Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wow, I honestly feel like it's the Thursday after I wrote you all last

"So, as the title says I honestly feel like I just wrote you all. Time went by even faster this week, and while the numbers say we accomplished a lot it all goes by so fast that I have a hard time remembering everything that's happened. Thankfully there are such things as journals!

So according to my journals, I barely remember any of this happening, we taught a ton on Thursday! There's been some cool experiences of helping with less actives. There's a less active that's around 22 years old that had kind of messed up his life, but recently he's been turning around and because of that he now came to church this Sunday! It was awesome to see him finally make a decision that will turn him onto the path where he could truly return to our Savior. It's cool to think that bringing back a less active is just about like a baptism. Haha, it's funny how before the mission I never even really thought about less actives and now they're one of the things that dominate my thoughts.

There was also another less active family that we had the opportunity to help where the wife has been horribly sick with arthritis, to the point where she's bedridden and can't even lift an arm. Because of that the family has been unable to go to church because they have to stay home and take care of her. It was incredible to feel of the spirit that is in their home. The spirit is definitely manifest when people come together in acts of service. I would also definitely say that angels watch over that house. It was a further testament to me of how very much aware God is of His children. He knows each of us so individually it's incredible...

We also had some interesting experiences this week where the spirit told us fairly strongly to leave some people's houses. We're still not sure of the reason why, but the feelings were unmistakable. It's been cool to learn how to better recognize the promptings of the spirit!

Hm, there were some other cool things, but they're not too cool. I'll just focus on really what I've learned this week. This week I've really been studying revelation, and how it is that I receive revelation. It has definitely been an enlightening experience as I've examined how revelation works, and how I've seen it in my own life. I love the talk by Elder Bednar on revelation! It's so true, and I think that we as members of the church so often fall under the category of receiving revelation without realizing that we are. If we have the spirit, at any moment that we are feeling the spirit, we are also receiving revelation because the Holy Ghost is a revelator. Thus if we are keeping our covenants we will be guided, even if we perhaps don't realize it.

I've also been paying more careful attention to my thoughts and feelings when I feel the spirit particularly strongly and then writing down the impressions I receive, because as Joseph Smith said we cannot receive the Holy Ghost without also receiving revelation.

Something along those lines as well is that in our Zone Conference this week we learned about sanctification and how we too can sanctify ourselves. There's a talk about that and it gives the example of a 40 day "fast". Not a fast of food, but a fast of behavior. What you do is you first fast normally and in an attitude of fasting and prayer you make a list of things that are distractions, or little things that are keeping you from feeling the spirit as strongly as you could, bad thoughts, or just distracting thoughts, etc. Then with that you go to the Lord each morning for 40 days and you promise Him that you won't do anything on that list, and you ask him for help. Then each night you report, and ask for help to do better.

The promise is that by the end of the 40 days if you've been faithful in your prayers you'll be a different person, changed, and that much more sanctified. I'm definitely excited to try it, because it doesn't matter the skills we develop in teaching, what ultimately matters is if we can truly bear testimony with the power of the spirit behind it, because it is the spirit that will communicate with the spirits of our investigators and ignite their testimonies. It was sweet! Hopefully I'll be able to go through with this process of purification!

On a slightly less spiritual note, we also had our zone activity today which was super fun, water fights and such, with a potluck barbecue! It was sweet!

A recent picture

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