We had a lesson with our recent convert Mohsen, the one from Iran.
So we go in and sit down, and immediately Mohsen starts going through this long list of problems, and things that are going wrong in his life. He has no money, he cant work because of injuries, etc. He didn't understand why after God helps him through one issue, and then God presents him with another. We tried reading him scriptures about overcoming trial and those just weren't cutting it for Mohsen. He then turns to me and says "If you have kids, would you give them problems that hurt them?"
So then i broke it down for him, old school. I asked him "When I have kids, would it do them any good if i kept them from the world and locked them inside the house all day?" He shook his head no. I said, "I will love them, and i would want them to be safe, but i cant keep them from experiencing life. They wont grow, they wont learn. I don't give them problems, that's just how life is. There's no way around that one. I can give them advice, and help them but I cant take away all their problems. Just because you have problems doesn't mean God loves you any less Mohsen." I think then it really clicked for him. There is quite a language barrier, especially when we are teaching about the gospel, but i really think he was able to understand once we put it into a literal sense of a father son relationship.
I love it when I get to teach like that, just plain and simple. I know the gospel is simple, but with all these college students It makes me crazy sometimes. I don't like labeling a group of people, because I know everyone is different, but all these intellectual conversations drive me insane sometimes. I just want to be like "Look, God loves you, so he made a way for the His true church to be on the earth right now, HOP IN THE FONT!", but as i explained to Mohsen, life aint always a peach...
That night we had a lesson with Frederico from Brazil! Some members in the ward who served in Brazil had us all over for a Brazilian BBQ and invited Frederico! After dinner we asked if we could share a message. As it turns out, Frederico hardly speaks English... So the members started teaching in Portuguese. What started as a spiritual thought turned into the first discussion about the restoration. I only know this because I could tell when they were talking about the first vision, when Joseph Smith saw God and His son Jesus Christ. As I was sitting there, just nodding my head and smiling because... Well, i don't speak Portuguese lol I could feel the spirit, and I could tell when Frederico could feel the spirit. Even while in another language, the spirit still bore testimony to me of what Joseph Smith saw in the grove when he was only 14. THE SPIRIT TESTIFIES...
We had a baptism, it was so great! There were so many people that came to support Kendra that we had to have the talks in the Chapel and then everyone had to move and squish into the room for when she got baptized.
It was a wonderful baptism, as are all of them, Kendra looked absolutely beautiful and radiant.
We had the blessing of speaking in one of the wards, and in another ward we had a member text us telling us that we need to find him because he had a non member friend coming to sacrament and was going to give her a tour of the institute building. What?! How awesome is that! He just invited her to come and see what our church service was like, what a stud. We were able to teach her a little bit about what we believe and she seemed really interested. I just loved that this young man (who served in AZ holla!) just invited his friend to church.
We were richly blessed this week that is for sure!
In this week specifically, i have gained a strong testimony of prayer. In the talk by Elder Holland "Lord, I believe" (if you haven't read it, DO IT NOW!) Elder Holland talks about holding on to the faith that we do have. Starting with our doubts is like "stuffing a turkey through the beak", it wont end well. The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know. I'd like to end with what Holland ended his talk "I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."-- I am so grateful to be serving, I know this is where the Lord wants me.
Love you awful.
These next two pictures are for my Spencer- He understands!