What an amazing week! I have learned that I need to trust the Lord because this is His work and he is with us. I just need to put my trust in the Lord and everything will fall into place.
I haven't told you much about the Ongerts, but I will now. Kathy Ongert got baptized and confirmed this weekend by her husband Steve Ongert. Their story is amazing and I'm going to try and tell it as best and as accurately as possible with the time I have.
Brother Ongert joined the church about 40 years ago and after a few years became inactive. He eventually met up with Kathy and they were married. They studied law together (in Texas if I remember right) and eventually they paired up and become the most fearsome divorce attorneys in the state of Texas. I believe their conversion all started when Brother Collard (counselor in the bishopric in Spring Lake) went and visited Steve. Through this, Kathy started coming to church because she felt a need to get closer to God.
One week at church, it was announced that two BYU women's rugby players need a place to stay while they attended a tournament in Michigan. The Ongerts decided to volunteer their home to keep these female rugby players. Jenny Lewis and Kayla Richardson stayed with them for a few weeks, and during that time, the Ongerts fell in love with them. Jenny and Kayla had a profound effect on Sister Ongert, and eventually she agreed to meet with missionaries.
Keep in mind, Sister Ongert is a fierce lawyer and made it clear that the missionaries that came to teach her had better come prepared and ready to teach her everything. She originally planned to investigate the church for a full two years with her first set of missionaries who she assumed would be staying with her throughout her whole investigation. She was somewhat annoyed when she found we missionaries shuffle around and leave every few transfers. Kathy was about ready to quit meeting with missionaries and study on her own when Elder Reheis (my companion) came around. When Elder Reheis mentioned he was from Gilbert Arizona, Sister Ongert asked if he knew Jenny Lewis (she's from there!) and he said he did. In fact, they grew up together and went to school together.
I guess that lead us to where we are now. Sister Ongert is baptized and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is truly converted and has and will continue to build up the church and others around her. Her conversion truly was a miracle; so many key things happened just at the right moment. The Lord is in control!
If the baptism this weekend wasn't enough, we're baptizing Dana Bignel and her children Madison and Hamish! They're amazing and are fully committed to baptism. They're awesome! Be on the lookout for pictures of them next week. :)
Stake conference here was awesome! The Grand Rapids stake is pushing member missionary work like crazy and the members are responding already. Are you all looking to improve as member missionaries?
Woah, I thought I have been blessed in the field so far but Heavenly Father is blessing us SO much to allow us to be a part of the baptism of wonderful people. Regardless of what happens in the future, I know that the Lord truly is in this work. Whether I'm a part of another baptism or not, I can know that I've been successful as long as I work hard with diligence and obedience and feel the Holy Ghost work through me to the hearts of others.
This makes me think of a personal study activity I did in Preach My Gospel recently. Compare the story of Abinadi and Alma; Abinadi cried repentence to the people and was brought in chains before the wicked King Noah. He did as the Lord commanded and preached of the commandments and the wickedness of the people before the King. After his message had been delivered, Abinadi was burned to the stake. I don't know if Abinadi knew of the effect he had on Alma, and he may have died thinking he had no success. However, we know that his words lead Alma to repentance and through him and his son Alma the younger, NATIONS were baptized. Both Abinadi and Alma did the work of the Lord and did as God commanded them. Abinadi saw little success and was murdered. Alma baptized thousands. Both were faithful servants of the Lord and did their part.
Well, that's about it my friends. Pray always and study your scriptures. Keep being you. I love you all so much.
here's a picture of me, the Ongerts, and Elder Reheis on the day of the baptism. I don't know what Elder Reheis's deal is with not looking at the camera.
Elder Schmutz's "I Love Warheads" Face