Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flooding the Church

Well I just was about to send a HUGE email and then my computer crashed.  So now I only have about 10 mins.  Ugh..... sorry. I guess just know that this week was really awesome!  Its still super busy and its wearing us out a bit so hopefully with transfers in a few weeks we will get another set of Elders down here to help out. We need more missionaries coming out on missions!  The field is white and ready to harvest, we need more people to come out and help us with all of this!  Please do all that you can to encourage and prepare those of missionary age or approaching missionary age to come out and join the ranks of the Lord's army!

We got to go to the temple (Boston Temple-its the only one in our mission) on monday of this week and it was so amazing!  Even though it was Presidents Day it was open for all the missionaries and both the Cambridge and Providence Stakes!  So pretty much for me it was a huge reunion! Im pretty sure thats how its going to be during the millennium- all of us going to the temple and seeing all of our friends and family and all having a great time! It took alot of stress and work but we also got C and D to come along with S (our recent cambodian convert).  We rode up with some members and then Elder W and I went and did sealings (we were proxies for kids getting sealed to their parents) with none other than Bro C! it was so fun seeing him again. Yup he is still hilarious haha!!!  Then we went down and did confirmations for S and we were able to do it in Cambodian! That was cool. But what was cooler was that there just happened to be a member of the Cambridge ward down doing baptisms who served his mission in cambodia who was able to baptize her!  It was awesome. S LOVED the temple.  She also got to meet all of the khmae speaking elders cuz we were all there and bro and sis S were also there. It was just a huge party! So much fun!  I love the temple!  I really hope that those of you who live close to the temple are taking advantage of it and going often.  It is such a blessing to have the temple.  It is the closest thing to heaven on this Earth.  It truly is the house of the Lord.

Yesterday I was able to go on exchanges with Elder E-one of the Assistants to the President and i got to go to their area which is Cambridge!  I've always wanted to serve in the Cambridge area and now i have.. at least for one day. It is so much fun street contacting up there. I love when people ask me why I'm here/why I’m taking time out of my life to do this, because it gives me a chance to bear my testimony.  I’m out here because I have been called by a prophet of God.  I am out here to invite all people to come unto Christ.  Jesus Christ Lives and He loves us.  I know that the only way to have true happiness is through following Him.  My family has been so blessed and I have been so blessed that I can't be content with keeping it to myself.  I'm here to share with others the knowledge and happiness that I have.  I know that the message I bear is true because of the happiness Ii feel and continue to feel as I share what i know.  Isn't it great?! I love being a missionary, if you didn't know :)

Also as part of the exchange we drove up to Lowell, MA so i could do a baptismal interview for a Cambodian sister that the elders have been teaching.  the Elders have been teaching her pretty much since I left Lowell last year and so all 5 other Khmae elders have taught her so Im the only one eligible to do the interview.  Her name is M and has only been in the U.S for 6 years.  So she knows hardly any english and so it was all in Khmae!  I was pretty nervous but it turned out great!  I've never spoken so fluently and understood so well on my mission than i did in that interview.  It was really cool. She passed and will be baptized in the coming weeks.  I really felt the Lord in telling me that she is ready and that she should be baptized.  I can't really explain how I knew it, just that I did.  Once again I love serving a mission.  Oh and the Elders serving there at the time are Elders G and B so it was fun to visit with them.  Its so weird cuz almost exactly a year ago, I was just starting my mission in that area.  Alot has changed since then ha.

So because of time constraints I must go.  But because of all the unrest in the audience I will elaborate on the flooding of the church 2 weeks ago.  But I'm using Elder W's version because 1) my computer crashed and ruined my first one and 2) because Elder W is a fantastic writer!  Enjoy:

The font takes 4 hours to fill if only the hot water is running (this is how long it took when we filled it for Sophan).  We don't use the cold water (which would speed up the process) because the cold water pipes are atrocious.  If the cold water is on, it runs clear for a bit but after a few minutes it starts dumping appetizingly dark brown water, justifiably comparable to the silt in the Nile delta.  But don't get me wrong, the hot water, too, is hardly approved by Mr. Clean; it's probably along the lines of the Jordan River's cleanliness, so it's rather fitting for baptisms (definitely preferable to the cold water).  Anyway, we started the hot water at 8:30 AM, anticipating the font to be filled at 12:30, just a half hour before Church would end.  But, at around 10:20 AM, Brother E  made a fateful trip to the bathroom, adjacent to the baptismal font. He informed us, with a panicked walk to the front of the chapel and a whisper to the bishopric, that something had gone terribly wrong.

Upon arrival at the floodgates, we made two observations.  First, the water was cold.  Second, the water looked nothing like water.  Both cold AND hot water was coming out, telling us that someone had probably seen how slow the font was filling up, and had chosen to intervene (granted, most likely with good intentions).  Rather than focusing on finding out who we should blame, however, we had a problem to fix--someone had to face the health risks and bitter cold associated with entering the water, pulling the plug, and turning off the water.  A few of the members at the flood site fruitlessly tried to avoid the inevitable by using a broomstick to pull the plug and manipulate the water knobs.  Bro. M, however, has served in the U.S. army in Kuwait and Iraq, and wasn't afraid of getting a little dirty.  He quickly volunteered.  Without removing or changing any of his Sunday best, he jumped right in and did what needed to be done.  He's the man.

To this day, the true culprit (the one who turned on the cold water) remains unidentified, but we Elders  made for pretty good scapegoats. Okay, I'm making this all sound a little worse than it actually was. It flooded the mens' bathroom pretty good, but wasn't too bad in the halls.  The members were quick to forgive, too.  And, at the end of the day, we were able to drain the font, dry the carpets, refill the font, and C's baptism was awesome.  It was very well-attended---perhaps because of the unplanned, inadvertent publicity stunt we had pulled.

Love you all! Thanks for everything!  I got your valentines cards and also Nikki's package!   Thanks to Mrs. Blake's elementary school class for the Valentines! (ps that is sooooo weird to call Nikki Mrs Blake! haha).  K bye  Elder Johnson

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