And as a double amputee, you can imagine the interesting pickle that we got ourselves in when considering the logistics of her baptism. The baptismal font is not wheelchair friendly with its stairs and narrow corridors. And even though she was so ready to be baptised at the beginning of August, we had to wait because we had no venue. The beach was out because she could not get sand in her prosthetics and as we were brainstorming and all praying about it she remembered a pool she used to take her daughter to that had wheelchair access - in fact it was designed and created for people with disabilities or handicaps. And she had connections to them! Unfortunately it seemed that she would have to wait a few months for the pool to clear up enough for us to book it and perform a baptism, but then a sliver of opportunity presented itself last Saturday for one hour. And we took it! Sandy truly showed faith in every footstep. Even her baptismal clothing (she couldn't wear anything longer than where her legs stopped due to safety reasons) and then the ever present issue of the modesty of wet, white clothing and in addition to that pressed funds which made shopping an interesting exercise. But many prayers were said and opportunities and solutions always just presented themselves!
And something funny, the doctor who had to amputate both of her legs is a member of our church and he wasn't able to attend the baptism because of work but he met up with her after and he said - you don't even have to tell me that you've been baptised and confirmed. I can see it in your face. You glow again, like I never knew you could after what has happened. You have your spark again. And that meant a lot to Sandy.
So, miracles all around! Glory be to God! And mum and dad, I've said she has a place to stay if she ever comes to Sydney, okay? Because she is a very special.
Something else that has happened recently is that my companion showed me an example of truly loving those we teach. I think I realised something about myself - the only trait that I find remotely lawyer-ly in myself is that I have this strong sense of justice. I don't accept feeling wronged very well. But one day, due to circumstances out of our control, we found ourselves in the firing line of somebody we were teaching. They just grilled us and blamed us for everything that had happened to them in the past week and a half. And I've studied charity and read that consecrated missionary talk. So I said we were sorry. I said we accept blame. But it wasn't enough, she kept going and going and going and we were both pretty close to being quite upset. And my companion took the phone from me and she said, 'Thank you for letting us know these things.' And then they ranted and blamed us some more and told us how we could be doing our job better in a few other ways and my companion said again, 'Thank you for letting us know these things. Now we can try to do better.' And I know my companion was feeling as frustrated as I and after that conversation we were both really upset still and she coloured in a picture and I started baking en masse (baking is a great stress-reliever when you can manage it. And then you can eat what you've baked! Hahaha!) but I really admire how despite how she was feeling, she was able to tell our friend exactly what they needed to hear. Which in this case wasn't necessarily an apology but more of a submitting to their will, completely humbling yourself. Quite an experience. She's amazing, my companion :) I feel very blessed to be serving with her!
And another experience over the past week. We had been meaning to visit a sister in the ward who had been looking sad ever since she had gotten back from the funeral of her older brother and so we visited her yesterday and when we came over, her younger brother was living with her. And it was the night before he began chemotherapy treatments. Now, he isn't a member of the church and his belief in God is only so-so but I know that we were in the right place at the right time. We were able to share and discuss Psalms 23 - David's psalm about the Lord is my shepherd. And then we were able to sing that hymn (#108). And we talked about the song and about how some of it really is mourning, it is grieving, David did some things not pleasing to God and he was quite remorseful, but at the same time, in another part of the song, you can hear the hope that he has still for eternal life, for something more, for the love of His Redeemer. And it is so, so beautiful. And I pray that his treatment will go well.
There are no days off
Each day I am more than me
I represent Him