November 9, 2015
What a wild week.
First off, congratulations to Emily and bebe Charlie! I guess it’s a good thing I started praying early and didn’t procrastinate! Glad to know that I have a healthy gordito of a nephew. 🙂
Last Monday we had quite the experience when teaching Elias and his family. We brought Hna. Frias with us and were having a good discussion about Jesus Christ and his Atonement. We transitioned into talking about the Restoration when suddenly a man walks into the room and says, “Excuse me, can I say something?” We reply, “Of course”, opening the large window to some crazy Bible-bashing and yelling. Not very fun. He was very drunk and so all we could really do was say, “we aren’t here to argue”, and eventually just stand up and leave because Elias and his family weren’t saying or doing anything and we saw no verbal solution. He followed us outside. It was not a pleasant experience. As he continued to try to prove us wrong and make us angry, inside I began to think: “Wow. Why won’t he just let us leave? He’s angry. We’re sick of it. This is accomplishing nothing.” However, as I tried to think of a way to improve the situation and tried to think of what Jesus would do, a little thought popped into my brain: “How can I love this man?”. And right when I decided to try, everything began to change. As simple as that. I said nothing. I did nothing. The only thing that changed were my feelings toward him. I saw someone who was lost, confused, and trying to find the truth. I saw my brother that God had placed in my path to help return to Him. And he began to change to. He began to apologize. He began to say things like, “Who knows, maybe God had me meet you today to help me get closer to Him”, and eventually we were able to leave with smiles, despite him still being totally drunk. Though it isn’t an experience I would like to repeat, I learned something valuable that day: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” (1 Cor. 13:1-8). #prayforReinoso
I had an awesome exchange with my old MTC companion, Sis. Madsen! We saw many miracles and were finally able to teach in Spanish together for the first time since the MTC! It was great. We found an awesome LA member who we were able to commit to stop smoking by this Sunday, taught Lani, Brisia, and their cousin Jocelyn an awesome Restoration lesson, and had a flea bitten cat lay on my feet as we listened to a blind man explain to us why he had a car in his driveway even though he couldn’t drive it.
We had a fabulous MLC this last weekend that was all about how we can more effectively use the Book of Mormon to help the people with whom we are working deepen their faith in Jesus Christ and to have their foundation built on Him when the challenges come (Hel. 5:12). We have seen miracles happen because of this training. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and the key to our religion, but I also know that it is much more than that. It is our way to find guidance when we are lost, light in the darkness, and peace in a non-stop world. I feel God’s love as I read it. And you will too if you read in faith.
I got to read two of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon this week: 3 Nephi 17 and 2 Nephi 33. I related a lot to Nephi when he said, “But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.” There is power in prayer. This had certainly been my hardest area to serve in, but I know that He will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people and know that no effort is wasted.
I love you!