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Elder Martin and Elder Rushton

Elder Martin and Elder Rushton


So my right arm is randomly twitching and spasming while I write this….hopefully this doesn’t make my email take forever to write.

We had a great week this week, but quite obviously it all revolved around our baptism on Saturday. The rest of the week was good, but pretty plain (except for one thing I’ll mention later), and a lot of time was spent trying to get everything ready to go for Saturday. Sister S, our newest convert, actually built her whole program. She didn’t really even take suggestions! She already knew who she wanted for everything. One thing surprised me though….
She asked ME to baptize her!

I was pretty in shock about that. I had never once even PRACTICED baptizing someone before. So ever since Monday of last week I was pretty antsy about that, but I did it right in one try, so I guess someone was looking out for me. The rest of the baptism went spectacularly, too. Our bishop gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost, and Sister S had actually requested that one convert member of about two years give a talk on baptism. This convert member was so honored, even though she didn’t really even know Sharee, and she gave probably the best, most appropriate baptismal talk I have ever heard! On top of it all, Sister S’s husband (a nonmember) and son (who is going to be baptized this Saturday in a different area) both attended the service! They got there about a half hour early, so we got to talk to both of them a little more about the church while we waited for people to show up.

There was really only one flaw….WE FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE DRESSED UP FOR THE BAPTISM!!! We felt pretty dumb for that one, but we did grab a picture of us afterwards.

On Sunday, the member who performed the confirmation was actually a pretty cool story too. All he had done is, every week, he had gone out of his way to say hello to Sister S and help her feel welcome. That’s all. And it left a great enough impression on her that she requested he give the confirmation. Oh the power of a hello…

The last thing I’ll mention about this last week was that we had a recent convert who only just became less-active reappear on our radar. He texted us to tell us he really wasn’t doing okay, he was severely depressed, and he wanted to meet with us as soon as possible. We weren’t sure how severe it was at first, so we went ourselves the first time and just talked to him awhile. He really was in bad shape…he has a heart condition that basically doesn’t allow him to work anymore, so he felt totally useless. Not only that, but he lives in a drug-dealing house trailer in a room smaller than a prison cell next door to a Mexican gang member and has no income or foreseeable way to get an income. We took our bishop with us Sunday to see him, though, and he was able to help a lot. It is, after all, a bishop’s calling to deal with such things. He recommended him a counselor, but I think the most helpful thing was all of us just being there for him. The man told us that he probably hadn’t utilized his ward family for support like he should have, and told the bishop he’d be to church Sunday. It was a great day for him, I think, and probably a turning point for his depression.

Finally, the reason this email is going out on Tuesday is because we had a member of the first quorum of Seventy come to our mission yesterday, an Elder Brent Nielson and his wife. They were pretty cool. While I appreciated Elder Nielson’s three hours of remarks, I think Sister Nielson’s talk stuck out to me the most. Her main point was, “You don’t have to be a Nielson to be loved by the Nielson family”. She talked about the difference between tolerating others and embracing them. She used a lot of examples of her sons and daughters-in-law. She talked about how, even though their interests were not the same, they were still able to love and accept and embrace them. She also talked about how each of their talents were able to help one another. She related it to our relationships with our missionary companions, but also with other people in general.

On my mission, I’ve heard the phrase “I just wasn’t raised that way” more times than I care to admit. But this talk basically said, “It doesn’t matter how you were raised, you can still embrace and love and appreciate each other for who you both are”.

Anyways, that’s been my week in a nutshell. It’s a great time here in good old Oregon!

Love you all, and have a great week.

Elder Rushton – Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


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