Monday, April 22, 2013
The Lord's Answers
The first three days in Bessa Sister De Paula and I spent much of our time getting to know the area, trying to meet the members, and searching for an apartment. In all of this craziness, we did our best to find people to teach and fulfill the key indicator goals that we have every week. It was the Saturday night after the second session of General Conference, and we had managed to get two young men from our ward to show us around their neighborhood. As we were walking down the streets of their neigborhood, we stopped to make a contact. In the middle of our contact, another man showed up and listened in. Out of habit, I included him in the invitation to come to church with us the next Sunday. He replied that he couldn't come this Sunday, but that he would go the next Sunday. Since he showed a little potential, we asked for his address. However, he had recently moved houses, and we had no idea where anything was. So, we grabbed what reference points we could from him and marked a return visit, with no idea how we would find his house to make this visit. The next week, we headed to the local where this man had described. We spent 30-60 minutes walking up and down the street asking people if they knew our investigator. (Usually, if you hit the right street where someone lives, you just have to say their name and anyone can tell you where they live!) After an hour of searching and no progress, we decided to give up and head to another investigator's house. Our other investigator lives on the same street, but down a little alley way. As we knocked on her door, the neighbor stuck out their head to see who was knocking. Much to our astonishment, the neighbor was the man we had meant on Saturday and had been searching for for the past hour! Without a doubt, the Lord knew that this man was prepared to hear and accept the Gospel because there is no other way we would have found his home if we hadn't been led by the spirit! It has been incredible to watch this man's progress in such a short time. After the first lesson with him, he began to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning, and reads a little everyday when he comes home from work! Before every lesson, he always has a list of questions for us about something that he has read in the Book of Mormon! When we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, he willingly gave us all the coffe he had in return for another type of drink that is similar to coffee, but not harmful (Cevada). He is truly an 'eleito'! Yet, as his baptism drew closer, he expressed his fear of being baptized and then falling away because of a lack of friends or other temptations. Sister De Paula and I used and said everything to help resolve his worries and doubts, but nothing worked. Finally, I looked him in the eye and said, "You are prepared to be baptized, but you need to receive this confirmation from God. So, we have a special invitation for you. Tonight, you will pray and ask God whether or not you should be baptized. Then, you are going to open up the Book of Mormon and place your finger on a verse and start to read. I know that Heavenly Father will answer your prayer with what you read. Do you have the faith that you will receive an answer in this way?" Our investigator looked calmly back at me, and with total confidence replied, "Yes, I believe, and I will do this tonight." The next day, we arrived at his house, anxious to see what his answer had been. We started out the lesson, and he told us that he had said the prayer and opened the Book of Mormon. We asked him where he had opened up to. A few suspensful minutes passed by as he thumbed through the pages looking for the verse that he had read and marked. At the point when the silence was almost suffocating, he spoke, "I read here," and motioned to a verse in the book of Alma. We asked him if he could read it for us.
"...I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions of our wicked fathers." (Alma 24:7)
As he read, it was all I could do but shout for joy! I started praying in my head, "please help him understand this verse in the same way that I am understanding this verse, because this is the answer he needs!!" Once he finished reading, I looked up at him and asked, "what was your answer?" He smiled and replied, "you are the people that God has sent to me to help me follow Jesus Christ and live a better life." YES!!!! I love the answers that Heavenly Father gives!! They are always so perfect, so simple, and so clear! I know that Heavenly Father understands our worries and doubts. He knows us in a very personally way; and if we seek His help through study and pray, we will find specific and clear answers for our lives as well!