We ended the week with the baptism of Hiep, a great young man who has a great sense of humor. There was a little chaos in trying to organize the logistics of the baptism, as there always is, but he had a good experience and he showed up to church the next day in a suit and tie. He surprised us, since we never mentioned anything about dressing more formally when going to church as a member, but he felt that he wanted to. It's wonderful to see how much people change, even though it's just a little change at a time.
The week was full of lessons, two exchanges (back-to-back, actually. I virtually didn't see Elder Mahendran for 2 days!), planning and organizing a baptism, and writing a Plan of Salvation rap for a member family. It went really well, and I've really grown to love the members in Footscray ward.
Along with learning how to organize a baptism, I've been learning a lot about prayers and making them more meaningful. A lot of my studies have brought me back to the importance of prayer, and how prayer can change us and help bring blessings into our lives. I especially appreciated the quote by President Spencer W. Kimball, "I hope that not too many of our prayers are silent, although when one cannot pray vocally it is good to have a prayer in your heart." Throughout my life, I've had the spirit prompt me that I need to say more vocal prayers, and every time that I have, I have felt the spirit in more abundance. However, I often fall back into the more comfortable, convenient mode of saying my prayers just in my mind. The importance of vocal prayer is especially poignant when teaching investigators how to pray and to see how they pray. Time and time again, Heavenly Father has been showing me what I need to do to get closer to Him, and He does the same for all His children. One of the best ways that we can come closer to Him is deliberate, meaningful prayer. Sometimes that means that we, like Joseph Smith, need to go to a place which we have previously designed to go to attempt to say a prayer vocally. I've appreciated being able to do that more this week, and I'm grateful for the love and power that I feel when doing so.
Other than that, we got transfer news last night! I'm moving to Springville, the only Vietnamese area that's not in or near the actual city of Melbourne. I'll be serving with Elder Roberts again, my previous companion, and Elder Mahendran will be serving with Elder Marshall, my MTC companion. We get to know each other very well in the Vietnamese program. :) I'm excited for the future, and hopeful that everything will be well. I know that through sincere and meaningful prayer, I receive the specific and loving guidance of my Father in Heaven.
I pray that you are well, happy, and drawing ever-nearer to God, our eternal Father. :) I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! :)