Sunday, June 14, 2015

Katja's Baptism

This is Katja.  Soon after we arrived on our mission, as we were trying to find people whose names were on our church records but they didn't come to church, we came across the name of Dwayne B.  Wayne asked some relatives of his, but they didn't know where he was.  Wayne put his name in an internet address finding program and found several addresses out of the state and wondered, perhaps, if he was in the military.  We gave up on finding him.  Several months ago when we were working at the community food pantry, Wayne was carrying a box of food out to a lady's car when she noticed his missionary name tag and said that she was a member of that church too.  He talked to her a bit, then noticed a memorial sign in her car window for a man with the same last name as Dwayne.  He mentioned that and found out that she was Dwayne's sister and yes, he had been in the service but had just gotten out and moved to Moorefield (a town in our ward). Wayne got the address, we found the home, got to know Dwayne, his wife Katja, and their four cute kids.  Dwayne hadn't been to church in a long, long time - his wife and kids didn't know anything about the LDS Church.  We visited them a few times, then took the Elders who began teaching Katja.  She learned quickly, and eventually accepted the gospel.  She asked Wayne to baptize her.  We love this family.  So do the Elders.  They are teaching Dwayne and Katja's daughter Lisa now.  Seven-year-old Erik can hardly wait until he is old enough to be baptized.  Katja's mother Barbara is visiting from Germany and has been very supportive.  She enjoyed her trip to the temple, has come to our church once, and did attend the baptism yesterday.  What a "coincidence" that another good friend of ours, Sonja, who joined the church a year ago and is now preparing to go to the temple is also from Germany!  Sonja, Katja, and Barbara chatter away in German when they are together and are so fun to listen to.  Anyway - it was a great day yesterday. Everything went very well.  At the baptismal service I (Janie) gave a talk on baptism,  Wayne did the baptizing, and Sonja gave a talk on the Holy Ghost (she was very nervous but did a great job).   Wayne also did the confirming this morning.  Katja really likes and respects him.  Her husband Dwayne does too. Dwayne is progressing so well, he is coming to church diligently, recently received the Aaronic Priesthood, and a calling in the ward.  It is amazing to see them both grow in the gospel and to know that the Lord allowed us to be instruments in His hands in finding this sweet family...
Katja & Elder Orton,  Baptism Day 13 Jun 2015

Dwayne & Katja's cute daughter Sarah

Another daughter, Lisa, hopefully will be baptized soon
(their two sons, Mark and Erick, were never still enough to get a picture)

Katja's mother Barbara with Sonja

Elder Orton with Katja and Katja's mother Barbara

Elder Saunders, Katja, Elder Gorman

Nothing else in the week compared with our Saturday Baptism.  But we did have a good week.  Our little Family Home Evening group had  potluck Monday evening, it was well attended and the food was good.  I made Chicken Enchiladas, they were well-liked and disappeared quickly.  Tuesday we took the Elders to District Meeting in Woodstock.  We got back to Petersburg in time for me to go to the nursing home and Wayne to go to a priesthood presidency meeting.  Wednesday we got the van serviced yet again, made some visits, and in the evening taught a temple preparation lesson to Mariah and Sonja.  More visits, details to take care of concerning the baptism, service, hospital visit, etc, the rest of the week.  Busy.  Wayne got together with a couple of different friends to play guitar and sing.  No fishing this past week, but I think something is in the works for 5 am tomorrow morning...

We are very excited about our oldest grandson Dallin's return from his mission in Mozambique!  His family is anxiously anticipating his homecoming Tuesday and he will speak in their ward next Sunday.  We will miss gathering with most of our children and their families as they welcome him home and hear him tell of his adventures and the miracles he has witnessed.  He is amazing.  Such a good example for his younger siblings and nieces and nephews.  And for us as well.  Mission Accomplished!
Elder Poyfair and friends in the Mozambique Maputo Mission
Yesterday afternoon, after the baptism, we drove over to Elkins, West Virginia.  We stopped on the way near Seneca Rocks to visit a ward family that lives about 25 miles from the church.  Then on another 35 miles (out of the ward, stake, and even our mission) to Elkins to visit a former missionary companion of Wayne's and his family.  We attended a dinner theatre with them, the Gandy Dancer (  It was fun to see his friends again before we go home, and we enjoyed the food and program at the theatre.  We drove home late however, there was fog here and there, and we saw quite a few deer by the road.  Glad none of them jumped out into the road.  We also saw fireflies along the way - magical.  I love fireflies!

I also love the Ezra Taft Benson lesson for today about the Book of Mormon.  I got a call from the lady who was supposed to teach it on Friday asking if I would sub for her and I was excited to do so.  What a great lesson.  Read it, if you haven't already.  It's powerful.  (Taivan is reading the Book of Mormon in the next 60 days,  way to go!  Hope I can too.)  Have a great week.
"The Prophet Joseph Smith … said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”  … Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book. …"
As we left Johnny & Janet's Friday night the chickens were
finding their nighttime roosts.  So cute.

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