I swear I am on week three.....
Okay so I have been in the field for two weeks, starting week three! It feels like eternity! I got a letter from my MTC companion, Sister Randall, and she said she feels like she been out forever as well. Its amazing to me to see how much can be accomplished in such a short amount of time. I truly understand why the Lord asks us to put aside all personal affairs when we come onto our missions. It would be so much harder to have the spirit, to get as much done if we had to worry about other things beside moving the work of the Lord forward. This last week my companions had leadership training in Baton Rouge, so we packed up early tuesday morning and drove to Lafayette where I was on exchanges with the sisters there for four days. I got to be on temporary assignment there with Sister Aka. She's originally from the Ivory Coast and joined the church in 2005 when she moved to utah to live with her dad. She has a strong testimony of the Lord having his hand in our lives. she also speaks spanish so she could understand a little of my portuges. Love that sister. It was good to see how another companionship works, and have an opportunity to teach in a non-trio companionship. I love to teach the message of the Restoration. There is such power in the account of Joseph Smith's first vision. Everytime I share it, I am overwhelmed as the spirit testifies over and again to the truthfulness of this gospel. I met a lot of very spiritual people; stubborn people here. One woman sister Aka and I met told us she didnt need any more searching because she knows that she is right with God, that she is already saved. Oh how my heart aches for those people who are happy with being limited on progression. I feel that is one other way that sets this church apart from others; that its all about progression continuously. Many people think that they just have to have a belief in God and they are saved. But dont we read in James that faith without works is dead? just like the body without the spirit is dead? I want to share an experience I had this past week that made me truly realize the grasp that satan, that evil one has over the children of men.
Sister Aka and her companion had tracked into this fellow a few weeks before and said that he was a mentally delayed and his mother was against him reading the book of mormon. I got to meet T. on wednesday. When we knocked he immediately opened the door to hand us back the Book of Mormon. He said that he hadnt read it and wouldnt read it. I have to admit I was scared of this man, he was a big fella, a good 6'4 200+lbs and clearly wasnt of a stable mind as he started talking to us. But I watched my companion speak with love, and utter strength; she wasnt scared at all. This poor man was completely delusioned by evil influences. He said that all angels are devils, snakes trying to ruin his life and that he was a lost soul. that God never gave him what he wanted, that he prayed to all and anything for help but he didnt get anything; the voices in his head persist. He sees people, that try to tell him to do things. (yeah, as I said unblanaced...) The saddest part is that no matter how powerfully we testified of the love the savior and our heavenly father has for him, he would not listen. It truly was as if he had blinders down that he could see no good in life. He said all he wanted was to die. In my heart I knew that I needed to show this person and whatever thing that was dwelling in his heart that we were messengers of God, and that we would not fall into the darkness that was spreading. I could feel the disspear and depression and fear this man had, but I couldnt let it take hold of me. I dont know all that I said, but I remember feeling so strong and full of light as I pointed at him and told him that God does love him, that those evil things he sees and those terrible feelings he has within him are from the devil, I know it, and I know you know it. There was silence afterwards. he didnt try to argue back like had everyother time. and then he quickly withdrew back into his apartment.
I know that when we are on the Lords' mission, that we can speak with power from on High. I am so grateful for the powers of the endowment that strengthen me, that give me the ablilty to speak the words that I would never know to say with out the Lord.
Satan knows when we are trying to do good. I see him working so hard on our investigators. Especially those who've accepted the invitation to be baptized. Its such a critical time and these people have so many obsticales put in their path. One family that is supposed to get baptized in a few weeks, I really see how the devil is working on them. Just this week Denise has been trying to quit smoking; and friday night a preacher from another sect came by and read Ephsians 1.1-9 to her family, and now they are so apprehensive about everything. I keep praying that the lord will answer their prayers, and that they willl recognize the answers when they come. Isnt it interesting that The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints is one that actually encourages you to question your beliefs? Who are we told to get our answers from? Not from man, but from God. Deus sabe. Deus sabe todas coisas.
Im hanging in there! Excited to push forward in the work and not let kristin get in the way of Sister Smith's abilites to become!
Love e boa sorte,
ps. read Elder Neil L Anderson's talk from the December Ensign! (so maybe I gave a talk on sunday and have deicided to conintue studying the Holy Ghost....because he is the way that we receive the answers, thats why!!!)