Monday, May 5, 2014

Being Washed Clean
May 5, 2014

I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY!  So much happened this week and I don't even know where to start! We have seen so many miracles! So I'll start with the best one. We have been teaching this 11 year old girl the whole time that we've been in Grand Junction, and it's been so hard to help her progress! She was on date to be baptized at one point, but it never happened. She truly wants to know the truth for herself and we have tried everything to help her get an answer. We had an awesome sacrament meeting this last week and we asked her and her mom to fast for an answer, and we fasted along with them. We told her that if she came up with a decision and asked her Heavenly Father if it was right, she would get an answer. We didn't get to see her till Friday and the suspense was horrible! When we finally got to see her, she said that she thought she got an answer but she wasn't sure. I felt really prompted to ask her to get on her knees and ask her Heavenly Father for another answer. So we all got down on our knees and I told her to ask her Heavenly Father if she got the right answer about being baptized, but before she closed the prayer to wait and see what she feels in her heart. She started to pray and it was one of the most sincere prayers that I've ever heard! It brought her to tears and the Spirit was so strong. After she closed her prayer, we shared D&C 6 and told her that the greatest witness we can receive from God is peace. We asked her how she felt and she was just beaming with light! She was so happy and she knew what she needed to do. We asked her to be baptized on May 31st and she said she was thinking about the end of May also! MIRACLES HAPPEN TODAY and every day.
We also got to teach this other girl who is 12 years old - who is the daughter of a man that just got baptized a few months ago. We have only taught her a few lessons, and sometimes it's hard to keep her focused, but after this last lesson she all of a sudden wanted to get baptized!  She said "I really want to and I will be there every single Sunday"! so we told her that that was awesome, and the way to know if it is right if she gets down on her knees and asks her Heavenly Father to confirm her answer. She asked if she could pray right then to know! So we all got down on our knees and we told her the same thing- to pause before she closed the prayer and focus on how she's feeling. We said that the answer often comes by a feeling of warmth and comfort and peace. After she closed the prayer she burst out  "IS THE WARM FEELING SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO PEE" ? and it was like the most random thing to ever happen and everyone in the room started laughing and the Spirit was totally not there but it was so funny. She was really excited and she knew she got her answer! Even if she's random.
We also got to go out with Sister Murdock (Mission President's wife)  this week! We went tracting with her and told her all about how nice people were in Grand Junction. Then we had the weirdest experience with a lady running out shaking so hard I thought she was going to fall over and yelling at us to please leave like 7 times because we made her dogs bark. We got to have a great night of teaching with Sister Murdock and we loved it.
We also had a really powerful lesson with a family last night. The dad hasn't been to church in a really long time, and we have been working with them sooo much to try to get him to come back. Our ward mission leader came with us and we made so much progress! He really opened up and explained that he didn't want to come to church because he feels that a lot of people were hypocrites and if he went, it would ruin a lot of his relationships at work. The Spirit really filled the room as our ward mission leader bore his testimony about the Holy Ghost and how it guided him in his life, and we told him that coming to church would bless him more than he would know. We explained to him that the decisions that he makes here in this life effect his eternity, and that these worries with work were not worth that. We told him how much he is loved and how much he needs to take the sacrament, because truly we CANNOT become clean enough to enter the kingdom of heaven without the healing power of the Sacrament. We told him that his Savior will do anything to help him come back to church, and by the end of the lesson he told us that he has been thinking about it a lot and having a really big internal conflict! But he said that he would pray about it tonight.   He's so going to come.

After teaching that lesson I thought a lot about the sacrament and repentance and how important it truly is. I have been learning about the Christ-like attribute of virtue, and I defined it as someone that is pure in heart and in mind, and who truly applies the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. As I learned more about it, I really focused on daily repentance and asking my Heavenly Father each and every night to forgive me for what I did that day, and He helped me realize what I could do better. By the time I got to Sunday, I was so excited to take the sacrament because I knew that I would be cleansed again and that I had fully given my Heavenly Father an accounting of my week. I truly felt my spirit heal as I did this each week and I feel a strength that I KNOW was not there before. I know the power of the sacrament is real and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ enables us to do what we cannot do on our own. We just have to take advantage of the tools given to us! I know that my Savior provided me with extra strength this week to teach with power. I have learned a ton about my calling as a missionary and I know how important the Atonement is in our everyday lives. I also know how important it is to repent of our mistakes because every single thing we do affects our spirit. When we live the commandments, burdens are lifted from our spirits and a true joy enters our lives.
We were explaining to this man how important our baptismal covenant was, and also how important it was to keep it and we used the analogy of a HUUUGE beautiful white house. Just imagine a huge white house for a second. Now imagine that you were playing outside in the rain and mud all day and you were super dirty, but you were ready to go inside. So you knock on the door and your mom and dad answer, and they don't let you in. Why? because you're dirty! and you would dirty the beautiful white couch. or floor. and everything. So before you came in you had to be washed clean. It's the same exact thing with the celestial kingdom. No unclean thing can dwell with our Heavenly Father, and that is why ordinances like baptism are so important. Just like you were cleaned off with the hose before you went into the house, you need to be baptized before you live with God again. He has prepared a way to do this and this way is through Jesus Christ. We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is Jesus Christ's church. He is at the head of it and He directs this work. I know this because I am a part of it every day and it is so apparent to me that he is softening the hearts of the people so that they can be brought back into His fold. I love Him so much and I am so thankful that we get to be baptized and take the sacrament each week so that when we meet our Savior and God, we will be clean and happy and excited to see them again because we used the tools They gave us on earth, because we truly understood our purpose on earth and the Atonement and because we knew that we had divine potential.

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