A Steaming Hot Baptism!

Hey Famiglia!

First off, I thought I’d start by writing a bit about Angela!  [The names of all investigators have been changed.]  We had her baptism on Saturday the 22nd.  It was SO AWESOME!! The Spirit was SO strong, and it was such a neat experience.  Words can’t even describe how happy I was for her.  When she came up out of the water, she looked at me and the happiness I saw in her eyes was unbeatable.  It is so cool seeing the changes that the Gospel brings into people’s lives.  We confirmed her on Sunday and afterwards as we shook hands, she squeezed my hand extra hard and said “It’s working” to me.  Wow.  I can’t say how grateful I am for that experience, and can’t wait for more!!

The week was a bit strange overall because our plans got unexpectedly changed a few times. Earlier this week we found out that Anziano Robertson would be leaving Wednesday night for Malta, but Anziano McArthur wouldn’t be getting in until late Saturday evening…  So the Anziani from Catanzaro had to do a majorly long exchange with me, and during the baptism I didn’t even have a normal companion.  We were a threesome for the rest of the week. Anyways, so after the baptism we had to go and pick up Anziano McArthur from the bus station.

A big bummer was the fact that the baptism ended up being in the church….  There weren’t enough members with cars to drive us over to the spot by Capocolonna, so we had to do it in the church.  It took 6 hours to fill it up Saturday morning, and once it was finished, I put my hand in it to test it out, and it was BURNING hot!!!!  It was like a spa.  It was crazy.  We were filling it up with what we thought was warm water, but in the end it was actually a really steamy hot baptism.  Angela seemed okay with it though.  After the baptism we had to bail out the font by hand…… Ugh!  Anziano Kenney (who was in the MTC at the same time as me) went to work though, threw on my baptism pants and hopped in to do some heavy bailing.  He’s a champion.

Yesterday we had a record 46 people in church during the confirmation, and we even had to put out—for the first time ever—2 trays of bread and 2 trays of water, with 2 people passing the sacrament.  It was crazy.  A lot of less actives that we’ve been working with came to church this week and it was AWESOME to see them come.  I think everyone had a really good time, and it was a good experience.

Anyways, now I’ll talk a little bit about Anziano Eric Lloyd McArthur (There’s his name!). He’s from Oceanside, California.  Not terribly far from where we were!  Anyways, it turns out his mom is actually Mexican, but his dad is American from Utah, so he’s half and half. He has 4 brothers and 4 sisters, and is really nice.  I’ve only been with him basically yesterday and this morning, so I still have lots to find out!  He did a year at BYU already and will be turning 21 in April sometime…  He’s been out 13 months now, but he’s been on Malta most of the time. He did 18 weeks in Trapani (where Anz. Barrow is now!) and then 30 weeks in Malta.  I can tell we’re going to have a good transfer together though!  He is a hard worker.  I can already tell.

By the way, I can’t remember if I already mentioned it, but I did get the Valentine’s package last week.  Thank you SO much!!!  I’ve attached a few baptism pictures, and one with Anziano Kenney and Robowtham bailing water out the church window.  The font was a really junky portable one, but I guess it did the trick!

I also found a really nice hair place that I like A LOT this week, just for 10 Euros.  I’m glad I found it because I’ve been having to let my hair get really long here because there’s not been time for a haircut.  Another problem is that practically EVERYTHING is closed on Monday just cuz it’s Italy, so we have to do it on other days besides P-days.  But I wanted to look sharp for the baptism!

Anyhoo, things went really really well this week for how crazy it was being in a three man companionship and going back and forth from here to Catanzaro.  And I’m pretty sure that Jessica Hawkins is in the ward there in the happy Meadow Wood.  In fact, I’m pretty positive it should be her.  That was really nice of them!  [Jessica made a gift for Craig which I mailed to him this week.]

I’m glad the Cougs managed to topple Gonzaga this week!!!  That’s awesome news.  It would be cool if they managed to squeeze into the tournament!!  And that’s way cool that Eric Mika will be coming here.  I’d be happy to end up training him!  Chances are very slim though.

Debora and Michele are the two investigators I’m currently teaching that are getting married soon.  They are SO cool!  I told them to look me up yesterday in church actually. [He’s referring to Facebook.  I had mentioned to him that they sent him Facebook friend requests.] That’s good to hear that Sister Salvitti might be able to help me out with a few! [She is looking for some photos of Craig when he was in Caserta since he lost some of the ones he had on his camera.]  That’s awesome.  She’s an awesome member.

Well, I’d better wrap it up for today.  I don’t have too many pictures.  I still need to swap around for some from the sisters here and from the Catanzaro Anziani.  They have a few I want right now.

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

Emptying the baptismal font.

Craig wrote:  “We gave Angela a Bible and a picture of the temple that will be in Rome, and wrote her messages inside to give to her at her baptism.  She loved it a lot!”

I found this picture of Craig’s new companion, Anziano McArthur, on Sister Waddoups’ blog. He is the one on the left.

Craig is standing behind a couple of his investigators.

President and Sister Waddoups standing in front of the Rome Temple construction site.

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