Well this week was way sweet so let's hop right down to new of the week:
Elder Chidester finally arrived!
He is from Sacramento California, and graduated in 2014...so he is 18 years old. He was into skateboarding throughout high school and all I can say to him about all that is that I know tony hawk has a video game and nitro circus makes me laugh... He is also a hipster-like he's working on making a pair of short denim shorts right now...don't worry, it's still the beginning of his training so I'll work on that one. He's a goofball and I like him a lot. It gives me déja vu doing the whole trainee/trainer thing again. But all is well in cayenne!
This last saturday we had a baptism!
so now the conversion story of Fréré Manuel
A few weeks ago we had planned to meet with a convert after having family home evening with another family. It was planned to just have a quick lesson with him before heading home for the night. We were sitting up against a wall just waiting for this guy to come for the lesson. There was an intersecting road in front of us and we could see a guy on a bike slowly coming down the road towards us. As he got closer to us it was easy to tell he was drunk...and the wiff of air when he approached us confirmed it. He then said hello...and then:
"I have done something terrible i need to change my life i want to change my life"
I dont know why but right there i turned to Elder Smith and said lets teach him. We shared a brief message and set up a return rendezvous. He told us we could follow him home to his house to find the address. As we were riding to his home he pulls over to the side of the road and starts talking to some guys and begins to drink again, so of course, we shrug it off and go home.
The next day Elder Smith and Elder Belnap were on exchanges in the area and by a miracle found the drunk guy's house. His wife turns them away but another women in the house tells them he is there. With lethal persistency on Elder Smith and Elder Belnap's part, the wife finally lets them come in. They have a little lesson with Manuel-who is hungover. They then gave him Alma 7 to read and set up a return date.
Later, Elder Smith got me up to speed on Manuel, and we decided to go over and see how his reading went. When we got to his house however, we were greeted by an entirely new Manuel. He told us he had read Alma 7 three times and that he was ready to change his life.
From that day on we taught him four times a week to ensure he was changing. After Elder Smith left to Remire, Fréré smith and i made sure to pass by multiple times to check up on Manuel and see if he was progressing. He was true to his word, as Manuel had been born again and really had changed. He has not touched alcohol since the night we met him and has instead, became a book of mormon junky.
When this past Saturday came around i felt like a dad. We went to his house before the baptism and taught him how to tie a tie and fix his newly-bought white shirt for him. You have never seen a guy so happy to be baptized. Fréré smith baptized him on Saturday, and I gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday during church.
Manuel's story has really brought to life the hope and change that comes along with the gospel and it has really changed me as a result. I am very grateful and humbled to have met him.