Monday, November 12, 2012

13 is a Lucky Number !!

My Friends!
Guess what? It has been like 80 degrees all week here in Houston. BE JEALOUS!!!! People are still outside swimming in pools! YEA!
I think you will all be pleased to hear of some wonderful happenings with the Atoigues this week. On Wednesday, we went over to have our barbecue and decided to teach the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them again (The first lesson in Preach My Gospel that Missionaries are to teach). At the end of the lesson, we invited CJ (The youngest son) and Arthur (The cousin from Guam) to be baptized. This definitely caught them off-guard, which I thought was a great thing. Inviting people to be baptized, if kept in appropriate bounds and doing it when the Spirit is present, is NEVER a bad thing! If they say "No" or are uncomfortable with the idea, the thought will still work itself in their minds long after the moment has past. This will at least get them thinking about baptism, and thinking much more seriously about it than before. To me, this is the perfect, "Are you really serious about this?" question.
Of course, CJ and Arthur were both very surprised by the invitation and responded with "Uhhh..... we'll pray about it. But you definitely should come over and study with us more." Perfect! They realize they are not ready and desire to meet more often to get there. Very good. But this invitation had a more far-reaching effect than either Elder Jimenez or myself anticipated. As we were leaving, Brother and Sister Atoigue walked us out to our car. Brother Atoigue, out of nowhere said, "You guys be prepared; it's coming." Elder Jimenez laughs, but I was confused. I thought it was a "Obama got re-elected, the End is coming" kind of thing. So I asked him, "What do you mean?"
"You know....... BAPTIZE!" he responds. "Every time I read the book (Book of Mormon), I feel like God is pushing me to do it." Sister Atoigue was not expecting this either and says, "So how is December 1st? That's the 13th anniversary of the day your dad and mom died. Some people think 13 is bad luck, but it's actually good luck." (Which is true, it's Mom's lucky number.) So we left with Ernest feeling good about that date. Who would have thought?
It was a cool experience! The Spirit worked on Ernest just as much as it did on CJ and Arthur when they were taught true and fundamental doctrine and then invited to be baptized.
It sounds like you all had a great week with the homecoming and such. Transfers are this week, so call the Mission Office to find out where I will be or just wait until next Monday and see.
Thank you all for the outpouring of love, support, and encouragement! It means the world!
                                                                                            -Elder Ryan A. Bell

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