It was a stressful but rewarding week. We had two baptisms, L. and M. We were so tired after such a long week full of so many lessons, that after church on Sunday, we decided to take a quick nap. When we woke up, it was 4:40 pm. The baptism was supposed to start at 5 pm! We didn't have a ride, and had to pick up L.
Luckily, one of the members going there was close by so we were able to make it, a little flustered and a little late. Our mission president was there too, because he had helped teach L. before. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience.
I baptized M., while we had a recent convert baptize L. I said the baptismal prayer in Chinese and forgot to tell M. to hold her nose as she went in the water. When we got out and out of the baptismal font, she started screaming at me. It was interesting. But the most important part was she got baptized!
I've noticed that service unlocks a lot as a missionary, and just as a person. When we show compassion and love for investigators, they're more likely to "come and see" the benefits of religion (they're mostly atheist) and realize that this gospel can help them in their lives.
When we were in a lesson, and were teaching an investigator how to pray. We said, we say “amen” at the end to say we agree. Later on in the lesson, she said "amen" to something we said. It was very funny, because she was seriously saying she agreed and thought the best way was to say "amen."
I find my sentence patterns changing as I speak Chinese more. I'm putting the subject at the start more frequently when I speak English now. It's still grammatically correct, but it just sounds very Chinese.
One of our investigators brought up an interesting idea about "hearing" versus "listening." He wanted to know the difference between the two. I told him to hear is to have it register in your ears, you "hear" the sounds, but to listen is to hear and think about what you heard. It's more of an active hearing where you more than just hear sounds, you understand what the person is saying. After this brief explanation, the investigator said, "so God listens." I said yes he listens because He can respond to our prayers and our communication with Him.
Sometimes it's hard seeing investigators sacrificing so much to be baptized. One of our investigators has moved out and stopped drinking to be baptized. He is getting a ton of flack from his friends for not drinking with them, and to put it simply, they're just being mean. I'm so thankful for all my wonderful friends who didn't judge me for my decisions and never pressured me! Love all of you so much!
I will most likely be transferred this upcoming week, so all letters and packages should go to:
Elder Jacob Dyer
5900 Grand Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
Until I know where my new address is.
Preparing for the baptism of several investigators
At the baptismal meeting
Teaching Chinese kids the names of colors in English using pool balls
Elder Dyer with baptized investigator