I called this lady at just the right time. She said, "I knew I was going to get a phone call from a missionary today. I have been meeting with the missionaries and one of them asked me to abandon my Jewish family and heritage to join the 'family' of the Church. I didn't take that so well and I was ready to call the Elders and tell them to never to come back. But then you called and you explained that I can take it slow. You helped me realize that I should not get baptized just because I love the Elders or the members, but because I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true." I had just read the following scripture in my studies and shared with her:
2 Ne. 31:14 "But behold my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me saying: After ye have repented of your sins and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me."And I explained that she needed a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and her personal Savior. She was raised never believing in Christ. She said she has one foot in the door and one foot out. I told her she needs to pray and decide what path to take and then jump in with both feet. I said, "You know Christ is real." "I do." She has a testimony but is afraid to act on it. It will take her some time, but eventually she will decide, and make the right choice. Her son just recently died from colon cancer. She felt like her son was a saint and very unique. I felt like he was there with us cheering her on. "Do you feel him here?" I asked. "Yes, I do." "Then this is a good thing and the way you should be going. He wants it for you. He has accepted the Jesus Christ." "Yes. Thank you. If we were in a crowd of people, I would be able to pick you out, I feel that close to you right now." she said. It was a powerful experience.
I KNOW that God lives and that he loves us unconditionally. He never gets angry, frustrated or confused with our choices. Perhaps disappointed or sad, but never mad. He loves us so much. I have been pondering this week WHY God loves us. I still am not sure. The only conclusion I have come to is that it is because He created us. We are His. We are a creation that brings Him joy. His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Us. His children.
One of my favorite quotes is from a really good friend of mine from when he was on his mission. He said:
"He [God] has promised us all He has, as we give Him all we have to give. That exchange is so imbalanced in our favor that there is no effort too great, no hours too long that we can give in serving Him, His Son and His Children."Serving our Heavenly Father and representing His Son as a baptized member of Christ's church holds a sacred responsibility. We need to treat every moment and person with respect and honor and holiness. I must give all I have to the Lord and I enjoy doing it. We all must strive to be that way.
Also this week, we have started having teaching appointments! With fake investigators. Our lovely Senior Missionaries are acting as an Investigator and we teach them. It is so wonderful and powerful. Each time I think I get a grasp on a principle, I realize how much I don't know and don't understand. There is so much to learn and so little time. Teaching is one of the best things to do. The Spirit is the teacher, we as missionaries and members of this church are the guides.
We are singing this powerful song in church this Sunday. I recited the lyrics in my head as I sat in the Celestial room of the Nauvoo Temple.
"Heaven's light flows through the windows warming even walls of stone. In the refuge of the Temple, I find strength beyond my own. Filled with purpose, filled with power, granted gifts to lift the world. In God's house and in His presence, I find strength beyond my own. I can feel the power of Heaven as I stand on holy ground. And the Spirit whispers what I long to learn. Eyes are touched with understanding, I can see beyond this world. It's the place I reach for heaven and it reaches in return."
Remember those lyrics as you sit in the Celestial room. :)
The Nauvoo Temple
A man and his wife came to do the Temple to do Sealings today for some family names. The Spirit was so strong in there! The husband had tears streaming down his face the whole time because he KNEW what this meant to his great grandfather. He could hardly contain himself. It was very touching. I won't ever forget that.