So, this was a good week, mostly because we had a baptism! It was interesting, because it wasn't the baptism we were expecting.
We did the baptism interview for the two ladies who were going to be baptized on Saturday, but they didn’t pass, so we were disappointed. But, the sisters who share our area were teaching their investigator that got baptized on Saturday, and one of my investigators, J, was there too. He told them that he wanted to get baptized on Saturday, and it came as a shock. We have invited him countless times to get baptized, but he never accepted. I asked him on Saturday why he decided to get baptized, and he said it was because he had been praying for weeks to know what he should do, and he finally got his answer.
It was a good service. They asked me to do a musical number with my trusty guitar, so I played ‘Joseph Smith's First Prayer’ to the tune of ‘Come Thou Fount.’ After, I got to be a witness for the first baptism, and then baptize Jorge. So, everything went well, we drained the font, and while we were changing, the bishop comes in and tells us that there was only one witness for J's baptism and that we have to do it again! So, we frantically tried to fill the font, but the bishop called Panama City and asked them if the baptism was valid, because there was no one else at the baptism that had a white shirt and tie, and to be a witness you have to be dressed in a white shirt and tie. So, long story short, the baptism was valid, but it was a pretty funny experience!
I have been reading all the conference talks in the Liahona from October, and my favorite is still the talk by President Uchtdorf in the Priesthood Session called "You Can Do it Now.” It is about picking ourselves up after we fall and keep moving forward with faith. One of my favorite quotes comes from this talk. He said, "Our destiny is not chosen by the number of times that we fall, but by the number of times we pick ourselves up, shake the dust off, and move forward.” Before the mission, I thought some miraculous perfection was going to happen to me and that I would never have problems. It is not like that. I am learning more every day about picking myself up and applying the atonement to help me keep myself from falling again.
Well, time is short. We are going to Boquete to hike a mountain and eat, so we have to get going early. I love you all so much!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp
P.S. Mom let me know what shirts you want to use. I still want to wear some of them when I get back, so don’t touch them just yet.