator!

In the afternoon, we had a lot of no good stop bys, but we had dinner with Br. Whipple, our YSA Ward Mission Leader. He’s the coolest guy ever!! He was in the army for two
years, so he is super buffed, and then he served a mission, graduated
from BYU in Civil Engineering, but then realized that he liked
Business, and after working for a few years and being pretty
successful, he came to Yale and is doing a two year program in
Business and will go to London this summer to work for Morgan Stanley,
and he’ll be working like crazy, but will make up for his debts for
school in only a couple of years. On top of all of this, he is one of
the most soft spoken and humble people I have ever met. Super cool and
a mix of everything awesome!

That night, we had a lesson with Christine before Institute about Tithing and Fast Offerings, which went well. Our building is 6 floors, and the top is the Institute room
and library. It is super cool! Institute this week was on the
different roles of men and women, and it really hit me how important
mothers are.  The stripling warriors didn’t doubt their mothers knew
it, so how much did they know it in order to show their kids that kind
of devotion. It is powerful what a mother’s testimony can do! We need
strong mothers in this church and the strong, righteous testimony of a
daughter of God is more powerful than almost anything on this earth.
Institute and Seminary are amazing opportunities to grow your
“understanding”, just apply it to yourself, and everything changes!

Wednesday we had to drive to Nashua, NH for a doctor’s appointment for
Elder Greding, which went well, and it was pretty short, but the drive
was quite a while. We finally got back, and made it in time for
interviews! I had a great interview with President, and I didn’t have
as many questions as in the first few transfers of my mission, but I
did receive some inspired council which has helped me a ton lately. We
were able to teach Argenis the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.
He is 8, so it was a little tough, but we did the best we could! We
saw Edet that night and taught him about living prophets and apostles
and shared “Principle and Promises” with him from the last General
Conference. It was powerful and really drove him to listen to
Conference talks.

Thursday we had some cleaning up at Br. Hailu’s, but the highlight of
the day was in the afternoon. Brother Hutton, the last ward mission
leader, gave us a referral for a guy named Michael. We had stopped by
before, but they told us he was busy and to come back. We came back on
Thursday, and some amazing miracles happened. He welcomed us in, and
as we started talking, he expressed to us that he wasn’t happy where
he was spiritually. He was looking for healing and spiritual strength,
and he had looked around for a while, and he couldn’t find anything
that really was good for him. One morning, even though he had a washer
at the house he was staying at, he decided to go to a laundromat.
While he was doing his laundry, he was drawing some religious things
freehand and Brother Hutton asked him about it. Suffice it to say,
they talked about the gospel for three hours and he was interested. He
is super prepared and all of his questions really lead to the Message
of the Restoration. After a long, kind of hard morning, Micheal was a
light of hope and a miracle in our work.

After Michael, we taught Christine all of Lesson 5 in an hour….which was crazy, but she was okay with everything and it went smoothly! After helping someone move,
we visited a guy in the hospital named Justin. He is from upstate New
York and has liver problems. He might need a liver transplant, but his
attitude is so positive. The world is weighing down on him, but he
said that the gospel has saved him! He’s an example to me of
positivity in the face of distress.

Friday was Christine’s interview, which she passed! We also went over
to Jennifer’s house and had a heart to heart. We told her that we had
taught the first three lessons, which was great, but we told her that
it would be pointless for us to teach the commandments if she doesn’t
even believe in Jesus Christ or in what we were saying. She is very
logical, and agreed that it was fair and made sense. The rest of the
lesson was really led by the spirit, and we eventually committed her
to pray for an answer. We fasted the next day for her, but if she receives an answer, we really believe that she can get baptized. Her situation is difficult with Ryan not believing, but he is ok with her growing and learning. We also were able to teach Sergio. He is mostly
investigating for intellectual reasons, but we were able to jump right
into the lesson and he opened up about his personal beliefs and
experiences from faith and repentance. I have only been here for two
meetings, but he is really starting to open up. We extended baptism to
him after talking to him about the priesthood and baptism, and he said
he would pray about it, which is probably the best answer we could
have gotten! Having the Spirit makes the difference. The only way we
could have taught Sergio and Jennifer with the outcome that we had was
through the power of the Holy Ghost! I love the Spirit so much and it
brings me so much joy!

Saturday was a quick meeting with Argenis, and then in the evening, we
had Christine Baldino’s baptism! She was really happy, the water wasn’t
freezing, and her mom came. It was a really great service and we are
so excited for her! That evening, we got to go to a hibachi restaurant
with a lot of the people who went to the baptism and are good friends
of Christine. It was a lot of fun, and the Sanfords, a young couple
in the ward, paid for both of us, which was really nice!

Sunday was awesome. I love Sundays here! We have 8.5 hours at church,
7:30-4, and two full 3 hour blocks of church meetings. I got a lot of personal
revelation and had an experience that changed the way I live the gospel.
As I was sitting in class, I started to apply what they were saying to
myself. I started to think of personal questions, ones that applied to
me. I started to dig deep into myself and into my character and what I
need to improve on. As I did this, it started to make the gospel sink
into the fiber of my being. It was amazing, and even though it was
only there for a little bit, it gave me a vision of what is possible!
Don’t just know the gospel.  Understand it and make sure it is part of
you. There is an understanding and a real peace that comes when you
understand and really make it yours. Try it out!! It’s so awesome and
transformed my vision of the gospel. Thank you for all you do … keep
it up! Last thing, Michael was able to come to church, and during the
week, our Zone set a goal to have 11 new Baptismal dates set this week, and
we set 15! The last one was Michael! He met everyone, got really
comfortable, and when we sat down with him halfway through, we asked
him about March 25th as a date, and he was up for it! He is very
prepared and we can’t wait to see his progress. Thank you for your
support! Love you all!

-Elder Davis

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Elder Davis and Elder Greding in New Haven, CT on February 27, 2017….writing home to their families (with Elder Woods and Elder LaRocca)

 

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The baptism day of Christine Baldino by her friend Joe who is in the Yale YSA Ward, New Haven CT on February 25, 2017 (with Elder Davis and Elder Greding)

 

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A candid of Elder Davis while studying ….with a unicorn on his desk (photo captured by Elder Greding)

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