Monday, September 22, 2014

The good, The bad and Rex

This week  . . . was kind rough, but also so so good. Well it started off with me getting the flu (I know mom I know. No need to freak out I am fine now. Me and the mission nurse are like bffs so we figured I just really need to do things to strengthen my immune system because that is the main reason why I keep getting sick). So ya laying in bed all day reading New Eras was not how I planned on spending the first part of the week but hey Sister Culala got some good practice leading out and teaching with members. Then on Wednesday a miracle happened. I finally ran into to people I know. We went to Claim Jumpers with a member and Dan and Jen and their kids were there! They just happened to be in town going to Dinseyland and stuff and just happened to be staying at a hotel in Buena Park so they just happened to go out to eat at Claim Jumper at the same time we did and we just happened to not sit in our normal spot somewhere else in the restaurant but right next to them! It was crazy. One of those coincidences that is such a coincidence that it proves coincidences don't exist. It was so good to see family and get to talk to them. Then the next day we had dinner at the McCay's house. They knew that I had been sick so they made pizza for dinner because they knew it is my favorite food. It was the best. Then the kids came over again (even a few more than last week when we taught them). We taught them about service and how they can help others. Then we taught them how to sing Love One Another and taught them the sign language. They really liked that part. Then on Saturday we had a lesson with our investigator Rex that is seriously one of the highlights of my mission. We had 2 members there who used to be Catholic but converted. We taugh him the gospel of Jesus Christ. I always find it kind of ironic that here we are two 22 year old girls teaching simply the basics of Christ's doctrine to a man in his 50s who as studied religion and theology for years and can read the scriptures in Hebrew and Greek. And yet as we teach the Holy Ghost is there as we simply testify of truth. Really though as we talked about faith an repentance and his ideas and experiences, it was just so good. Then we asked him if he has any questions which he always does. He asked again about the apostasy, also about what happens to all those people that lived in spiritual darkness, what does the sacrament mean in comparison to the holy communion. (the funny thing is, is that he usually already knows the answers to these questions he just wants to hear how we explain it "I like seeing you all get so passionate about things" he told us). Our member shared his conversion story and how much the gospel has blessed his life and his families life which was so powerful. Then when we asked Rex how his book of mormon reading was going he shared this experience with us. He said "When it comes to the Book of Mormon, I know its true. And of course Joseph Smith was a prophet." So I'm thinking "yes! he prayed and got an answer." But then he kept going. He said "I've had some spiritual experinces lately and there is one that I want to share. When I was in Las Vegas waiting at the airport, I was looking out at the mountains and I realized how happy I was. There was just this joy that I have felt from studying the Mormon church that I haven't felt about religion since I was a teenager taking these same lessons from he missionaries. Then I was reading in Alma and found a verse that describes exactly how I feel. (Alma 19:6) "Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the glory of God, which was the marvelous light of his goodness-yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness had been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul." He went on to say "So I know I ask a lot of questions and research things but you don't have to worry, I'm converted. And I have decided to send in my resignation for my priesthood ordination so I can join the church." I had been smiling through this whole thing because it just made me so happy to see how much joy and light the truth has given him. But when he said he wanted to join I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor. This one was all Heavenly Father. It shouldn't be that easy to convert a catholic priest! But really it just all comes down to the spirit and that the message we share is so true. I know it is. If I know anything it is that Christ's church is again on the earth and we are truly blessed each and every day of our lives to be a part of it. Rex asked us to pray for him because he will face a lot of opposition these next few weeks as he resigns from his Catholic seminary, something he has been working towards for the past 7 years. So he can definitely use as many prayers has he can get. There was just such a sweet spirit in that lesson. The sister we had with us said that she felt priveledged to be a part of the lesson and that she felt like she was going to go home and cry after becuase she had been so touched. Sheesh I practically felt the same way. So he can't resign until October and then there might be a few things he has to work through until the end of November. But still he wants to get baptized people! God is so good. Then on Sunday night we went and visited a member that night. We have been visiting members around 8:00 because that is hard time of night to proselyte most of the time. We practice teach lessons on them which is really good for Sister Culala to practice teaching and work on her English. Anyways, we taught Sister Ikihahifo who is from Tonga. She has such a beautiful testimony that as we asked questions about the Restoration you could just tell how much she believes and lives it. When we were talking about Christ she said "I am always humbled and absolutely amazed by Christ's sacrifice. We can't even comprehend what he did for us and I am just so so grateful. My favorite way to think of Christ is to think of the picture where his arms are outstretched. He truly beckons all unto him and wants to wrap us in the arms of his love." It was another good lesson (even though it was a member). Then we didn't have time to eat cake she had made so she was like "I'll just give you some to go." I was just expecting a few slices on a plate, but no. She gives us half the cake, a whole carton of ice cream, 2 bottles of apple juice. Then she throws in some oranges, apples, a rotisserie chicken, salad, and potato salad. Then on our way out the door she tells her son to take a case of water out to our car. I love Polynesians. So getting sick was totally worth all of the tender mercies we had this week. God really does watch over us and bless us. Lately I have been working on praying more to Him throughout the day. In a recent training they committed us to change the way we pray. I think in the past a lot I would think of things throughout the day and say "Oh I need to remember to pray about that tonight." But know I just send up a short prayer right there. Talking to Heavenly Father more makes me feel more connected to him throughout the day and like He is close by when ever I need Him. Have a good week!

-Sister Washburn

No comments:

Post a Comment