Monday, April 16, 2012

time flying by

This week was pretty good!  We had an investigator,[L], accept a baptismal date.  She doesn't have a lot of background knowledge about the gospel or scriptures, so we'll have to move really slowly with her, but she has real intent and understands the importance of baptism.  She's very humble and very sincere, and she's always willing to listen and learn.  She has a baptismal date for May 12, so hopefully everything goes well!  This week has brought a lot of interesting experiences with teaching. There's a part-member family that we've started teaching recently and we saw them yesterday.  Their daughter was baptized when she was 8 years old, but she hasn't been to church since because her family are not members and they didn't make it a priority to help her stay in the church.  They're really complacent and have been "waiting" for like 10 years to receive a sign that God wants them to change.  I think I've mentioned them before... anyway, as we were teaching yesterday the beginning of the lesson was kind of...bleh.  The Spirit just wasn't there and they weren't listening.  There were so many distractions and they didn't seem to care we were there.  But it's amazing how powerful testimony can be in bringing the Spirit.  I asked our member to bear her testimony about the blessings of prayer.  You could feel the Spirit start to come in, and people started paying attention.  We read some scriptures about prayer and repentance, and then we invited the family to begin coming back to church again.  By the end of the lesson, the Spirit was definitely present and you could tell something had changed.  It made me think about how we invite the Spirit into our own lives in general.  We really do have to get rid of the distractions and focus ourselves.  Hearing testimonies, bearing testimony, reading the scriptures, and committing to make changes are all things that allow us to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  And that's so important!  When we're lead by the Spirit and we feel the Holy Ghost in our lives, things are just so. much. better.  We're happier and we have more of a desire to follow the Savior.  I've been doing lots of thinking about maintaining conversion in the church.  So many people become inactive or complacent after they've been baptized, and they end up falling away in so many different aspects as they stop keeping the commandments.  And it's not that they're breaking giant commandments like murder or blasphemy or anything... it's more that they don't build the testimony they begin to gain when they prepare for baptism by reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church. If our testimony isn't constantly growing and becoming deeper and stronger, then we're not really fulfilling our purpose in this life, which is to repent and become like our Heavenly Father.  It's so important to be constantly pushing ourselves!  Our Heavenly Father loves us so much!  I've had so many moments this week where I've just been overpowered by the love that He has for us, and the many ways in which He's so merciful with our mistakes and shortcomings. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love!  God loves us enough to let us make our own decisions, and then He blesses us more than we deserve when we show our love to Him through obedience and sacrifice. 

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