Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Salt Lake City East Mission

This was a story shared in a talk given at the YSA conference this past Saturday
Teacher :Whats brown, fluffy, has a big tail, and stores nuts in the winter?
Primary kid: I know the answers Jesus! But it sounds an awful lot like a squirrel!
(What did I take away from that?)
1. Don't complicate things
2. He is the answer

Remember that story last week of the member who was inspired to pick up the guy on the side of the road who use to be his home teaching companion years ago?  We had a lesson with him...So a really REALLY long story made kind of shorter...
We got to know him a little bit better, and see what it was that made him decided that there is no Christ, and ultimately no God.
He served a mission, and I quote, "little by little", he continued to doubt his faith and the experiences he had on his mission, and ended up throwing them all in a bag labeled "coincidences". 
He finally denoted that Mormonism was just a "culture" when out of the 5 times that he had prayed in a whole of 2 years- he didnt get the answer he wanted.  He didnt get a voice whispering in his ear.  He didn't get his own sign.
While my companion and I are listening, as he ever so gently ripped the beliefs of the church up and down, my thoughts were turned to the beginning of the Book of Mormon.  When Laman and Lemuel, after having just been visited by an angel disregard the whole event all together. 
I asked the guy "So out of two years, you prayed 5 times, and when you didnt get an actual "sign" you decided there was no God?"...He said, "Yes."  To which I replied "Why would God give you your own personal sign?  All these wonderful experiences you had on your mission, times where the Lord has helped you, and you threw them all by the way side. Who's to say you wont do the same again?" What I wanted to say was something along the lines of--Your heart is so hard right now that if an angel came and whacked you up side the head with a trumpet you still wouldn't get with the program!....but i didnt....I dont think that this guy was a Laman or Lemuel.  I genuinely believe that after listening to him he is just conflicted.  From the experinces that he told us of specific times that God clearly had a hand in his life- It sounds like he was a spiritual powerhouse!  
So why wouldn't Satan work as hard as he could to get him to doubt himself?  Even if it was little by little!!?
Gods timing is not ours, His ways wont always be the way we want it to be.  Satan is real, and he is always seeking to make us unhappy. 
I'm still trying to figure out how to help this guy.  What does God want us to do for him?  I know ultimately we are the ones that bring it unto their heart, but they have to let it in.

There were two baptism scheduled for Saturday morning, the Zone Leaders at 9 and then Sister Curtis and I at 10. So we texted the elders saying DONT drain the font.  We get to the institute building an hour before the baptism...and its drained. 
The font takes a total of 2 hours to fill!  So, where there is a Sister, there is a way ;)  We went to the kitchen across the the way and started filling literally anything that could hold water.  Even though I was sweating from lifting, filling, and carrying, it was the best!  I was so happy filling up pitchers of water, trash cans, bowls, and coolers because it was all for the salvation of one of Gods beloved children!  We had the font running right up until Mohsen walked into the water!

Due to some mis-communication with the mission office, the mission President, his wife, and all his counselors got an email saying that there was a special request to come to this baptism.  Ooops! lol It was great to be able to have them all there to support our friend from Iran who was getting baptized. He has been through so much, and has been an inspiration to many.  He told us of a dream he had, while he was still in Iran, and before he knew about Christ.  He was drowning, and a man grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the water.  The day after his baptism he had another dream, an angel was welcoming him to a beautiful garden.  I love stories like these!

We walked to the conference center for regional stake conference, while i was walking in i saw this very tall Polynesian.  As I looked closer I realized it was my cousin Bubba.  Immediately I yelled "BUBBA! BUBBA!" I ran over leaving my companion and jumped giving him a big hug.  At the time my companion was on the phone talking, and when I ran over and hugged my cousin I could hear her freaking out saying "I dont know whats going on but my companion is hugging some guy!" LOL After I could finally talk from being so excited I explained that the guy I was hugging was actually my cousin who I hadn't seen in a long time because he was serving in the Army before I entered the mission field...
It was a beautiful Sunday, hearing from two of the 12 apostles, and getting to see some family.

Another great week, another layer of foundation to add to my testimony.  Thats something that Ive found has to be constant.  Seeking the spirit, seeking in the scriptures, seeking to be closer to God. Without that as a constant, without it as our focus, we are giving satan an in. 
I love serving the Lord, and hearing how my little sister is preparing herself through daily scripture study for when she decides to put the tag on.  I love my family and I love this work.  Make it a good one guys :)

Keep it real, Keep it righteous.
Sister Efnor