We met Janet at the ward we are assigned to attend, the Quince Orchard Ward. Her father was killed by an off duty drunk policeman when she was nine. Her mother died of an aneurism when she was twenty-one. She has had a very challenging life. She has a daughter, and two grandsons, and a son, Mecca, who lives with her. Last year Janet and Mecca went through a home invasion. Mecca was critically stabbed, and would have died except for the exceptional care by the medical staff at the trauma hospital he was taken to. During that horrifying night Janet prayed to Heavenly Father that if he would spare Mecca's life, she would change her life. Months later, at a bus stop, some missionaries walked by Janet and Mecca, turned around and walked back to them and asked them, how they were doing. Janet told them okay, but they could be better. That is when her journey to baptism started. When we moved into the ward it was instant mutual love, and friendship. She calls us her mom and dad. I wish she could meet her "siblings", they would love her.
A side note, she is so funny. She calls the GPS on our phones, Ms. Know It All, and we were in the car with her once and she told Elder Banks not to listen to Ms. Know It All, and to go different way.
She already had a strong testimony of her Savior, the gospel of Jesus Christ just put it all together for her. Then missionaries changed, and they recognized her readiness to be baptized. Greg and I were blessed to be a part of teaching her the discussions. We were able to be with her when the elders taught her at the Washington DC Temple Visitor's Center, where there is access to some wonderful films and the presence of the temple so close is strongly felt. We were able to take her to a Why I Believe fireside with Eric Weddle, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. She brought her grandson, Teddy. They loved it.
|Teddy and Eric Weddle of the Baltimore Ravens|
|Janet and Mecca|
|Janet, Mecca, and Teddy|
|Elder Hawkins, Bishop Wonnacott, Janet, Elder Guymon, Elder Chang|
Sunday, June 4, Janet was confirmed a member of the church and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost by Greg. Teddy, Mecca, and his girlfriend came, which was just wonderful. She was so happy they came. Greg said when they went up to the stand and the men were trying to figure out where to put their hands, the bishop took both of Greg's hands and firmly laid them on Janet's head. Later while in Relief Society, Janet was telling us about a relative who was baptized and fainted when she received the Holy Ghost (different church). Then Janet, said, when she went up to receive the Holy Ghost herself the hands were firmly placed on her head and she knew she wasn't going anywhere, fainting or otherwise.
One other miracle: One of the nurses in the trauma hospital Mecca was taken to when he was attacked was is in the ward today. She recognized Mecca, and they were able to talk. She said Mecca was one of their success stories and they talk about him and his story a lot at work. Amazing!