It's been an awesome week out here in the North. We had a lot of lessons with member presents and we're are starting to see investigators progress more. Not many are ready for baptism yet, but people are slowly making the small steps to change their lives.
The memorial service we had for Sister Smith was very touching. President and Sister Taylor spoke about the Plan of Salvation. Our mission President is incredible. He didn't say anything new or out of the ordinary, but when he spoke you could tell that the Holy Ghost was his companion. He spoke with power and authority and this is because of the conviction of his testimony. It was a reminder to me how we don't have to be over the top when we teach people. WE just need to speak sincerely and nothing but the truth. I was offering a prayer with a lady on the street this week as well and after the prayer she complimented me by saying that I was really good at giving prayers. I didn't say anything special but rather the desires of my heart and for her safety. the Spirit testifies when we are sincere. When we truly love the people we teach, they can see that and desire to keep commitments such as reading the scriptures and coming to Church.
After the memorial service, I got to talk with some of my old companions. What a treat! It was like a big family reunion. I suppose the joy I felt talking with them is only a taste of how we'll feel on the morning of the First Ressurrection. While I was talking with Elder Vance, he updated me on the progress of a former investigator of ours when I was serving with him and Elder Chapman.
If you can remember, we found a man named Carlos back in November. He was golden ready to get baptised...and then he moved Kansas a week before his baptism! We were devestated.
But Elder Vance got a call from him. Turns out the missionaries found him (the organization of the church is a miracle) and he was able to continue recieving the lessons and he was on his way to being baptized. Fruits of our Labor! Wahoo! I was pretty happy. Imagine if we had not found and taught Carlos while he was here in Oklahoma? I'm sure the Lord could have made it so he could hear the Gospel, but he decided to do it through Elder Vance, Elder Chapman and I. We were instruments in his hands.
Other fun experiences this week: We had an intense lesson with Luiz. He had been researching the church and had found a lot of online stuff that discredited the Church and more specifiaclly the Book of Mormon. His biggest argument was that there was no physical evidence of entire civilazations being wiped out, or temples bieng built. He als watched a certain hour long movie made by apostate members of the church.
BUT HE HAS NEVER READ THE BOOK OF MORMON! This was our biggest point we made to him. He didn't like it. In the end however, he committed to read the Book of Mormon. WE also shared Alma 32 with him about how faith is to hope things which are not seen which are true. Signs never convert. Physical evidence never converts. I am so grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Its one of God's greatest gifts to me. I don't need physical, historical evidence to know its the Word of God. The holy Ghost has manisfested it unto me.
We look forward to meeting with him this Friday to see how his reading went.
Luiz's wife Celia is who we want to start focusing on. She reads...she doesnt understand, but she reads and is more humble. Hopefully, we can have permission to teach her and prepare her for baptism.
We also met with a family this week who asked us if it was possible for someone to be possessed by an evil spirit. Whoahh! Over our heads there. We said we couldn't really answer that one, but that we know in the Bible JEsus truly did cast out evil spirits from people. We're going to give him a blessing later this week with a member in the Branch.
But this family is awesome! The Dad is really humble and knows he needs to change. He reads, prays but still needs to come to church.
Today I was reading in Alma 36. I love this chapter. The structure is so interesting. It's structured so that the very center idea is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For those who don't know this is the Chapter where Alma is telling his son Heleman about his conversion when he went about destroying the church with the sons of Mosiah. Its incredible! As I read it, I understood more and more how personal one's conversion is and how possible it is to be Born Again.
Being a missionary is so amazing. Things are slow and tedious at times, but you just need to look at things positively. I have a great companion who can help me stay optimistic and have fun with. We can talk openly and keep things focused yet casual at the same time.
Every one preparing for a mission has a lot to look forward to. The most important thing I'm finding is that my testimony is becoming solidified in a way that wouldn't be possible if I didn't go on a mission.
The gospel is true! The Church is true! The Holy Ghost is real! Work is required.
Con Amor, y hasta luego!