Monday, November 17, 2014

Conversion Unites Families!

Dear Family,

Brother Q. was baptized and confirmed! He is so happy! The baptism was flawless and the entire program was perfect. What a great weekend!

 For eleven years Sister Q.l has prayed for her husbands heart to soften and for eleven years Brother Q.  hid in the bedroom every time the missionaries came to visit his wife. 

Eleven years is a long time. Patiently Sister Q. prayed on.

And his heart softened. 

In response to his wife's faithful prayers and years of silent pleading with the Lord, Brother Q. became curious. As he began listening to the missionaries' messages his curiosity evolved into interest. His interest began to soften his heart, and softening became conversion. He is now the newest member of the Charleston 1st Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Q. family radiated at the baptismal service! Brother Q. was collected and confident but it was clear that he was on cloud nine the entire weekend. He seemed to radiate with the Spirit as he sat by his wife and son, his arm anchored around them, in his white baptismal jumpsuit.The ordinance was flawless! It was a special moment for Sister Q. Following the baptism Brother Q.l leaned over and calmly whispered, "I feel good, I feel clean." 

Brother Q.'s confirmation the following day was just as perfect.I have never seen that man so happy! His confirmation blessing spoke highly of him as a father and repeatedly blessed him to be able to lead his family by the power of the gift of the Holy Ghost which he was receiving. It was a powerful blessing. 

Brother Q. is exuberant! Sister Q. is filled with gratitude and she is so happy! Brother Q. will receive the Aaronic Priesthood within the next few weeks and he will baptize their eight year old son. Their son often parades around their home with his personal copy of the Book of Mormon in the air, cheering, "I'm getting baptized in December! I'm getting baptized in December! Dad's gonna baptize me! Dad's gonna baptize me!" 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families because it's principles and precepts unite them. This family will travel to the Columbus Ohio temple to be sealed as a family unit for eternity. The Gospel blesses families because conversion unites them. 

I love this family.

Sister Shumway  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Elder Renlund

This week Elder Dale G. Renlund of the First Quorum of the Seventy came to the West Virginia Charleston Mission! Our mission is very large so we had a Mission Conference with the North half of the mission and the South half. Charleston is the meeting place for the North half of the mission so early morning we found ourselves at the Stake Center with over 100 other missionaries.

 When Elder and Sister Renlund arrived at the church with President and Sister Salisbury we each had the opportunity to shake his hand. When my turn came and I reached my hand out. He grasped it in both of his hands and leaned in until his face only a few inches from mine. His eyes were clear, deep, and blue. With that penetrating General Authority stare he looked deep into my eyes and didn't blink once. 

He asked, "Where is home?" And we had a brief conversation, still no blinking, and he did not break eye contact. It was a very intense moment only because the Spirit bore powerful witness that Elder Renlund is a man of God. He has been called of God to spread the gospel throughout the world. The Holy Ghost is a powerful source of truth and of divinity. 

 Elder Renlund explained that there are many different responsibilities and duties in the church. Each calling is directed by God under the Priesthood authority. Although our callings and responsibilities differ, we ALL work under the same apostolic authority. Elder Renlund's apostolic authority came by way of His ordination. 

My apostolic authority came by way of my setting apart. All of God's work is directed by the same Priesthood authority. While our duties within that apostolic authority differ, we all have the same testimony of Jesus Christ, that He is our Savior. We are all working on the same team for the same goal and for the same Savior. We do these things because we love the Lord!!  

Happy Fall!