Monday, April 10, 2017

Guided By The Spirit 3-20-17

Some pretty cool things happened this week regarding the Spirit.  Each experience is different in it’s own way because, well, the Spirit works in many different ways.  Also, a quick note; we have another investigator on date for baptism on Apr. 8.  This man, Lee, has been investigating for 13 years now and has finally come to have a testimony of the Restored Gospel.  He knows and accepts everything so we are looking forward to it.

The first thing I want to share with you happened last Friday.  I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with a newer missionary who is in my District, Elder Battad.  He is a great guy who is still learning the ropes, but will be a great missionary.  We had a rough-ish day and had experienced quite a bit of antagonism.  Some of it was stupid little things like people told us that the picture of Christ we wanted to give them wasn't Him and how He didn't look like that.  We received a lot of criticism in general and were even asked if we would join a Baptist church.  When we tried to answer the question, the man kept interrupting us until he shut the door in our faces.  It was a little bit of a discouraging day because we had done so much finding and had only found one new investigator (which was still great of course).  However, at the very end of the day we had an amazing experience.  

We knocked on the door of a man in his 60’s who lived alone.  We introduced ourselves and said why we were there.  He said that we should probably move on because he worked for a Christian radio station for 7 years and had talked to many different preachers.  He said he would always ask questions that he wanted answers to, but no one was ever able to do it.  So I said, "Well sir, I guarantee that we will have answers to your questions that no one else will."  So he said fine and asked us a question we would all like to know and have a better understanding of:  Where did God come from?  Did He just appear or what?  Well, we told him unfortunately that is one question we don't know the answer to.  He said, "See, you can't answer my questions."  I said we can answer a lot, just not that one.  So he decided to give it one more try before we left.  He asked us, "If God is such a loving Father, then why would He condemn one of His children to Hell forever?  That's like a parent telling their child they can't leave their room forever."  So I explained the whole thing, mainly because Elder Battad hasn't had too much experience with this yet and didn't know how to go about it.  I told him about our belief in the three Kingdoms of Glory and how a loving Father in Heaven provided a way for us to live in a wonderful place that will be comfortable to us.  I explained a lot more about it, but it was a 20 minute conversation so that’s a lot to write.  In the end, we were able to answer his question, which was awesome and I tried to see if we could come back and answer more of his questions.  He declined the offer so I tried giving him the Plan of Salvation pamphlet that I used to teach him.  He said that we might be short one sometime so we should not give it to him.  Well, both Elder Battad and I knew he was worth it and we would never be short one so I left it on his porch anyways.  Haha - I'm so sneaky.  

Afterwards as we were walking back to our car, Elder Battad said that he could feel the Spirit and that he had learned a lot from that experience.  I knew when I looked back on it that it was not me doing the talking, but that the Spirit was working through me.  I don't think I even had to pause or use a filler word, which definitely means the Spirit was there because that is something I am constantly working on.  

Another great experience we had was with the Drake family.  I was leading the lesson and before I even started it, we were already discussing a principle of the gospel that the family definitely needed to hear, especially the daughter.  We talked about the principle of forgiveness.  The commandment is to forgive everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done.  We also need to forgive ourselves for anything we have done.  That one can be hard, but it is doable.  We then lead into the Plan of Salvation and incorporated the Atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  This is another example of how the Lord will direct these lessons the way they need go to so it can benefit His children.  The daughter has had a trouble with keeping her commitment to read and when I followed up this time, she couldn't remember what she had read, but she did read and she said it was one of the best night’s sleep she has had in a long time.  So cool!  Another great experience of the power of the Book of Mormon.

Lastly, we had a Zone Conference, which is always awesome, but was a little boring for me this time because I had already heard the trainings in our MLC meeting, but I still learned some new things.  President Griffin was finishing his training and he had pointed out an Elder that was going home and talked about how fast your mission experience goes.  That impressed upon me how my time is coming to an end here in a few months.  I reflected upon my mission so far and thought about the time I have left.  I want to leave it all out on the field with no regrets at the end.  I want to make sure every day I work so hard that when I lay down in bed at night, I know that I did everything I could for my Savior that day.  I have had a glorious time so far and it only gets better.  I don't know if I have ever felt so happy before.  Even with the frustrating bad moments it is still good.  I have learned things I never would have learned before.  I still have a lot to learn and I look forward to that too.  The impression I got was to make sure I keep doing my best each and every day.  This is the third way the Spirit works; through the impressions and revelations you receive that will help you and will give you that motivational push you need.  The Lord wants you to do your best and He will help you with that through the Spirit.

Quick note: there is a lot more meaning to the hymn Nearer My God To Thee.  If you want to learn more, go study Genesis 28 and compare the lyrics with those verses.  You also might need to do some study on the story in that chapter.

I leave these things with all of you whom I love in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Ellison

Tracting In The Rain
Helping some Senior Couples Move a New Apartment in Our Zone

Lunch After the Move

Tracting With E. Battad

Name That Tune

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