Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti's 1st baptism!
Here is a story Joey wrote about an investigator that was just baptized this week.
It was a late winter day on February 4, 1971 in China, and a man by the name of 王乙凱 (Wang Yi Kai) was born. He was born to a Chinese father and a Taiwanese mother. After some confrontations, 王乙凱 and his family (excluding the father) decided to move to Taiwan. 王乙凱 grew up pretty rough and arrogant. In high school, and throughout most of his life, he would smoke and drink alcohol. But at some point, he was humbled and wanted to change. At the age of 44, he was working for his older sister at a Chinese medicine tea shop. He had changed a lot since his teenage years. He was now a very timid and soft spoken person. It was a very rainy night in November of 2015 and he was getting on his motorcycle to head home from work after stopping at the market. All of a sudden, two white people, by the names of Elder Karlinsey and Elder Crawford, made eye contact with him and started shouting, "HELLO!" He was shocked! Why were two white people talking to him?! He had seen missionaries before, and he knew that they were Mormons, but he had never talked with them before. It was still pouring rain at the time, so he decided to allow them to come to his house in order to get out of the rain. Elder Karlinsey and Elder Crawford thought that this was a miracle! They were going to get out of the rain, and teach a really nice person! However, as soon as the missionaries walk in, 王乙凱 told them that he didn't want to talk about the gospel at all. He offered them warm tea (tea that we are allowed to drink) and allowed them to stay in is home to stay warm and dry. At his home, 王乙凱's mom tells the missionaries that he doesn't have any friends and that they should be friends with him. The missionaries ended up leaving, thinking that they may stop by again sometime. On December 27, 2015, Elder Crawford decided to go back to 王乙凱's house with his new companion, Elder Coletti. They walk into his home and 王乙凱, again, was very hospitable, but didn't want to talk gospel with the two young missionaries. He wanted to talk about speaking English, knowing that the two missionaries were fluent in the English language. The missionaries were unsure if they should stay and continue with this lesson, or just leave. They weren't sure if 王乙凱 was seriously interested in hearing their message. But, something told the missionaries to stay a little bit longer. Finally the missionaries asked 王乙凱 if he was willing to come to church on Sunday. He told the missionaries that he couldn't come to church because he didn't have money to attend the service. The missionaries laughed and told him the church is free! 王乙凱's eyes got a little bit wider. The missionaries left, not sure if 王乙凱 would make it to church. The missionaries went to church a couple of days later, not really expecting him to come. The missionaries finished the sacrament meeting and were walking down to the second floor of the building. They see 王乙凱 standing next to the wall, looking like he is lost. They missionaries run over and give him a giant hug! The missionaries accompany him for the rest of the time at church. After church, the missionaries meet with 王乙凱 and invite him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. 王乙凱 gladly accepts and they set a baptismal date of February 6, 2016. The missionaries start teaching 王乙凱, and it is going really great! He is keeping all of the commitments, and participating in the lessons. The real struggle was getting 王乙凱 to church on time at 9. 王乙凱 tells the missionaries that he has a little mental disorder that requires that he sleeps 10 hours every night. On Saturdays, customers come a little bit later to his tea shop and it makes him get home and to sleep a little later. It makes it hard for him to wake up in the morning and get to church in time to partake of the Sacrament. The mission has a rule that an investigator must come to church and partake of the sacrament 3 times before they can be baptized. On January 31, the last Sunday of the month, and 王乙凱 had only made it to church twice. Earlier, the missionaries had offered to come to his house on Sunday morning and wake him up for church. 王乙凱 tells them no because it would wake his mother. 王乙凱 tells the missionaries that he will be at church. Sunday comes, and the missionaries are waiting for 王乙凱, but 王乙凱 isn't at church. About 10 minutes after the sacrament, 王乙凱 walks in. Although a great effort by 王乙凱 to get to church on time, he was too late to partake of the sacrament, therefore he could not be baptized on February 6, 2016. As bad as this sounds, Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti felt that 王乙凱 wasn't quite ready for baptism. He was having a little problem with the Word of Wisdom and smoking (an addiction that started when he was a teenager). Also, he didn't know if he was going to be able to keep the Sabbath Day Holy because he had to work on Sundays in order to provide for his older mother. The missionaries went to 王乙凱's house later that week and asked again if they could come to his house to wake him up on Sunday for church. He accepts. When the missionaries got to his house Sunday morning, they ended up pounding on his door for nearly 10 minutes, but no one answers. The missionaries had to leave in order to get to church on time. The missionaries were getting really nervous about 王乙凱 and whether he would make it to church or not They weren't sure if he truly was ready for baptism. Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti go to 王乙凱's house the next week and meet with him. The week prior, the missionaries had offered many prayers for 王乙凱 and his development and desire for baptism. On February 12, the missionaries went to his house and they decide to go over the Baptismal Interview Questions to see where 王乙凱 was at. They started the interview, and the missionaries were completely shocked with every one of 王乙凱's answers. He was giving absolutely perfect answers to every question and was showing how much he truly believes. By the end of the interview, 王乙凱 asks the missionaries if they would come to his house on Sunday and wake him up for church. The missionaries gladly accept. That Sunday morning, the missionaries go to 王乙凱's house and start to knock on his door. Elder Crawford starts to call 王乙凱's home phone, and Elder Coletti continues to pound on his front door. After nearly 10 minutes of knocking and calling, they have no success, and fear that 王乙凱 had once again slept in. Elder Coletti started to pray that 王乙凱 would answer the door. In the middle of Elder Coletti's prayer, the front door swings open. It was 王乙凱 ready to go to church!, He was ready to get baptized on February 20, 2016. 王乙凱 passed the baptismal interview with Elder Karlinsey. Elder Karlinsey commented to Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti how much 王乙凱 had changed since he first met him that rainy day in November. February 20th, 2016 comes and the missionaries meet 王乙凱 at his house. The 3 ride over to the church, the missionaries on bikes and Wang Yi Kai on his motorcycle. Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti decide that Elder Crawford should be the one to baptize 王乙凱.
Elder Coletti is chosen as the missionary to baptize the Sister Missionarie's investigator. 王乙凱 steps into the baptismal font, and Elder Crawford baptizes him. As soon as 王乙凱 is lifted out of the water, he is just radiating light and love. Elder Coletti had the opportunity to complete his first baptism. It was truly an amazing experience that both of the MeiLun Elders, Elder Crawford and Elder Coletti were able to baptize someone on the same day. That next day, both of the investigators were confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. As soon as 王乙凱 was done with his confirmation, he shouted, "我是耶穌基督後期聖徒教會的成員(wo shi Yesu Jidu Houqi Shengtu Jiaohui de chengyuan)! In English this mean: "I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" 王乙凱 started his journey with the missionaries as a very timid man. He is now confident and filled with the light of the Lord! It has been a wonderful journey!