“Yo sé que Jesucristo es la corbata de la iglesia…”
I have had some memorable experiences this past week. We all hear about missionaries attempting to learn another language so that they can share the gospel and we always laugh when they make the mistake of mixing up words. Well, let me share a few. My compa gave a talk in sacrament meeting a couple Sundays ago and as he was bearing his testimony he said: “Yo sé que Jesucristo es la corbata de la iglesia y através Jesucristo podemos ser salvados del nuestros pescados.” In English: “I know that Jesus Christ is the necktie of the church and through him we can be saved from our fishes.” In Spanish the word for head is cabeza and necktie is corbata, and sins is pecados and fishes are pescados. I honestly wonder how the branch presidency doesn’t burst out laughing whenever we make mistakes like this. Unfortunately for my compa he made an even more hilarious and fairly awkward situation with one of our mock investigators. We’ve been struggling with this investigator for about a week now because she just won’t pray with us. We decided to go in and teach about faith and try to find out why she wouldn’t pray. At the beginning of the lesson she shared with us an experience she had had earlier in the week. She prayed and then read the Book of Mormon and while she was reading she said that she felt a lot of peace and happiness and she now knows that what we’ve been teaching her is true. My compa asked her why she didn’t want to pray with us. She replied that she is a bad person and we are just closer to God than she is. I told her that we’re not perfect. I explained that we also have problems and we even get frustrated with each other almost daily. I told her of a time in my life where I felt I was very far from God and I testified that the only way I got closer and became a missionary was through prayer. My compa then wanted to share with her Ether 12:6:
“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”
This scripture is excellent and it definitely applied to our investigator. However, that’s not the scripture he had her read. Instead, he gave her Ether 11:6:
“And there was great calamity in all the land, for they had testified that a great curse should come upon the land, and also upon the people, and that there should be a great destruction among them, such an one as never had been upon the face of the earth, and there bones should become as heaps of earth upon the face of the land except they should repent of their wickedness.”
Now that definitely changed the tone of the lesson. I tried to make it better by telling her that we can all repent and become closer to God and that was why prayer is so important. But I’m pretty sure bones becoming heaps of earth was probably the only thing on her mind. Luckily, I got him to give her Ether 12:6 instead and she finally understood what we actually meant to teach her.
Our other investigator has been having a really tough time. His wife is an inactive member of the church and she told him he needs to learn more about God. We taught him and he told us about his struggles with alcohol and cigarettes. We taught him about the nature of the Godhead and left him with some scriptures. We resolved that we should teach him the Word of Wisdom. As we met with him the second time we learned that his life fell apart. His wife left him and took his kids because he wasn’t changing fast enough. We shared our love for him and that as long as he stay close to God and followed the teachings of Christ his life would be blessed. We met with him a third time and I shared experiences that happened in my life that related to his situation. I told him that I only made it through that part of my life by reading 2 Nefi chapter 4. I told him that this chapter speaks of the pain and agony of Nefi who is struggling with his sins. Most importantly, it states that we must put our trust in God and if we do so, he will raise us up and strengthen us. I find that I am constantly following the Holy Ghost to help me connect to those I am teaching.
The Spirit really is an awe-inspiring gift from our Father in Heaven. First of all, that thought alone is enough to leave me stunned. The most Divine, Perfect, Omnipotent, and Omniscient being in the universe, created us. He didn’t create us as solely man or humans. He didn’t leave us to just be animals or simply beings. God the Eternal Father created us in His image as His children. We are all sons and daughters of God. Ponder that for a minute. We are literally all children of the King and Ruler of the Universe. The One who created heaven and earth and all things that are in them. We are Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens, destined for greatness. But what I have found incredible this week is that the Creator of my soul has given to me the Gift of His Holy Spirit.
” For me, the Spirit works just as the Sun. When it is daytime, the Sun doesn’t just flash upon the Earth, as a light bulb might do in a dark room. Rather, the Sun gradually and incrementally adds light to the world. After some hours, the world is full of light, but the change was hardly noticeable.”
I’ve always wondered how one being of spirit can dwell and have such an amazing influence on everyone in the world. We watch a video series on youtube in one of my classes by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I can’t recall what the video series was called but it was to do with light. Anyhow, to me, the Holy Ghost can be compared to the Sun. The Sun shines light on every part and on every people throughout the world. Of course, at nighttime the Sun doesn’t shine and many of us still receive direction from the Spirit after it has descended. But in that case I’ll just reason that the Sun reflects light off of the Moon so in this analogy that’s how direction still occurs. During the day, the Sun shines upon us. We all have the opportunity of stepping into its radiance and feel its warmth. The Sun never turns away from us, but we can choose to remove ourselves from its presence. This light is available to all and it does not shine solely on one person or one people. In my life, I can’t think of a time where the influence of the Holy Ghost has hit me with immense power as it has done to others. I have thought for quite some time that either I don’t know how to feel the influence of the spirit or I have hidden myself too far from feeling its radiance. I know now that I am simply wrong in both instances. For me, the Spirit works just as the Sun. When it is daytime, the Sun doesn’t just flash upon the Earth, as a light bulb might do in a dark room. Rather, the Sun gradually and incrementally adds light to the world. After some hours, the world is full of light, but the change was hardly noticeable.
This week I realized that this is what has happened in my life. I had the opportunity of blessing two sister missionaries in my district. The first sister requested a blessing of healing because she was feeling sick. The second sister asked for a blessing of comfort because she was dealing with difficulties from earlier in her life. I am going to be honest. I’ve been skeptical of blessings. I can’t tell if what I said in those blessings were my words or if they were actually from my Father in Heaven. Again, I was wrong. Later at a devotional, the second sister approached me and thanked me for the blessing. She then told me that she had written down the things which were said in the blessing. The sister explained to me she had compared what she wrote down to her Patriarchal Blessing. The words which had been spoken in the blessing she recently received were remarkably close, if not verbatim, of the words from that other blessing. My testimony of priesthood blessings was forever increased by this experience. When a worthy priesthood holder gives a blessing in the name of Jesus Christ and by the proper authority, so long as he follows the Spirit, the words which are spoken will be from God. I cannot and I refuse to deny that. Although I thought previously that I had been hiding myself from the influence of the Spirit, I did not realize that I was directly under its brightness and influence. I could not have given such a blessing if this was not the case.
“As missionaries, we are those servants. We are out here toiling in the vineyard with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ by our sides. “
I am grateful and I thank my Heavenly Father daily for this astounding opportunity to learn, grow, and realize who am I and why I am on His errand. In a devotional on Sunday we had Elder Johnson of the First Quorum of the Seventy speak to us. He told us the parable of the vineyard where the Master of the vineyard wants to destroy all of the trees because they have produced no good fruit and are good only for burning. The Servant to the Master pleads for one last effort to save the vineyard. The Master commands Him to call servants so that “they might work with Us in the vineyard.” As missionaries, we are those servants. We are out here toiling in the vineyard with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ by our sides. Christ has not called us on our own missions, He had invited us to serve alongside Him in His mission. I will serve faithfully and put forth every effort.
Sweet is the Work,
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