Today was one of those days that missionaries dream about. We had two baptisms. These are two incredible young people who have been the perfect example of Elder L. Tom Perry's vision of how Outreach Centers can work to attract and bring new members into the Church.
Romina is the beautiful young woman who started coming to the Center when we first opened it. She came with a less-active friend and became one of our most faithful attendees. Her less-active friend has become active too. She climbed Lorenzo Snow's mountain with us and we loved her instantly. In the beginning she said she was an athiest and that she was not interested in hearing the lessons but she loved coming to the Center and she loved how she felt there. Little by little she began to feel the spirit during little spiritual thoughts and family home evening lessons we would have at the Center. She began reading the Book of Mormon. We have fasted and prayed to see her baptized before our mission was over. What a sweet blessing it was when she asked Elder Lisonbee to baptize her.
Torito is the young man who starting coming to the Center to play soccer. Torito is one of those young men so full of the light of Christ that many people thought he was already a member. No matter what is going on at the Center, we feel it is important to always stop what we are doing and take a little break to have a spiritual thought. Torito began to feel the spirit and started taking the lessons. He had to overcome opposition at home but he has been steadfast and immovable in going forward. As he faced opposition he told us that nothing would stop him from being baptized. Tonight when he bore his testimony he said that as he would come to the Center and he experienced the great friendship and food and feeling there he said it felt perfect and he was always happy when he was there and this feeling led him to desire that happiness for himself forever. Both Romina and Torito were two that were especially touched when President Hughes spoke to them when he and Bonita came to visit.
These two young people are a testament to the vision that Elder L. Tom Perry had when he saw that the majority of missionary work to be done in Central Europe would come through the young single adult-aged members. Tonight we had 35 of our young single adults at the baptism along with many other members. One of the talks was given by one of our YSA converts who was baptized 8 months ago. I spoke at her baptism and now here she was giving a masterful discourse on baptism. I conducted a YSA choir that sang "When I Am Baptized."
The Spirit was strong. Love abounded and Elder Lisonbee and I marveled at the miracle of this work. I will never forget the image of Romina with her long dark hair dressed in white, looking like an angel as she entered the font and I saw Elder Lisonbee take her by the arm as he prepared to baptize her. She was glowing with the sweetest smile I have ever seen. It was David's first time to baptize someone in Italian. Che bellezza! The beauty of the moment was indescribable. Our feelings can only be expressed in the words of Ammon in the Book of Mormon:
" Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. " (Alma 26:16)
Our daughter, Megan just got here for a visit and she was thrilled to get to see Romina and Torito's baptism as she became friends with them when she was here last Summer.