On Saturday Daniel was baptized! It was such a wonderful ceremony. He was so happy. I have been thinking a lot about his journey to this moment and it caused me to realize an interesting characteristic of the Italian language. In Italian, the verb “to baptize” is reflexive which directly translates “to baptize oneself.” The concept behind it is the person takes personal responsibility for the choice they are making. In Daniel’s case I think it is perfectly appropriate because I feel like we didn’t do anything. He was prepared by the Lord. He bore a powerful testimony after his baptism in which he explained how he immediately saw a difference in the members and the church the very first time he attended and that since his first contact with the church he feels like he has become a different man. I love Daniel, he is a great example to me.
We were gone most of the week. Not a single day were we not somewhere doing something. We continued our visits of the various districts closest to Rome to give president the opportunity to get to know as many missionaries as possible. We were in Terni and following that meeting went up to Assisi so president could meet with an old friend who was baptized by his brother many years ago during his mission.
Then we were back in Napoli. The missionaries there claim I can’t stay away from Napoli for more than a week considering the fact that since I was called up to Rome I have been back 4 times. They might have reason. To finish off the tour we headed out to Pescara. It was great getting to see all the missionaries.
As usual, in witnessing Daniel’s baptism I reflected on my own. In this particular circumstance it hit me a bit deeper because his baptism took place exactly 3 years and four months after mine. It certainly does not feel like that much time has passed since I made that momentous decision. I sometimes wonder where I would be now if I had not decided to baptized. To be completely honest I shudder at the thought of it. I feel the potential that lies ahead for me now is beyond anything I ever imagined growing up.
The hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ shines such a bright light into our lives that all things become clear in their own due time as we diligently strive to repent daily and seek after Him. I love my Redeemer. I love my Heavenly Father and his tender mercies in guiding me along the path to lead me where I am now. I love this mission and the opportunity I have to serve others and declare of the healing relief found in the doctrine of a Christ. And lastly, I love these people too and all that they teach me daily.
I love each of you,