Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Faith to be faith

the happenings of this week!

We've started running on the boardwalk by the waterfront by our house! It's so beautiful and breezy in the mornings!

This week we instructed at District meeting about helping our investigators set their own baptismal date! It was fun. At the end, our district leader shared a beautiful quote about faith:

“There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen. …
“There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. … It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect. 
“In a world filled with skepticism and doubt, the expression ‘seeing is believing’ promotes the attitude, ‘You show me, and I will believe.’ We want all of the proof and all of the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith.
“When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about—that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief precedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith.”
-Boyd K. Packer
We also taught Rick again! We taught him about the Plan of Salvation-- just what he's been wanting to hear! But because he had sooooo many questions and got hung up on some things, we weren't able to teach it all to him... so he was left hanging at "so what happens after I die??" But we taught him after church on Sunday, so he was quite enlightened. He left pretty speechless and full of even more questions, actually. He's coming around.

John also got confirmed yesterday!! How exciting. Earlier this week, we taught him about the importance of member missionary work. I LOVE this video more than anything right now-- it's about forgiveness, but it powerfully exmplieifes the importance of member missionary work! PLEASE WATCH!!! :)

We also taught a young guy named Anthony who considers himself a pretty negative, closed-off person, but he is excited to have a faith again.
So cool story, we were volunteering at Salvation Army this past Friday and we were talking with this man we hadn't seen before (Brian) and he was asking a bunch of questions and was really nice. His friend tried to pick a fight by asking questions he didn't really want to know the answer to, but that he just wanted to debate. So I guess another man across the room sensed my frustration (dang it!) and he came over, put his arm around me and told the man that he had a right to believe in whatever he wanted just like I did. Humanity lives on, I guess.

Then we got Brian's number and he was going to come to church on Sunday but he had to go to the hospital Saturday night! So we went to visit him in the hospital that evening. It was one of those visits that just made me so happy to be a missionary. (I've been having a lot of those lately). He is this big tough guy, tatoos, drinks, etc. and as we shared the Restoration with him, his countenance changed and he told us about his past and how he just doesn't feel like he is worthy of God's love and he started to cry. We were able to share with him a few verses from Alma 36 and as we did, the spirit filled the room. 

16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.

 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

We testified of the power of the Atonement and he wants to be baptized at the end of June. We set his date and then I asked him why he wanted to be baptized on that date. And he said it was because we invited him on that day and that he trusts us (about inviting him on that day) and because we are unwavering in what we believe and that he can just see it in us. Then he said the prayer at the end and I just kept my eyes opened and watched him. He said a very simple prayer telling God that this was the first time He has ever really felt His love and he asked if the Book of Mormon was true. And that was it. Prefect prayer. 

I love my calling. I love these people. I love the Lord and am so grateful for His unconditional love.