Another good friend of mine was Set Apart for his Mission yesterday. I met Elder Shaydon Witehira through his aunt, Tiara, who happens to be one of my closest friends. I was honored to have been invited to attend this sacred event with his family.
There was a beautiful, warm spirit present throughout the entire time. Tears flowed freely as loved ones felt the truthfulness of the work and the divine nature of the calling.
After the ordinance had been performed, our Bishop stood to share a few remarks. There was one significant moment that endeared itself to me and that was when Bishop Curtis asked the question, ‘Have miracles ceased?’. He went on the explain that so long as there was faith in Jesus Christ, miracles will not cease.
I witnessed this truth with the very eventful week and a half before Elder Witehira’s departure. I was invited to attend his Temple Endowment last Friday evening. I found out at the last minute that it had been rescheduled for the following day because there had been health concerns for Shaydon’s dad. In spite of being hospitalized for his ailment, his parents made every effort and were able to attend this sacred moment in their son’s life. Shaydon received his endowment with his cousin, Juwan, who is also leaving for his mission soon. I was filled with awe as I watched a miracle take place before my very eyes, because even though I didn’t understand the full extent of their adversity, I could see the adversary making every effort to stop this family from being together. I rejoice in my Christ, knowing he knows the righteous desires of our heart and is ever at our side to bring them to pass.
But it doesn’t end there. The following day, his dad was back in hospital. Shaydon was the final speaker in our Sacrament Meeting. His emotional, heartfelt testimony was incredible. I was so proud of him. I remembered asking him if he would serve a mission a while ago and his answer had been a vague, indecisive one. Watching him stand there with so much conviction in what he was about to undertake was such a remarkable experience for me.
A few days later, (last night), I was privileged to witness another miracle as his father, his grandfather, his Bishop, his Stake President and friends laid their hands on his head to set him apart for a holy undertaking. My Bishops words about miracles and faith in Christ were bouncing around inside my head the entire time as I marvelled at the faith of this family to allow these miracles to take place. And I am not ashamed to admit, it went a long way in strengthening my own faith.
When he stood up to bear his testimony after his setting apart, I was delighted that the very first thing he said was a thank you to his parents. He also thanked Tiara and her husband, George, with whom he had been living for the past few years.
I have loved watching this young man’s faith and testimony grow. I know that the people who will get to know him on his mission will be truly blessed to know him, his special spirit and his powerful testimony.
Good luck, Elder Witehira. We’ll miss you!