Well my dear family, I am glad to hear that after a marathon weekend that everyone had a wonderful experience in the Temple with Tanner, that the house was packed up, and that everything went through on the close of the house. As sad as I am to be homeless, I'm grateful that the Lord has provided the miracles for each of you needed. And I hope that you took a family picture for me while Erika and John were there because I don't have ANY with me!
The Lord is continuing to work His miracles here in Sylmar, too... Let me share one from the last week with you.
Hermana Erickson and I have had a great week working hard. A few referrals we've received are panning out. One man, named David actually referred himself and showed up at the church building last Tuesday for a tour. We had a mini-lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and how we can know it is true, and what it means if it IS TRUE. We gave him a copy, marked a couple things for him to read, and taught him how to pray, leaving with him of course the invitation that he start reading and praying about it for himself. Well, when he showed up on Thursday for our next appointment, he had already started reading and had prayed and knows it's true! HIJOLE!!! Seriously, as a missionary, this almost. NEVER. happens. We are so excited and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to teach him. He has a baptismal date for 30 October, and he is so humble and eager to learn. What a miracle! I have to confess that I actually thought I would never be so privileged to teach someone like this again, since I taught the incredible Monrroy family in Canyon Country with Hna. Garcia. They were like this as well, met and baptized in 5 weeks and being a strong, active addition to their ward in the months since all because of their great faith. I doubt that missionaries get a cap on how many truly prepared investigators they get to teach, but for some reason I thought that I would never experience that again as a missionary. And God keeps teaching me and showing me that HIS plans for my life, and my mission, are far more than I could ever imagine if I just let HIM be in control. So I've been humbled and taught by the Lord this week as I watch Him work all kinds of miracles that I never imagined. I LOVE being a missionary!
And when I compare those experiences with the myriad of others I've had just trying to help people have the desire to read and pray and KNOW for themselves... what is the difference between someone that will read, pray, and act on their answer and someone who won't? Well, I'm not really sure I've come up with a good answer to that one, but I think a lot of it has to do with faith and humility. Well Last week we taught Vladmir, who told us he believes the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that he was an instrument to restore the TRUE church of Christ to the earth. And yesterday when we met with him again, he had apparently forgotten all of that because he now refuses to accept the idea of more scripture or that there is any church with a fullness of truth on the earth. So WHAT HAPPENED??? Well, we still don't really know... haha. But because I have tested Moroni's promise to read and sincerely pray if the Book of Mormon is true, I KNOW it is true. And if David can receive a personal witness of the veracity of the Book of Mormon in just two days, then certainly someone like Vladmir can receive the same convincing witness from the Holy Ghost as he has been reading over the last couple months. But Vladmir refuses to pray about it, or act on the answer when he does pray. So he will never know for himself as long as he continues with that attitude. Isn't that so interesting? And sad, too. That a fullness of truth and happiness is literally in his hands, but he won't know it. I wonder if I ever act like that to the things the Lord is trying to teach me or give me... and what's the difference? Humility to ask, and faith to act. Well, I hope and pray that each of us will be more humble and faithful as we pray for answers and receive them step by step. I have 100% confidence in the promise of Moroni. If you don't know yet that the Book of Mormon is true, you REALLY CAN KNOW. You don't have to read the whole thing to pray and ask if it is true. But the key is that you have to ask in faith, having real intent... meaning that you will ACT on the answer you receive. Like eating a piece of cake... you don't have to eat the WHOLE cake to know if it's good or not. It really is one of the most miraculous tender mercies that God has given us in these latter-days. We don't have to try and convince ANYONE. God will do the convincing. All we have to do is INVITE! :)
Well, that sums up the most important happenings of the week, minus of course when a couple of parrots when BESERK during our lesson as we began the First Vision account (which isn't too surprising because something ALWAYS happens at this part of the lesson, which just means that Satan knows how powerful it can be for people!). hahaha... I now know that parrots can tell each other knock-knock jokes, laugh, bark like dogs, and scream "HERMANA" simultaneously if they know something important is going on... hahaha Maybe I can get a recording of them for you. But really, those birds have never said a WORD anytime we've been at that house over the last few months. haha I again repeat, I LOVE being a missionary! :)
And I love all of you! Have a great week. Know that God lives and loves you. Trust in His promises. Read the Book of Mormon, and renew your personal testimony in it by again testing Moroni's promise.