"Tyson, we need to practice just one more time." I looked at my little sister Haidyn, who had a glow in her bright eyes that words can't explain. It was the day of her baptism, and she was so excited that she was going to be baptized. She was scared, happy, excited... every emotion that a little girl could be feeling. For what seemed to be the millioneth time, I grabbed her wrist, and pretended to baptize her again. I'll never forget the emotions of that day. Seeing my beautiful little sister walk down the stairs into the font, dressed purely in white. I remember seeing the joy in her eyes and I took her wrist and stated, with my heart pounding, "Haidyn Dawn Roper, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." I put her underneath the water, and pulled her up. She came up pure, perfect. She was as perfect as Jesus Christ Himself. By far the closest I'll ever be to perfection. I led her out of the font, and went into the dressing room, where I began to weep. The feeling of the spirit overwhelmed me in ways that I'll never be able to understand. Love, joy, happiness, peace.... everything. The exact same feeling that I felt as I baptized my very first convert in Korea just yesterday.
My investigator, dressed in pure white, being led into the font for baptism brought me the peace that this gospel is truly about. He looked as a little child as he took upon him the name of Jesus Christ. The tears welled in my eyes as I was able to watch this man come out of the font, as perfect as Christ Himself. The smile on his face was enough to know that every single thing I've went through in Korea, and to get here, has been worth every minute. Worth every trial, struggle, and everything else. Seven months later, I can finally say I gave someone the wonderful privilege of receiving an eternal ordinance.
The one common thing of both baptisms that I've been able to witness of both my little sister, and my first convert, was the joy that was shining in their eyes. Christ Himself taught that we need to be as little children. Full of laughter, full of joy, full of hope, and trust in everything around us. No less, little kids always have crying fits right?? But minutes later, they're ready to go and try again. They're always willing to try. They have no fear. They are truly perfect, despite all that they do. May we all be as little children in our lives. I remember the countenance I felt as I baptized Haid. I remember the feeling as I watched my investigator be baptized. It's the countenance of being a child. Always full of hope, ready to take on the world, and despite failing, maybe a scraped knee, or a cut, get back up, and keep going.
I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I'm so grateful I've been able to have the gospel in my life. I love this gospel more than words can truly describe. As we turn to Christ, He lifts us to new heights, makes us stronger and better than ever before. He lives, and He knows us all personally. I love my Savior and I know of the reality of His Atonement, suffering, and things that He went through for us. I know He's there, and I know He loves every single one of His children.
I love you all and can't thank you enough. Thanks for all the love, support, prayers, and everything. It truly means the world. Thanks for everything can't wait for next week! Love ya'll!