9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
We are working with one couple who are very spiritual people, they love the Book of Mormon, and enjoy us coming over, but want to be CIEN POR CIENTOS SEGURO before they pray about it or come to church, let alone being baptized. Let me tell you, that is the worst. Because the only way they are going to know even 50 percent sure that these things are true is by praying and going to church. I felt pretty much like there wasn't anything else we could do for them. We've taught them clearly and powerfully the doctrine, we've had spiritual experiences with them in reading the Book of Mormon, everything is kind of in their hands and according to their agency now. But in our studies this week Sister Anderson and I have really felt like Heavenly Father wants us to keep working with them and so I've been thinking a lot about what their needs are and how I can help them take the next step.
Sister Anderson and I are so happy to be companions. We are so happy with our area. We literally feel like we could take on anything and do everything. An analogy:
We are runners and we are in a hurdles race. The hurdles are bolted to the floor. But we are so pumped and so excited that we run at them and we absolutely know that we're going to take them down. And as we approach the hurdle we duck our heads down and pick up speed and give absolutely all of our strength to our run and...SMACK. We hit the hurdle and we are laying on the ground just kind of confused as to why the hurdle didn't fall over and how we ended up on the ground looking at the sky.
I promise this goes with Saul and Maria's story. And the scripture at the beginning. Bear with me.
So we stood up and got our bearings a little bit and reflected, why the hurdle didn't fall over and why our efforts weren't enough. And we came to the conclusion that our efforts were great, that we are doing good things, but maybe we aren't getting exactly what it is that our Heavenly Father wants us to do. So we took a step back. And we found Repentance.
I've been talking a LOT about being born again. The scriptures talk about it a lot. But it just kind of says that we are supposed to be born again, raised from the carnal to celestial people. BUT HOW. It begins with faith.
I remember being in the CCM and being so excited to feel the spirit all the time. And I did, I loved it. But I remember being frustrated sometimes that things weren't coming easily to me, that it was hard and I wondered why Heavenly Father wasn't there with me to make things easier. I read Alma 32:21 about how faith is not a perfect knowledge, and I thought, wow I don't have a perfect knowledge that God is aware of me and helping me in this time. But I sure can have hope that I'm where I'm supposed to be and that He's opening the doors that need to be opened. We HAVE to have faith in Christ if we are going to get anywhere. Hope that Christ knows what's best for us and faith to follow His council and His directions.
Sometimes we don't know where to go or what to do to change, to be born again. But we can trust that as we come to the Savior, He can lovingly and caringly point out to us that the point of a hurdles race is to jump OVER the hurdles, and then He can teach us how. So with Saul and Maria we decided to set up a Family Home Evening with another family – recent converts who had some of the same trials that Saul and Maria are having now. And we got there all ready to show the video The Restoration and we opened the DVD and it wasn't in the case! So we ran back to the car...and we could not find a single copy of that DVD. So we are thinking and thinking and we have no idea what to do instead. But like the Perfect Father that He is, Heavenly Father prompted us to show them Finding Faith in Christ. Completely different direction than what we were thinking Saul and Maria needed, but it was completely right.
16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;
18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.
The kid with the few loaves of bread and fishes probably went up to the apostles and was like, "I have food! I'll give everything so that these people can eat and I can keep listening to the Savior! But....I don't have that much. I don't even really know if these people like bread or fish, but I want to give everything!" And so he gave everything. Which was completely not enough. Not even close. But in the hands of the Savior everything changed. And it became exactly what the multitude needed.
This morning we went and participated in Special Education Seminary. Wow it was a beautiful experience. We walked in and this one guy came up to us and said, "You can sit with me so we can get to know each other and be friends." He pulled out some chairs and had us sit down and then brought a chair over for himself to sit with us. We were talking about how God is our Father. He just had a clear understanding of who God is and that He loves us so much. This kid loved us so completely and so immediatly. I think so many times we complicate everything about this life. We really really do. What it comes down to is our devotion to the Savior and our willingness to follow Him by becoming like Him.
The Savior asks for EVERYTHING WE HAVE. Especially our disbelief. Because it is when we have faith that He can come in and change us and make our offering exactly what God needs from us.
This week we had dinner with a couple from Argentina. (Argentinian accents are great BTW) and they are talking really fast in this crazy accent about the political status of South America. And they are very animated about it. Us, trying to gear the conversation back to the gospel, brought up their mission as Family History consultants. Oh. My.
Hermana "Our mission was wonderful!"
Hermano "It was terrible!!"
Us "Why was it terrible?"
Hermana "Well, you just can't force people to do family history"
Hermano "What do you mean? Of COURSE you can! It says it right there in the scriptures! If you don't do family history you will burn.😲😲😈 It's simple!"
I'm sorry for a sub-par letter this week. Everything we are doing is kind of still in progress so I don't have too many stories from this week.
I love you all!