It's cloudy, but I love it! We woke up with just a little fresh snow on the ground. It's good because what's left right now is the dirty snow that takes forever to melt, so the new stuff covers it a little bit.
So this week went by really fast. It's already week 4 of the transfer. Heavenly Father has blessed us to be able to teach a lot of lessons this week, it has been really cool.
Yesterday we got a chat from a man named Jam, from the UK. He had investigated the church for 2 years, but didn't really feel anything, and then was baptized a year ago, hoping to feel something. Well since then, he received the priesthood, and was about to receive a calling, but still didn't feel anything, so he has since fallen away because he felt that he was wasting people's time, and living a lie. He doesn't believe in prayer, because he did it so many times, and never felt anything. He doesn't even know if there is a God. So he's got a lot on his plate....well we were able to share a lot with him. He has a lot of faith, but doesn't recognize it. He wants to believe. We shared my favorite talk with him, and had him watch it while we watched it so we could watch it "together" even though we were so far. I love this talk, I read it almost every day. It is 'Lord, I Believe,' by Jeffrey R. Holland. It was dead perfect for him. Literally, I swear Elder Holland knew this man's situation when he gave it! And we prayed so hard for him to feel the spirit. Well after, I was expecting a miracle, but he said that he doesn't have faith, and how he wishes he could be like the father in the story. We tried to help him see that he already is but he said that he isn't, and the real knee-kicker was when he said, this does't really make me want to have more faith. Well, we just bore testimony and told him that in order to have a prayer answered, you first need to pray (he won't pray because he "knows" it doesn't work) and then do everything that you can do to show Heavenly Father that you want an answer. Heavenly Father can't help if a person won't help himself. He said it made sense. Well we got his phone number so we can call and teach him. He said he would think about praying and attending church on Sunday, so we will call himMonday to see.
Tim is doing great! I was on exchange with my District Leader when we called him, and my District Leader is very in tune with the spirit, and a good example to me. She helped us figure out his concern, which is that when he reads, he reads to much into it and thinks that he has to understand every little word, so it never made sense to him. We helped him see that he just has to get the main idea, and even if he doesn't, we want him to focus on how he feels, and how he can apply the stories to him. He really liked that, and he said that he can definitely do that now that he understands how to read. He has been reading and praying daily, and Tuesday when we talked to him, he said that the elders told him which teas he can drink, and that the tea he drinks is already herbal, so he is already keeping that part of the Word of Wisdom! His doctor has allowed him 2 cups of coffee a week, and he really likes coffee, so it is hard for him to have to cut down even more, but he said that he wants to cut down and stop altogether eventually. He says that he feels calm when he prays, and that he is more comfortable with it. He understands everything that he has been taught, and he likes that it makes sense. He is the best!
Something that I have noticed is how easy it is to bear testimony to random strangers, within the first two sentences of talking with them. When Elder Clarke from the Seventy came to talk to us, he said that we should never let anyone leave without bearing testimony or without talking about Jesus Christ. I know that the Lord is hastening His work, and so lately, I have just had this desire to be bold. To testify to everyone I talk to, to tell about Jesus Christ, and to just simply at the start of the conversation ask if they are interested to know for themselves if this church really is true. It really helps to see those who are prepared, who honestly want to know, and who are ready to be "harvested." My companion and I have been doing that a lot lately.
We have been able to talk to a lot of people on the square. We can tell that they are ready to receive the Gospel, but they don't yet know themselves, and so they shy away from discovering that and it is so hard because you just want to tell them how happy they can be, and how wonderful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is when you actually use it but they choose not to be ready yet. We do a lot of seed-planting here on Temple Square, but that is not a bad thing. The seed has to be planted for it to grow, so I am more than happy to be a part of that!
We got to take this lady on a tour this week (I don't remember her name). She was baptized about 10 years ago. It was really neat because we could see that she was truly converted to the Gospel. Her life revolves around it, and she is so happy. Her husband and kids had found the gospel through another family that they knew in the military. They had all been baptized and sealed in the Temple a year later. Now, her son is preparing for a mission, and they are all strong and active. It is so cool because that is why missionaries serve missions, is to help people become like this through Jesus Christ. You can tell that this family is like the scripture in Ether when it says, "which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." That is exactly what that family has done. The seed was planted, and now it has grown and is now anchored to their souls.
I know that this Gospel is true. It is God's work, and if we will allow it, it will become an anchor to our souls so that we will always be happy and doing what Jesus Christ would do.
I double testify to what Elder Holland said, "I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
I am thankful to be a part of God's work.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you will fan the flame of your faith. I love you!