Friday, April 25, 2008

You Never Know Who Will Be Baptized

Last December, Elders Arbizo and Webster street contacted a man named Judith Francis just before the end of their mission. They did not get a chance to teach him. Their replacements, Elders Boyd and Busson taught Brother Francis the lessons and became a bit frustrated that he would not commit to baptism. Then Elder Boyd's mission ended and Elder Busson was transferred to Guadeloupe. Two weeks ago, I met Brother Francis at the Church in Cole Bay. He was a bit tearful and said that he wanted to be baptized. I interviewed him for baptism and found him to be worthy. I invited him to be baptized right after Church that day. He said that he wanted to wait until May. I told him we would talk after Church and invited Elder Tevero from Tahiti to discuss Mosiah 18 with him and invite him to be baptized. At the end of Church, Brother Francis told me he wanted to be baptized right then. So, the entire French branch walked to the sea in Marigot from their new building, and witness the baptism. The branch president baptized Brother Francis and the witnesses were Elders Hooson and Jest...it was their baptism and they had never met the man. (An interesting sidelight was that these two former zone leaders were transferred to St. Maarten to complete their missions with the challenge to find a place for the branch to meet in Marigot and to invite every member to come to Church. Their zone leaders were very concerned about their numbers and especially their lack of baptism dates for April, but the Lord provided and they had their April baptism.
One of the key lessons learned from this experience was the value of team work: imagine a contact by Elders Webster and Arbizo, a series of lessons taught by Elders Busson and Boyd, and the actual baptism taking place after these four elders had left and two different elders, Elders Hooson and Jest arrived. These baptisms are not ours. They are the Lord's.....and this is repeating itself over and over around the mission.

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