Missions are Fun

Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010

A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our Mission Scriptures

Our Mission Scriptures:

"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)

" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Baptism Miracle of a Multi-Language Conversion-Netherlands, Armenia, Czech Republic, & America Come Together

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  John 3:5

Take two missionaries, both with different languages as their native tongue, add a family that cannot speak English;  mix them up with the Holy Ghost helping the missionaries teach and the family to learn, bearing witness of truth, and what do you get?  Souls being saved through baptism!!  The only explanation that this family could understand what they'd been taught is a modern-day miracle happened giving them the gift of tongues and the ability to understand.  The knowledge of God's Plan of Happiness and the Savior's Atonement within that plan is the best gift that can be given or received.
Elder Blain baptized the mother (center) in this family from the Czech Republic.  These are the ones we have been helping learn English.  The young man on the left is a nephew to the woman in the middle.  The young man next to her on the right is her son.  He has been a fairly good interpreter because he has been blessed to learned English quickly and has helped his family understand the teachings of the Elders from Armenia (on right) and the Netherlands (next on right). 
December 23 was the baptism day for this good family.  They have been in England only a few months and have nothing of material goods but lots of love and family togetherness.  The father found work in another town out of our mission and missed some of the lesson, so he could not attend the baptism or be baptized yet, but the family members, who were ready, chose to be baptized here before they moved, thank goodness!!  It is a miracle how it finally all came together for them to be baptized, since many things went wrong the week of their scheduled baptism.

The baptism finally happening was a miracle in and of itself as there were many obstacles placed in our path towards accomplishing that goal.  First, they all got sick, but recovered enough for the last lessons.  Next, on Sunday, when baptisms are usually announced so ward members can attend, it was announced the baptism was cancelled.  Because of the language barrier, the mother told us she'd be out of town looking for a place to live.

On Wednesday we found out the family would be in town for baptism.  The Elders called everyone they could think of for rides for the family to their baptism.  There weren't enough people who usually provide rides in town to assist that night.  When they did find rides, those fell through the last minute and only part of the family showed up for the baptism.  Finally, Elder Blain had to send a taxi to get the rest of the family.

Earlier, the counselor in the Bishopric and the Elders Quorum President had gone to the church to fill the font the night of the baptism and found the water ice cold!  They were distraught trying to solve the problem when we arrived to set up the room in preparation for the baptism.night of the baptism.  The building was freezing cold because the heat could not be turned or it would rob any warm water that might come in to the font.  It seemed it would be an unpleasant way to introduce this family into membership in the Church, but with quick prayers, eventually the water problem was solved and by the time they showed up to dress for baptism, the water had warmed enough to not shock them as they were immersed.  We did tell them about how the ice was broken in the rivers to baptize people in the early days, which may or may not have been all that encouraging.  They kept smiling bravely as they shivered awaiting their baptisms.
This little fellow was the angel of the evening who sat as the witness to everything that was going on.  He is the younger brother of the nephew who was baptized and he had a smile on his face enjoying every minute of the "entertainment."  Here he is eating a biscuit I gave him for being so reverent.  He made no noise and stayed in his seat from the time of their arrival until after the baptisms, which was over an hour.
Waiting for the water to warm and people to arrive.
Trying to establish some sense of a baptismal service and invite the Spirit into the middle of the chaos, I searched throughout the building for a CD player.  Finding one, I then discovered a CD without a case that just happened to have Primary songs on it!  It had been tossed on the counter in the library and was lying on top of a bunch of materials that had been strewn haphazordly about (another tiny miracle that there was music available?).

The only people at this baptism were some of the family members, a young man (a best friend of one of the boys who got baptized), a counselor from the Bishopric, the Elders Quorum president, one ward member, and the missionaries.  We wished ward members could have witnessed this beautiful event, but felt that the room was filled with others we could not see.  It also just so happened (another miracle) that the best friend spoke perfect English and was able to interpret the talk I gave to review what the family needed to understand about their baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

The teen in the red shirt was the volunteer interpreter for the evening.  The young woman on the left will be baptized in a few weeks.  This young man wasn't even supposed to have been able to attend and it wasn't planned for him to interpret, though I knew I'd need one.  As I had prayed about how to help the family understand, the distinct impression was in my mind that the Lord would provide.  It was another miracle for the evening.
  The mother of the young man on the left and her 16-year-old daughter will be baptized in the future.
The little man on the left (age 2 1/2) was having a terrible evening.  He was sick and crying almost the whole time.  He quit crying when his family was baptized and enjoyed watching the event, though his face shows here what he thought about being dragged out into freezing weather into an almost colder building.  Even a biscuit (cookie) couldn't settle him down.  This beautiful family will be a strength to the Church.

All ended well and I heard the mother express a testimony of her baptism in the few English words she knows.  It summed up the eventful evening: she said, "Warm (gesturing to show her whole self all over)--beautiful [feeling]."

That was the last of a series of miracles for this very special spiritual event.  Elder Blain hired a van to take the whole family home together and we all went home with glowing hearts full of deep gratitude for the tender mercies of God.
Elder Blain mopping up after the baptism.

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