North Carolina Charlotte Mission

Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are your brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. -Alma 31:35

Thursday, March 20, 2014

3/3/14 3/10/14 "Go and Do"

Elder Fisher #82, 3/3/14:
"And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?" - Ether 2:23; reference to a story I don't have time to tell here, and also...

Elder Fisher #83, 3/10/14:
"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded." - 1 Nephi 3:7

Plot twist number three...

I did not get a chance to send off my email last Monday due to the busyness of being with the Assistants. Much much much has changed since that Monday.

Just in my first week with the assistants, we had a meeting for new trainees and their companions on Tuesday, then back-to-back exchanges on Thursday and Friday, then a mission leadership conference with President Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy on Saturday, then a mission home fireside on Sunday. There is never a time when the Assistants are not moving around and teaching. They rarely have time to do regular morning studies, often have to wake up early and get home late, and never get to really stop and eat. I have an advantage over them seeing as they are both extremely thin and I have natural energy reserves (a.k.a. I am fat). 

The second week just had more craziness. There were many notable stories that happened but there's only one in particular that I will share...

I was with Elder Frost on exchange with zone leader Elder Arnold. We had gone and worked in the heart of Charlotte, among the skyscrapers, and were driving to our next appointment when we got a call from the Pineville sisters. Elder Arnold answered and put it on speaker.

"Hello, is Elder Fisher there?" they asked.
Elder Arnold said, "Yes."
"This Saturday we are having the baptismal service of a lady named Rosita Quitugua and she said that she wanted you, Elder Fisher, to baptize her. Would you be able to do that?"
My jaw dropped. Elder Frost and Elder Arnold turned around in their seats to look at me.
"...YES," I said.

I didn't even know what to say. Little Rosita from Saipan, the lady I taught way back in November of 2012, was finally getting baptized and she wanted me to do it! 

I thought about it again and again throughout the day and the time flew by until finally we stopped by the mission office. There were a few missionaries there who needed to stay the night at the Assistant's apartment, and President was interviewing one of them. While he did so I spoke to Elder Arnold and Elder Frost about all the zones I've served in.

I pointed at the map. "The mission has seven zones and I've served in five of them: Winston-Salem, Charlotte South, Gastonia, High Point, and now, with the Assistants, Charlotte Central. I haven't served in the Greensboro or Hickory stakes yet, but hey, I've still got three transfers left. There's still time."

A moment later Elder Frost and Elder Arnold were called into President's office, and after a minute or so I was called in to join them.

President sat me down and explained that, due to a variety of circumstances, Elder Mickelson in the Summit ward of Greensboro needed a companion. He looked me in the eye and asked, "Will you be his companion in Summit?"

In the half second that followed, the following thoughts were going through my brain: Greensboro is over two hours away from Charlotte. There's no way that I would be able to come down for Rosita's baptism. I haven't baptized anybody my entire mission, and one just fell into my lap five hours ago and now I'm going to have to miss it. What about Rosita's baptism?

Those were my thoughts in that half second. But what I immediately said, though, was, "Yes, I will. Of course!" I was almost laughing as I said it, because only a few minutes before I'd talked about how I still had time to possibly serve in the two stakes I'd missed so far.

President said, "That's good. The Pineville sisters called me earlier today to ask if you could baptize their investigator Rosita this Saturday. We'll have you drive up to Greensboro after the service."

I felt a wave of relief sweep over me at those words. I could still make it.


Looking back on this experience, I found it important that my immediate response to President's question was not the self-centered "But what about Rosita's baptism?" but "Yes." I did not know that President would schedule things around me but I said "Yes" anyway, despite what I might have missed out on by accepting the calling. Either way I would have agreed and gone to Greensboro, but I think it important that my first response was an unconditional "Yes."


So now I am in the Summit ward of Greensboro, companions to Elder Mickelson, an elder waiting for his visa before he goes to Brazil. He is my 15th companion in my 8th area, and the fifth companion I have had this transfer. Wow! (I've attended four different wards in four different areas the last four Sundays.) Elder Mickelson is from Yakima, Washington State, and a pretty fantastic individual. I will enjoy my time with him, however long it is. 

And, before I end, this:

Rosita Quitugua at her baptism on 3/8/14, 16 months to the day from when I first met and taught her on 11/8/12. After waiting almost 20 months to experience it, I cannot express the joy I felt standing in the water at that service. It is a feeling I will never forget.

The Gospel is true. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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