Paul’s baptism, December 15, 2012
|15 December 2012-Paul Udeh's Baptism|
Today was a wonderful day. We baptized our friend Paul Udeh. We arrived at the church at 8:30 am for the 9:00 am meeting. Paul did not get there until after 9:00. It is so nice to have cell phones so we could call and see if he was coming and if everything was OK.
For the benefit of anyone coming in later, or those who are not following our every move, or anyone that may have forgotten the details, we met Paul on Saturday 17 November 2012. We were down in the center of Accra and he was at his office. We were dealing with a few men who wanted us to buy things from them and I decided to give them a first discussion instead. The Spirit whispered to Paul to get up and go out on the street. He did and started just walking along. Then he saw us and the Spirit again whispered to him to go over and talk to us. We began our association with him that has led to his baptism today.
|Elder John, Debi, Elizabeth Jessey, Paule Udeh, Greg, Elder Bills|
There were two others getting baptized from the other ward that meets in that building. They were taught by the other Elders. In the end they asked me to baptize all of the candidates. So, here we are, three months into our mission and I have already baptized 6 people. Another couple of events and I will exceed my entire mission in Alabama-Florida.
Paul was so excited. He was sad that his friends did not come, but they had problems with their phones and could not contact each other. He is so excited to be confirmed tomorrow and receive the Holy Ghost. I think this will be done either by the Bishop or under the Bishop’s direction. This is a good program as it bridges the missionaries and the local leaders and helps build a bond between them and the new member.
This is sister Elizabeth Jessey right before her baptism by Elder Haws.
Debi and I are so overcome with joy at being able to participate in this conversion and baptism. Right from the start it has been a miracle. Paul reminded us of his dream that he told us about the first day we met him. He is truly being guided and blessed.
He is from Sierra Leone. Elder Holland came last week and created the first Stake in Sierra Leone. It is the 3,000th Stake in the Church. We feel very strongly that Paul should go back to his home and family (and girlfriend) and build his life there and help strengthen the Church in his home country. His job here is not working out so well. We will have to see what happens.
In any event, there are three new members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
What a glorious day we had today. As I watched Greg help Paul down into the font and show him how to hold his hands my mind went back to when Greg was a 20 year old missionary in Florida. I am so thankful that I have been able to witness the great missionary Greg is. He teaches with love and great knowledge and he is a very strong Priesthood holder. After Greg said the Baptismal Prayer he laid Paul down into the water and then brought him up. Greg and Paul had a very tender moment together. Paul is so excited to be baptized and I think that he truly felt the spirit and the importance of this day.
Evans Oppong and Elder Haws practiced how to hold hands and bend over before the actual baptism.
Last Wednesday night after we met with the missionaries Paul told us that all he can think about is his baptism. He said that it would be his greatest day. He also told me that all he wants to do all day is read the word of God and study all of the Church books. He said that every night he prays that God will open his brain and pour in all of the knowledge. I told him that he has to learn line upon line and precept upon precept. Paul is so hungry for the knowledge and he can hardly wait to receive it all.
It has been only four weeks and yet Paul is ready to go and preach the gospel. The missionaries told him that he could go with them to teach and he was so excited. Everything about the Church he accepts without question. Today I said something about something new and he just said “Yes, Yes, I already know that”. It is like when we tell him something he already feels that and accepts it.
These are the missionaries that taught Paul and the District leader who interviewed. They are the four Elders from the two wards that meet in the building where the baptism was held.
They had a hardy meal of chicken, rice , fries and bottle mineral water.
We took Paul and the missionaries out to lunch after the baptism. Paul said that this is the greatest day of his life. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself. He is right. This is one of the greatest days of Paul’s life.