This week has been a great testimony builder! It started out great. We had a fantastic zone conference, during which we were taught an in depth history lesson explaining the Great Apostasy and the Restoration in great detail. The point behind it was to give us a better understanding and more knowledge, so that we could then take it and teach simply. The better we understand it, the simpler we can teach it. I loved it because I love History, and the Spirit was super strong, especially at the end. The last thing that we did was have four companionships get up to the pulpit and teach the Restoration in less than 5 minutes. It brought the spirit so much. Every time I hear the first vision recited in a reverent manner, my eyes get watery and the spirit testifies super strong. There is power in the restoration, and especially in the first vision. A thing I've realized is that eloquence doesn't matter, as long as you are speaking and testifying of truth, the spirit can teach the person being taught.
The rest of the week was really tough though. We had lesson after lesson cancel, and when we went to track down investigators who weren't responding to our calls and texts, they were never home. We started to get a bit discouraged and we were beginning to just go through the motions. That all changed yesterday though.
I was feeling down and wasn't happy with myself, so I decided to to read a document that our zone leaders asked us to read. It's called the Ricciardi Letter. I read that and my whole perspective changed. I was so moved that I got down on my knees and prayed for strength, and apologized to Heavenly Father for slowing down and not being as diligent as I could have been. I poured out all the feelings that had been rushing through me over the past week, not sure if I would get an answer to my prayer. But as I finished, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort come over me, I felt the love of my Heavenly Father so strongly that I couldn't hold back my tears, no matter how hard I tried. I knew that he was there and watching over me, and that he wanted me to get back up and go to work. I got my companion and we started walking around the neighborhood we were in, talking to everyone we saw, knocking on doors that they referred to us. I could feel the spirit with me, I had the courage to say things that normally I would have been too afraid to say. As the evening rolled on with relatively no success, we eventually had to turn around and head back to our truck so we could make a dinner appointment. As soon as we turned around, one of our potential investigators, Seph Ali, one of the sons of a family we have been visiting and helping, rolled up next to us in his Mom's minivan. He is Muslim and up until that point he had not been interested in joining the church, but he told us about how he had signed up for seminary this year of his own accord and that he was loving it, even though he didn't understand some things. I felt prompted then and there to ask him if he wanted to take the lessons. He surprised me by saying of course, and he absolutely blew my socks off with his next comment. He said that he wanted to learn from us, but that after he finished the lessons, he wanted to come out with us so that he could help us teach someone else. I was blown away, this 16 year old kid had been such an arrogant, troubled child just a few weeks earlier, bagging on the church, and now he was asking to help us teach. We of course said yes and set up an appointment for tomorrow with him.
After dinner, we were about to head back down the hill, when I had a prompting that we should go back and knock on the Auernig's door, one last time. We had been trying to get a hold of them ever since I came out, they had never responded to texts or phone calls, and the past few days we had resorted to drop ins, with no success, I still hadn't met them. The day before the stake president recommended that we drop them, but I had a really strong prompting to knock one more time. He answered the door! His wife is the non-member, and he is a convert to the church who investigated it for years before he joined. We taught her the restoration and the spirit could be felt by everyone in the room. They thanked us for the way that we taught the lesson, and that they hadn't had it explained so well in the whole time they have taken the lessons. She wants to work towards baptism....And we were about the drop them.
I have a testimony that the Lord truly does lead and guide us through the spirit, as long as we trust in him and work diligently. I now have a renewed vigor and fire, and I can't wait to help our investigators enter the waters of baptism.
I love you all and I hope you have a great week,
Oh, we had a Zone hike today, and had a devotional on top of the mountain.