Monday, February 8, 2010

Conklins Baptism

Dear Family,

I am so excited! the new email address is through gmail! This is the coolest thing ever! I highly doubt I will have problems anymore. :) I am so ecstatic! The Lord answers prayers. Many times I have joked with my companions about having our emails through google, but now it is no longer a joke, it's for real! This just made my day!

Well, on to the weekly update. Monday morning was quite fun. For companionship study, we had "round table" with Elder Hightower and Elder Redston. Elder Redston introduced the topic of "calling and election made sure"/"second comforter" to our trainees. They were in awe. I was surprised that neither of them had heard anything about it before they came on their mission. Anyways, it was a fun morning to start off this amazing week!

Tuesday, Elder Redston and I went on an exchange with the Elders in Boiling Springs. We had a great time in Boiling Springs. The Elders there, Elder Larson and Elder Jones are great missionaries. They are both young and inexperienced, but it was great to see their desire to have success and their willingness to accept advice and tips to help them become even more productive. They have a couple of investigators who are progressing along and I am excited to see them enter the waters of baptism.

On Wednesday, as an apartment, we decided to go together to see the Conklins. On our way out there, we took the back roads and stopped at a random little street with only two or three houses on it. We ended up at a small little street called Clark Circle. As we talked to the people, the first thing we found out was that everyone was related. We then found out that they are all the descendants of a member of our church! At one time Brother Clark owned a ton of land between Spartanburg and Pacolet, now its been divided up between children, grandchildren, etc. So all of the people we talked to knew something about the church, but none of them are members! One lady we talked to said that her favorite T.V. channel is KBYU! She also has a year's supply of food! What a marvelous find! And the best part, Clark Circle comes off the road "Goldmine Road" :) It certainly was a goldmine of great people!

Thursday was interviews. It was a great day filled with the spirit and great training by our leaders.

On Friday, Elder Douglas and I were out "door teaching" (it's no longer called contacting) and we came across a street that I've been to before, but Elder Douglas wanted to go, so I went without telling him that I had already been there. We walked down the street and he saw a house and said, "we need to go there." I knew who lived in the house, but I know Elder Douglas is entitled to just as much inspiration about the area as I am. We talked to the lady and as we bore our testimonies, she accepted the invitation of reading the Book of Mormon! We are going back to see Betty (that's her name) tonight. It was a cool experience to know that Heavenly Father is always working and preparing his children to hear the truth.

On to the big day! SATURDAY=Baptism day! Spartanburg 2nd ward had a baptism for Lisa Vang (who is Mong) and the Conklins wanted to attend that baptism and hear the baptismal prayer in Mong language. They really enjoyed it and it prepared them for their baptisms which followed right afterwards. Oh, I played the piano at both baptisms. Not my most favorite thing to do in the world, but for a baptism, I will do anything. :) Elder Redston baptized Jakob, Elder Douglas baptized Cheyanne, and Elder Hightower baptized Tracy. Tracy is so strong. She reminds me of Edna, they both have a sincere desire to learn and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Tracy is in 3 Nephi 14. She is haulin' through the Book of Mormon. I received a letter from Edna saying that she has re-read the Book of Mormon. I love this gospel! On Saturday evening, Elder Douglas and I were led to Lydia Tyler. She is a less active member (or so we think). Her parents were sealed in the temple and at the age of 12 her parents stopped going to church. Lydia never knew why they stopped. She loved going to church and when they stopped going, she felt the void in her life. Now that she is living on her own, she desperately wants to come back to church. She moved to Spartanburg two weeks ago. And has been thinking about the church and then we knocked on her door! She is such a cool person! Saturday was just a great day from beginning to end.

Sunday the Conklins were confirmed. I confirmed Tracy, Elder Hightower confirmed Jakob, and Elder Douglas, confirmed Cheyanne. It was great to see their beaming faces. I literally could see their countenance change. Lydia also came to church. It was a spiritual testimony meeting. It seemed like everyone who bore their testimony talked about the peace that they received when they moved to Sparatanburg because they had a family, a ward family. It really touched Lydia. We introduced Lydia to Lyndsey Webster, who is a RM, and she too recently moved here. They became instant friends. It was such a great privilege to participate in the Conklins baptsims as they entered the gate to begin their journey back to our Heavenly Father. And what a treat it was to see Lydia come back into the fold after being away from the church for 15 years. I love the gospel. I love it, I love it, I love it! I hope and pray all is well with everyone! Remember, no matter where you are, you can do missionary work! Bring others this truth!

I love you all!
Elder Cowan

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