November 24, 2012

Cool Week, November 3, 2012

Family!  How are you all?  Crazy stuff happening in New York!  Most Chileans we talk to ask us where we´re from, and when I say Chicago, they ask if that´s by New York and if any of my friends or family has been affected by the big storm over there.  We walked into lunch and they turned the TV off, but the few seconds I did see of the news was some pretty scary footage of the flooding.  All those people affected by the hurricane are definitely in my prayers.

All is well here!  We found this less active sister, Edith, knocking doors by some active members.  At first she didn´t really want to talk, but after a few seconds we really got talking and found out she was a member!  She let us in to her patio and we shared about the Book of Mormon.  We reminded her of the story, how it came about, who it testifies of, what it teaches, etc.  We showed her the "Christ comes to the Americas" picture in the Book of Mormon: We shared a little about that, and I pointed out that I really liked how Christ had his arms out and open, just waiting to accept the people that would come to Him if they chose to. Asking her to think of what we need to do to come closer to Christ, she started really thinking.  Immediately she said go to church, read the scriptures, be a good person, etc, and we added prayer to the list.  Then she realized she hadn´t prayed in a long time, and that God has been really good to her.  She starting naming some of the blessings she had received from God, and then she started bawling.  She felt the spirit tell her that she needed to start doing those things she had mentioned to come closer to Christ, because God loved her and wanted to bless her even more.  She came to that realization herself.  "Dios siempre ha sido bueno conmigo.  Pero ahora necesito llegar a él.  Necesito esforzarme y servirle a él por todas las bendiciones que me ha dado."  She committed to come to church this Sunday without us even having a chance to invite her.  It was really cool to see her be an agent, acting for herself.  By just asking simple questions without a specific answer we were looking for, she was able to act in the learning process, and allow the spirit to teach her the next step in her life.  It was amazing.

She´s renting a room to a guy, Luis, and we shared with him while Edith was showing some other rooms to potential renters.  Luis´s ex-wife and daughter are active members (He told us his wife had a card that let her go to the big church on Pedro de Valdivia (Temple) whenever she wants, and she goes).  We shared with him, and found out he´s Catholic, but in his own way (which we hear a lot of, even though when it´s in their own way, it ceases to be truly catholic).  He explained some of his ideas, and we shared some of ours... And then he got a little aggressive and started naming the things he didn´t like about our church and what we teach and testify of.  He even stood up to emphasize his points.  We basically went through the lesson of the Restoration (beginning with God, Families, and prophets) to help answer his questions. We finally got to the Book of Mormon as the proof of what we teach is true.  We didn´t try to force it on him.  We simply said this is the physical evidence that 1) Jesus is the Christ, which he already believed, 2) that God always calls prophets, and that 3) there is a prophet today, with all the authority of God necessary to help God´s children gain salvation.  We bore fervent testimony and shared how we came to know of it´s truthfulness, and then Luis asked the money question: "How did you really know it was true?"  We mentioned the spirit, and he immediately responded "But how can you know it´s the spirit?  What does the spirit feel like?"  We mentioned Galatas 5:22-23 (Galatians in English?), and he ran to get his own Bible.  He´d already had the verses marked:  "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  We explained that the spirit always testifies of truth.  For example, when we talk about Christ as our Savior and that he died for us, we can feel the spirit, and feel the fruits of the spirit.  When we talk and testify of God´s love, or of the need to keep the commandments and to be a good person, we can feel the spirit.  The spirit never testifies of a lie.  That´s why we need to ask specific questions in prayer to know of something´s truthfulness-- For example, if I ask God if the Book of Mormon is true, and I feel the fruits of the spirit, there is no mistaking what the spirit is testifying of.  It was cool to see the transformation during the conversation from being on the defensive to really wanting to know for himself by the spirit what he needed to do.  It went from “Everyone can be saved if they´re not a bad person, and anyone can be a prophet, not just the leader of the Mormons” to “I would really like to read the Book of Mormon, ask God, and feel the fruits of the Spirit give me my own answer.”  That´s the idea.  Milagros pasan.

We´re not here to convince people.  We´re not here to talk people in to being baptized and joining our church.  I am here as a representative and disciple of Jesus Christ to invite people to come unto Him, by helping them know His will for them.  The only way they can truly know His will and do it is if the spirit of the Lord tells them and testifies to them.  I am just an instrument that prepares a person to seek and receive learning by faith, that is, ask, seek, knock, and act, so they can receive by the spirit, find by the spirit, have the mysteries of God opened unto them by the spirit, and know by the spirit.  I love it when people let that happen in their lives.  I love it when they really want to know the truth, and are willing to do what God asks them.  I love it when they actually take the time and take the action to pray and ask God a specific question so that they can receive a specific answer.  I need to do that even more in my life, as I´m sure we all do to some degree.  Let´s become a little more humble, submit a little more to God´s will, and not only what we, as natural men and women, want to do.  The will of God is always truth, and the truth shall make us free.  Let us "counsel with the Lord in all [our] doings, and he will direct [us] for good" (Alma 37:37).

I love you, family, and I hope everything is going well!


Elder Cole Moffat