It's official, I had my very first Baptism on Saturday. :) The week leading up to Geno and Tolga's baptism was a little stressful (cancelled appointments etc.) Friday night Geno and Tolga had their Baptismal interview with our District Leader Elder Graul. They both passed with flying colors. :) Elder Graul said he's never met such a solid 14 year old boy. Right now, Elder Graul, Elder Lane, and Elder Stanke are in a Tripanionship and so Elder Stanke and Elder Lane were there as well. Tolga loved meeting them and interacting with them. Tolga said that he wants to serve a a mission when he's older so having those Elders there was a great way to show them how missionaries are.
The Baptism happened Saturday at 11am. Sadly, Geno's wife, Sevim, couldn't get work off so she wasn't able to make it. But there were about 60+ people there!!!! :) It was so wonderful. Geno was baptized by Bishop Prince and Tolga by our ward mission leader, Brother Comfort. Some youth from the ward sang a primary song and the spirit was so strong. While everyone was changing Sister Westover and I got to give a presentation on the Restoration (which was wonderful!) After the Baptism I got to talk to Geno and Tolga for a little while. Geno said that his baptism felt like he was recieving a diploma in water. :) He also said, "Now my journey has just begun. This is just the beginning. I've got to endure to the end." He is such a sincere man and he just gets it. Sometimes Sister Jones and I comment that we could see Geno as a General Authority or something. :) The next day was their Confirmation. Tolga asked Elders Lane, Graul, and Stanke to participate in his confirmation. Tolga didn't have a white shirt (and they don't have money right now to get one). So, Elder Graul, Stanke, and Lane decided to get him a white shirt for his confirmation. Right before Sacrament meeting they took Tolga with them. I waited patiently for Tolga to come back in with his new white shirt. Let me paint the memory of what happened. The opening song started and I watched for them to come through the door. Then I saw Elder Lane walk up to the doorway and stand on one side and Elder Stanke on the other. They looked like the secret service waiting for the president of the United States to come through the doorway. Then Tolga appeared. He stopped just before he walked through the door and Elders Stanke and Lane motioned for him to go through the door. Tolga then walked in. He looked like a million bucks and he could not stop smiling. Elder Graul followed behind him and they all took their seats. I think that moment had to be one of the greatest memories I'm going to have. That meant so much to Tolga and I don't think he is ever going to forget how cool and nice those Elders were. It was great to welcome the newest members of the Beaumont ward, Cengiz "Geno" Kilic and Tolga Kilic. :)
For a Christmas present, Sister Jones and I decided to give the Kilic family their first Nativity. We are wrapping different parts of the Nativity separate and have decided to Doorbell Ditch them on their door. The hard part, we're in skirts and we can't separate as missionaries. Not getting caught was going to be a major issue. As we were scouting out our options we were parked on the street when who happened to pull up behind us? Geno and Tolga of course! We quickly slid down in our seats to not be seen. Then the next night as we were driving past their house Tolga was moving their truck. We weren't sure if he saw us or not, but we got a text from him the next morning thanking us for the gift. Ha ha oh well.
Well Christmas time is approaching fast. I have loved the season and the spirit of Christmas. It's great to be a missionary at this time.
I love you all and until next Monday, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Sister Leanna Thompson