We had one of the strangest experiences ever this week! We also had a wonderful YSA activity and another YSA baptism!
We had a blast at the activity, and 62 YSA's came! A new record! Here they are playing the ice breaker; zip, zap, zop and group movement wave. Our purpose for the activity was developing talents.
The missionaries helped us with sign-in.
We moved the tables out on the lawn so dinner was outside. Everybody loved that!
Karaoke was next on the agenda! Some sang with just the mike and we had a piano and voice solo.
Watching the singers, waiting their turn.
Just liming, and laughing together.
We had some dancing to the singers.
Some duets with a lone dancer performing for the crowd.
A surprise birthday cake and special song.
A Michael Jackson surprise visit.
A couple of group line dances that were a big hit!
Lots of laughing when we goofed up!
The next day one of the YSA's at the activity was baptized.
What a sweet ending to the weekend. After the activity we had the opportunity to have a long conversation with the President of the Arima Branch. Remember a few posts back, he was the Savior in the Easter production of, The Savior of the World. President Francique has only been a member for three years. He is sitting on the far right of this picture. He told us his story and I had to write it down. He always felt that God had a purpose for him. As a child he was hit by a car, fell through a house roof and was saved hanging by his face, a light pole went through his leg, and he was mauled by a dog. Later, bullets were flying around him in a political coup, and he was unhurt. He always felt that God was protecting him for some purpose. He said as a Young Adult he was drinking and partying. His wife gave him a DVD from the church about families and after watching it, he told her he wanted to read the Book of Mormon. He read it, started studying the church, and more and more answers to his questions were revealed to him. One day, the missionaries were passing and he called out, "Yo", and told them to come inside and teach him about the church. They answered his questions and told him they were going to do something they had never done before. They asked him to be baptized in three days. He told them he had to think about it, he prayed and nothing came, again, and no answer, then again, and in the morning, he heard a voice that said, "What are you waiting on; you are ready." There was a big problem though. He Knew the Book of Mormon was true, but could not stop drinking. He got on his knees and asked Heavenly Father to take away his desire to drink. In his words, "from that moment, I cleared out all my alcohol and actually began to feel sick whenever I smelled alcohol. I was trying to decide whether to be baptized and talked to my Uncle who is a 7th day adventist. He smiled and told me that he was happy that God had spoken to me, that the church preaches the scriptures and they believe in Jesus Christ, so I should get baptized. The week I was baptized, I cried for the first time in 25 years, on my knees, asking my brother for forgiveness for the way I had treated him. It took me fifteen minutes to say the words, "I love you," to him. I felt like I was being strangled. He said he had forgiven me years before. I apologized to anyone I had ever wronged to clear my heart and soul. The week after I was baptized, I was a branch missionary. Two months later, the ward mission leader, six months later ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood and made the Elders Quorum president." One year after he was baptized, President Francique was presiding as Branch President. We are so inspired by him!
Adoli right after her baptism, being hugged by another YSA. She is awesome and will be such a strength in her branch.
We had to walk quietly and quickly past momma bird. I feel sorry for her. She needs some help! Elder Monson is still looking for a good buy on a pellet gun!