The mission puts on a musical fireside here every six months and I
happened to come just in time for it! It was the first lesson in
preach my gospel taught through music, from the ministry of the Savior
to the First Vision and the invitation to be baptized. I sang in the
choir for the opening and closing songs and Sister Ferguson sang a
solo with two elders from our district playing the guitar to "Asombro
me da" or I Stand All Amazed, but in Spanish. She's amazing, the whole
time I'm telling the sisters around me "guys, that's my compañera, can
you believe it?" But as I was sitting up there I was looking for people from the ward
and other people we had invited and I was so happy to see people and
hoped they could feel the spirit of love that I was feeling from our
Heavenly Father. I was thinking that I have been witness and part of
some things that could not have been possible on my own. I haven't
changed all that much, but because of the love and power of the Savior
and the importance of this great work, the Lord has worked miracles
despite my imperfections. The things I have done are changing me, but
are not a result of a changed me. I was reading in second nephi is
morning and Lehi is talking to his sons, specifically Laman and Lemuel
about how they they rebelled against Nephi for all the things he has
tried to teach them. Lehi says, "that which he call anger was the
truth, according to that which is in God... But behold, it was not he,
but it was the spirit of the Lord which was in him."
Hermana Ferguson and I see a lot of miracles here, and they are
miraculous because even though these are the people that we work
really hard to help, it isn't anything that we've done that causes
these things to happen.
Por ejemplo: we've been working really hard to find the people who
have been prepared for us to teach because we know they are out there
somewhere, but our finding efforts haven't led us to those people for
us to teach-- yet. But we know we have been following the spirit as we
search. One day we felt like we should knock some doors in this one
apartment complex. Hermana ferguson wasn't really sure why because
there are just a bunch of white people there whenever she has gone (we
are trying to find people to teach in Spanish... It's really
difficult). So anyway we are knocking doors and finding all of these
white members who we always ask if there's any service we can do for
them and if they have any Hispanic neighbors who might be interested
in hearing our message. This one lady pointed us to an apartment. We
thanked her and went over. And guess who answered the door. Another
white member. BUT something seemed a little different. We talked to
her a little bit and found out that even though she and her husband
were raised in the church neither of them were active at all. BUT she
said that they had been thinking about going back to church and
figuring out for themselves if it was true. They had tried to attend a
few Sunday's ago but didn't know what time or anything like that. We
shared the video "Because of Him" and promised her that if she really
sought to find out if the church is true she would get an answer yes
or no. We asked her if she would like the elders to come and teach her
and she said yes! Heavenly Father does not forget any of His children,
and as soon as they are ready or exercise just a small piece of faith
to find Him, He prepares a way for them to come closer to Him. So now
we are just waiting for Him to lead us to someone who we can teach,
cause we know the field is white and that we are in His hands doing
One day, also during finding, I felt impressed that we should go to
the Temple grounds. It seemed really odd, but Hermana Ferguson said
that she had heard of missionaries finding people there looking for
the truth. So we were SO excited, the perfect Hispanic family was just
going to be sitting there in front of the temple. I could just see it
in my head. And then we get there, and... There's a wedding couple
taking pictures, there's a little girl taking pictures before her baptism or something, and a bunch of other people who are just obviously members. No hispanics :( But there is a peace at the Temple, even on the grounds, that I loved to feel. Just that the message we are sharing, the message of Jesus Christ and His Love and Atonement, transcends every little thing that might go wrong, or even the things that go right. It is eternal and it is the best news we could ever know.
We've been talking a lot with one of our investigators this week about Joseph Smith. I don't think I've ever born my testimony of Joseph Smith with such a firm knowledge before. We also testified that this is not a knowledge that we developed on our own, but a gift from God that she can receive too. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we can receive knowledge of divine truth. It is so cool to see how the Holy Ghost is teaching "O", things that we might have taught or testified of, but now she knows these things outside of anything we have said. She is changing and becoming more "light" and that is the influence the spirit and seeking a knowledge of the truth working in her.
Last night Hermana Ferguson and I had an interesting experience. Well yesterday during comp study we were talking about that change, the light we see in "O"and how light is truth, eternal truth, and of course I kind of nerded out a little about the physics of light (so interesting...) and then we had this crazy lesson with one of the Elder's investigators (long story) about the Plan of Salvation and she asked about the existence of a hell. We explained the three degrees of glory and how we want to live in our Father's presence again someday and not living there will be sad, but there isn't a "hell" with fire and brimstone, but then the member brought up Outer Darkness, and we started talking about the spiritual Darkness and what that means.
THEN when we got home that night the light in our bedroom wasn't working. (Our apartment is pretty sketchy...like really) and so we changed the light bulb. AND THEN THE BRAND NEW LIGHT BULB WENT OUT. We were really freaked out and more than a little tired so everything was super weird. We put another lightbulb in, and it worked, but we were both really on edge and wouldn't go into the bedroom by ourselves. Then I decided that we should listen to a conference talk – and the first talk Hermana Ferguson clicked was "Filling our Homes with Light and Truth" . Wow. I think at that time it was so easy to let my imagination go towards a lot of scary things. But then, listening to the conference talk I was reminded that yes, although it's totally possible in this fallen world for bad and scary things to happen, but how much more likely is it for an angel of light to appear than an angel of darkness for those who are living close to Heavenly Father. That conference talk was just like having an angel there with us haha.
(I wrote the first half of this on my iPad, and I don't know why it is formatted weird. Sorry!)
Remember, the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Every page has something for you to learn. Read it, and then don't forget to "inquire of the Lord" about EVERYTHING you read. Before, during, and after. Stay in contact with your Father in Heaven and He will send the Holy Ghost to be your teacher.
I love you all! Pray for missionary experiences. They are the best. And using the "Because He Lives" video is a super easy way. Or just share your favorite verse in the Book of Mormon. But most importantly, follow the Holy Ghost every time, even when you're not sure if it's the Holy Ghost, because every good thing is of God and you won't be led astray if you are always listening.
Love, otra vez,
Hermana Emily Ogden
I figured out the whole Spanish thing.
pps. i joke i joke, ha, funny.
but really it is coming :) The secret is to listen with love and also to follow the Holy Ghost. The promises in D&C 100 are real.
pppps. really. I love you guys!
Bottom photo--The Logan Temple.