Well I guess the highlight of this upcoming week is C's baptism! It's especially exciting because it is the first time I actually get to baptize someone. Like actually put my arm to the square and use the priesthood. I am way excited because I love C. and I've got to watch as he has changed and progressed, and tomorrow is his big day! I'm a little nervous. I'll probably forget everything that I am supposed to do and say, but that's all good! So yeah, I'm super stoked for his baptism.
This week was a series of serious ups and downs... We've really been working hard to find those elect! To find those families that our Heavenly Father has prepared to hear our voice! And we found a few! We found 5 investigators.... and had great lessons with all of them... but it's just not going to work out with them. One of our investigators is golden though! He just moved back to live with his dad and new step mom and has been coming to church for a few weeks now. He also attends seminary occasionally. He definitely responded to the spirit during the lessons. I know he will make it.
As for the others... it's all up in the air. We went and had a lesson with these two people, and it went well. But the next day we went over and their pastor was over. It was awesome... not. It basically ended up being terrible. It sucks when you waltz into a situation like that, because the people have already yielded over their agency to fear. All was not lost however, my companion and I were able to point out on multiple occasions that the spirit was missing from our meeting. It's so hard because the second you let something that they say anger you, you lose that charity. You lose the spirit. You lose the lesson. Pride takes over...
I'm sure I could be very convincing in a verbal bashing session (pride) - I know enough critical parts of the bible - but that doesn't bring conversion. I secretly wished that the Lord would just let me stand up and smite that pastor down (oops, pride again), but I knew that is not what Christ would have me do. The Lord watched over me, my companion, and the member we brought with us. Even before we walked in the situation, he knew what we'd be facing and prepared us.
Just that morning in our companion study we were going over what we learned in our exchanges with the ZL's the day before. It just so happened that we were discussing what to do in a situation where people try to bash with us, and how it is detrimental to the missionary work that we seek to do. The bottom line is that, if we bash opposing interpretations of scripture vs one another, we are usually failing in a few critical places; letting pride catch our hearts and push us, and forsaking our agency while ceasing to rely upon the spirit to testify of the things that we are speaking. Without the spirit, no one can come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of our Saviors teachings.
We studied about how, if we're not relying upon the spirit, we may be tempted to use scripture to smite back, rather than follow the council in D&C 121:43 &44:
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
Heb. 4: 12:
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course ...
From what we learned from our ZL's, our studies, and this experience, I know that truly the only thing we can do in such a situation is to testify with the spirit and if in doing so, a piece of the word of God comes into one's mind by the spirit then, by all means, share that scripture. If we're able to testify with the spirit in these situations, it means that we're continuing to live as Christ and acting as he would act. Entering into a hostile teaching environment will never be fun, but with the Lord's promises, it's not something I fear.
Josh. 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
ENOUGH OF That Mess.......
General Conference was awesome! I loved it and I only have 2 more to go! Whoot. Haha Uchtdorf's talk in the priesthood session when he talked about his favorite pen, how it always worked and never complained, whether it was writing a note, an essay, or a letter of much renown. I also loved when he said, "Now I'm sure the question that you all have in your heads is, 'What in the world does all of this have to do with flying an airplane?' " I was laughing pretty hard. I am glad that the brothers liked the story about the cow. Stupid Cow. Hahaha.
Oh and one more cool thing. We were talking with C. on Friday about temples, his family, and how they grew up in Indianapolis, and I was like, "Is there a temple there?" and he said "No," so I asked him what the population is there, then I told him to listen in Conference to see if they announce one there... Totally called it!
So this week we're back to pounding the pavement, trying to cross our paths with those of the Lord's elect. We really need to fill our teaching pool up more before it hits -20 degrees and we are left with like 3 hours of daylight. Yeah.... can't say I'm ecstatic about this winter coming on so soon. No snow yet though. Also haven't seen the northern lights yet. I'll keep you posted!
I'll send the memory card soon. I just wanted to make sure that there was some good pictures for you on there! I can't believe Poot's turning 13. DANG. I miss you all!
I love you all! Please pray for me and my companion (Elder L.) by name!
Elder Britton Winterrose