SO we taught Albert about tithing and fasting. He agreed to live them in the blink of an eye. I just sat there. You dont have any concerns? You dont have any worries? You just accepted it with total willingness and humility?? HE DIDNT EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD A MONTH AGO!!!!!!!!!!! After the lesson, he opened up to us about how he wants to put his whole heart into a church. He is learning about another Christian church that he got involved with before he started meeting with us. He told us he was going to fast and pray about which church to join. morning, he told us that he felt a "powerful" feeling that Mormonism is right for him.
Can we just review the past month we have had with Albert?
1. Albert wants to learn more about God
2. He joins some Christian clubs
3. Katie (a member) shares the gospel with him over Facebook
4. He comes to church
5. We have a lesson with him
6. He begins to pray and read the Book of Mormon every day
7. He starts living the Word of Wisdom
8. He fasts and prays to know which church to join
9. He receives an answer to his sincere prayer
Over the course of a month.
His life is CHANGED because of Katie sharing the gospel, and him accepting it with a perfectly willing heart and mind. The Lord is preparing people around us. Because Katie reached out, Albert's life will never be the same. The gospel changes lives. It has changed mine.
We had a lesson with Mauricio! He is really sincere this time around. He keeps apologizing for losing contact with us before and promises to never slip away again. He admits that his faith is weak because he hasnt been exercising it, but hey! Step one! Recognize that there is a problem to fix. He WANTS to come closer to God. He is just so so so so busy. That is one of Satan's greatest tools - to make people too busy. It's not that they are doing BAD things... Mauricio is going to school and working and studying. They are good things, but without prioritization, they prevent us from doing the important simple things like reading our scriptures and coming to church. Once he feels the spirit through the Book of Mormon and notices the change that will come into his life as he comes closer to Jesus Christ and repents, he will be baptized. He told us he would have already been baptized if he wouldnt have slipped away. He knows the Church is true. He understands the Restoration. He WILL be baptized this year. He texted us yesterday and said, "I found the answer I have been looking for about joining the Church." We got burritos with him to celebrate. With Daniel & Emily.
We had a wonderful Zone Conference! I think it was one of my favorite Zone Conferences of my whole mission. Wow it was powerful. I was just scribbling notes the entire time! I am so motivated. It was allllll about teaching our investigators REPENTANCE and making sure we are baptizing CONVERTS. That is one reason we don't want to baptize Albert so soon. We want him to be converted. He is not just a number. We did role plays about using the word "repent" in our teaching. Our job is to invite people to REPENT. It could come off as very preachy and prideful if you did it the wrong way. But if you do it out of love, they will feel the Spirit encouraging them to repent. They will WANT to change their lives to be more in harmony with God. Growing up I always thought repentance was this big, bad, scary thing and I hated talking about it. UM HELLO! Repentance is the most BEAUTIFUL, SPECIAL, and HOPEFUL thing!!! It is a message that we can change! We have second chances! Why would someone be scared of a second chance?! Why wouldnt someone want to talk about the hope and peace and relief that comes from sincere repentance? My heart swells with gratitude for our Older Brother and Perfect Example who makes it all possible. I just smile and my eyes well with tears as I teach my investigators this beautiful message of repentance and hope that they can feel the same way I do towards it.
I want to echo Alma's words:
1. O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
2. Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
We taught our investigator, Ryan, the Plan of Salvation (I always call it the Plan of Happiness and they always smile) and at the end of the lesson I was bearing my testimony of it. I said, "Some people think it ends at death!" I covered the second half of the plan with my hand. "Imagine if this was the end! But because of Jesus Christ," I uncovered the second half of the plan, "We will live on after this life! We know that we can live with God again!" I was on the edge of my seat just hoping and praying in my heart that he would feel the beauty and hope of this message!! This is the most beautiful message in the world. Ryan felt it's truth. He thanked Heavenly Father in his prayer by saying, "Thank you for providing a way for us to return back to you. Thank you for your mercy and love. I want to have a relationship with you." My heart. These are precious moments. O that I were an angel. I just sat there thinking about how blessed I was to have this sacred time to share this wonderful message with the smart students of Berkeley who are studying biochemical engineering and nuclear medicine.
Heavenly Father's ULTIMATE purpose and work is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses ) Why does He want us to become immortal and have eternal life? Because He wants us to be HAPPY! Everything He does is because He loves us.
I testify of His love. I testify of our relationship with Him. I testify of His Son. I testify of His gospel. I testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I testify of the relief that comes from repentance. I testify of eternal families. I testify of the peace that comes from prayer. I testify of our RESPONSIBILITY to share the gospel. I testify of the joy that comes from doing so! I have seen it in my own life and am changed because of it.
I love you & the Lord & His work.
|Sisters at Zone Conference|
|The Gochnours sent me a necklace for my birthday. I love it!|
|Beautiful temple grounds|
|The weather is awesome|
|Fro Yo with Priya and Ayla|
|Rafil and Bro Neves|
|Rafil and Sis Neves|
|Brother Williams (1st counselor in Oak 9th Ward)|
|I love the Neves|
|Chocolate pudding with gummy worms|
|Pants on the ground|
|Lunch with Emily, Daniel, Paul, James and Sister Muench|