Monday, March 15, 2010

The Power of the Book of Mormon

Hey everyone! How is everything going? After a couple of days of gorgeous weather here, we had 2 days of just absolute torrential downpour this weekend. Trees were falling and power was going out and we just kept praying that people would let us into their houses. So yeah, it was exciting. And amidst all the craziness, we still had tons of amazing lessons and experiences. This might have included, but is not limited to: a possom running in front of our car (but I did not hit it), watching part of "Our Heavenly Father's Plan" in lots of different languages while waiting on a member, eating dinner at a British family's house (they are in the English ward here and we bonded when I told her my dad is from England), watching St Patty's Day fanatics darting around decked out in green gear in the torrential downpour as their annual parade got cancelled, hearing bagpipes warming up for the parade, and watching my companion sew in hair extensions for one of our investigators. Yep, good week. And now for the spiritual part, because it was amazing!...
Last Monday, we got a phone call from one of our investigators, Miguel. We have been teaching him and his roommate, Darwin, a lot but they have been kind of making slow progress. Miguel takes the logical/intellectual perspective on everything. He loves to ask questions and has to really know for himself all this stuff, which is great, but he won't accept reading assignments from the Book of Mormon, he just wanted to read it from the beginning. And in the last month we've been meeting with him, he hadn't made it past 1 Nephi 3. Lately we had felt like he was getting anti-ed and that we would have to drop him soon. Anyway, he called on Monday and said, "Hey, can you come over for a visit tonight? I need to talk to you." We were kind of worried, thinking it might be a trap with his pastor there from his church or something. We just prayed and prayed and went over for the appointment. He was outside waiting for us and then we went inside to have a lesson on the steps (because we didn't have a member with us). Darwin came and joined us (he doesn't say much but loves the lessons) and we got to talking. We prayed and I asked him, "So, what can we do for you?" He held up his Book of Mormon and said, "Well, I've been reading..." He opened up to where he was and he was in Helaman 13!!!!! That's about 400 pgs in Spanish! He continued, "When you guys come in here and talk to me about the Bible, I know that, I understand what you're saying. But when you come in here and talk to me about Nephi and Alma and these names, I don't know who they are. I decided I wanted to know. I haven't understood everything I've read, but it feels good. It's like the Bible. I go to my church but there's something about this book...I just can't explain it." The spirit we felt at that moment was amazing! I don't think any of us in that little stariwell wanted to be anywhere else in the world. We explained to him about the Holy Ghost and how that was what he was feeling, the confirming power of that witness that it is true. We then explained about baptism and how after baptism, he can feel the Holy Ghost all the time. He was loving it. We said, "Miguel, it will be hard for you to leave behind your church and what you have been doing, but when you feel that it is right, like you do now, you will want to. Do you believe that Jesus Christ can help you to make those changes and come unto him and be baptized?" To which he replied, "I know He can. Life wasn't easy for Jesus. Why should it be for me? He sufferred for me. The least I can do is follow Him."
Follow-up lesson with Miguel and Darwin on Friday night. We had a member with us who kind of talks a lot and controls the lesson but it was still really good. This member was just talking and talking and during it, Miguel kept looking at me to see if I was confirming what the member was saying. Finally, when I was able to speak, I just bore a short testimony to him about...I don't even remember what. He was staring me right in the eyes and then he said, "Wow, you speak really strongly. I felt something." And I said, "That wasn't me, it was the spirit. I don't even know what I just said." It was just an amazing testimony to me of the Holy Ghost working through us to say what needs to be heard.
I love this mission. It's interesting because at the end of last transfer, I was so ready to leave this area, move on to something else, I felt burned out here. But being left here another transfer, we've really gotten things going here and I have truly grown to feel for these people what I felt in Paterson. We may not be having lots of baptisms, but we have been doing tons of foundational stuff in the branch to help future misisonaries. We finally got our branch mission plan done last week, we had our first Gospel Principles class at church for our investigators, and we are getting all the member to read the Book of Mormon. I just love everybody here and would not mind at all to stay another transfer.
Anyway, that's it for today. I hope these emails don't bore you at all. I guess I'm kind of using them as a journal for me as well since my journal isn't too detailed. :) I love you all and hope things are going well. Happy anniversary to Chris and Megan. Next year, I'll babysit the girls for you so you can go out but for now, Mom can enjoy that job. :) I miss you tons but I love you more!
Hermana Jackson

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