The Lord blessed the missionaries of the Florida Fort Lauderdale Misison with 153 baptisms for the month of December. How wonderful that 153 of His sons and daughters have started on the path back to Him!
In his weekly letter President Anderson announced the new standard and shared some of the stories that made it possible…
“WE DID IT!!! I knew being “Above Average Great Missionaries” that we could do this! We accomplished our goal of “150 Baptisms” during the month that we celebrate the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so proud of all of you and more importantly, God is so pleased and proud of you and the amazing ambassadors of Christ that you have become.
Back in March when we baptized 100 souls for the first time, I told you that we need to replicate our goal so that the Lord knows that we are for real, that we are not short-term, or “flash in the pan” missionaries, but we are the “genuine” thing; that we are “above average great”. We achieved the goal of over one hundred again 5 times since which told us this is no accident and this is not luck. We actually are on the “next level”.
Now is the time for us to do the same for 150. It is time to replicate it to show the Lord that we have attained a higher level in this Mission, not temporarily, but enduringly.
I love how we are being recognized as Representatives of Christ:
“While harvesting the other day we had knocked a couple doors with no success. As we approached the next house we met John who was cleaning his car out. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could pray with him. He said no. We testified again that we are representatives and how the blessing would help him feel and asked again and he said ‘yeah I would like that but wait let me go put a shirt on.’ We said the blessing with him and invited him to be baptized. He immediately said yes! He asked us if we could come back and say this prayer with his wife on Sunday. We came back and also met his son Bryan. He also immediately accepted baptism and said ‘I know we crossed paths for a reason today and I know that this is what I have been looking for.’ It is so amazing to see how the Lord prepares individuals as well as families to receive the blessings of the gospel.”
They want all the blessings that the Gospel has to offer. We need to be prayerful like Alma as to where to go:
“After the baptism we decided to go and get some harvesting in before the Christmas party. So we hurried over to the spot we had decided on last night during planning. The first door that opened to us was a family of 4 who let us in without much hesitation. We left the blessing and they accepted baptism willingly. Then we testified of the importance of coming to church and they agreed to come. They were so amazing. Then as we were walking out the door I had one last idea. I turned back and said, “Oh hey, just so you know, we’re having a Christmas party in an hour if you wanted to come you’re more than welcome.” Then we left. That night at the party they came! They loved it, made some friends, then agreed to come to church the next day and they came to that too. We found a few minutes to teach them during church so we were able to solidify their dates for the 30th and they were more than willing to accept the date.”
And remember, like Alma, when God has directed us, it many times is the next door or the next person or the next street:
“It really is amazing how it is always the last door. But throughout the hour we were harvesting we hadn’t had much success … and the hour was coming to an end so we decided to knock on one last door. Debra opened the door and let us right in, she started to explain to us that this wasn’t their home and they were there for a couple of weeks … that it has been a really hard, stressful time because Christmas is coming up and her family can’t really have one because they are not in their home and her husband gets his paycheck at the end of the month. So she was very much opened to the blessing and said she knew that Jesus Christ sent us to her home. During the blessing the spirit was very strong and when the prayer was over I asked how she felt, her eyes started to tear up and she said peaceful, calm and good. We testified to her that Jesus Christ did send us to her home and that Jesus loves her very much and that he wants her to feel those feelings always and she can feel of those feelings as she follows his example. Then we invited her to be baptized on the 30th of December and she accepted! She has 5 boys and they are all over 8! I know that Jesus sent us to her because we prayed and asked where to go. We must depend on the lord to show us the way, it is impossible to do this work alone and there is no better work.”