Monday, January 4, 2016

The Wall of Faith

My new year's resolution is to finish my mission by the end of the year.

Haha just kidding. I mean, that'll happen, but let's not think about that. Please.

This week we had lots of experiences regarding the Book of Mormon and how it's the keystone of our religion! Had you heard that before? President Benson will explain it for us:

A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.

… Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.

There it is. So, we had one investigator this week who didn't believe any of what we said. This investigator just turns everything back on us asking for evidence in the Bible. "If you show me where it says that in the Bible I'll believe you!" If I had a nickel for every time someone said that...

We focused on the Book of Mormon. Because what else can we do? Everything just comes down to whether that book is true or not. At the end the investigator said they wouldn't read it, which was pretty disheartening, but we gave it our best shot. If someone isn't willing to read the Book of Mormon or pray about it, there ends their search. I'd like to point out that if you don't actually act on that invitation you can't call yourself and honest seeker of the truth. You HAVE to recognize that in the end, it's a question only God can answer, not Wikipedia, not your neighbor, not even the Book of Mormon or the missionaries. You have to ask. Which reminds me of another Benson quote I like:

Therefore, the only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation.

Our main task is to declare the gospel and do it effectively. We are not obligated to answer every objection. Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand.

It's true! I know the Book of Mormon is true. I wish I could help you feel what I've felt when I've prayed and read. But I simply can't, that's not the way things work. But if you do it, with true intent, I know you'll get an answer. Just do it.

Also, I think every missionary has had the experience of a less active or investigator showing up out of nowhere and being a total miracle. I swear I've seen that happen so many times I'm not even surprised anymore.

My companion and I have been working hard, but we haven't been able to find many people to teach, nor had many people coming to church, and have been desperately looking for a way to reach the goals we've set this month.

We've been diligent, we've been obedient, so I was not at all surprised when a less active we didn't even know showed up out of nowhere this Sunday and stayed all three hours. And we'll start visiting him, soon!

Maybe that's the most valuable thing I learned from my previous sector. I had many, many hard weeks where nothing, absolutely nothing happened. But at the end, we were blessed with a family that progressed like no other family has, and many less-actives who were ready to come back.

Miracles happen! Keep working in faith. Faith leads to hope, and you can hope and know that good things will come. Have a good 2016, then!

AH and I forgot to mention I have a new companion! Yes, I was with Elder Flores for only 3 weeks. My new companion is Elder Vargas. I'll try to have pics for next week. The computers here had given my card a virus...

One thing they do here on new year's is the following: men dress up like women, throw a rope across the street and don't let cars pass until they pay them. So, our neighbors definitely did it. Yes, those are males.
And asking for money.

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