Sunday, April 13, 2014

Search, Pray, Apply

I have a ton to tell you about this week.  It has been a week jam-packed with pretty much everything you can think of.  You should be excited. I don't even know where to start.  

Last Monday. I witnessed a very simple but profound miracle at a family home evening.  It was our first meeting with a member referral that had come to church the day before.  In church, we talked about the restoration and so we decided to show the restoration video. We put the newly opened DVD into the DVD player and patiently waited.  Quick fact: No one here owns remotes.  They have DVD players, but they never have remotes so usually you have two options: play and pause. No menu button, no up nor down, nothing. This was no exception.  This DVD player didn't have a remote. So as we were waiting, the DVD automatically played... in English.  Not what we needed. So we were stuck with a play button, a pause button, and an open button.  We tried everything to try and get to the language options. Needless to say, we couldn't get there. Then a miracle happened.  I tried one more time to eject the DVD and close it again (even though the previous attempts hadn't yielded any result). Miraculously, the DVD again automatically played.  However, this time, it played in Tagalog.  It was amazing.  Just plain amazing. FYI Tagalog is like the 7th option of about 14 languages and it was a brand new disc and therefore rules out any sort of language memory or anything of the sort.  Not only did we witness this miracle, it yielded results.  Our investigator, Romeo, was touched.  He testified that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  Yeah, he's getting baptized. 

Tuesday.  Zone Meeting.  It just went great.  Thanks Dad for the articles. They were perfect. I shared about breaking our mental barriers and doing the impossible. Missions often have "barriers" that missionaries believe to be the boundaries of possibility. Whether it is in number of lessons, progressing investigators, investigators at church or baptisms, these mental barriers are present.  Often times the only thing keeping us from doing "the impossible" is our mindset.  We our bound by the limitations that we set for ourselves.  It has been quoted that "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." We should never limit ourselves to the expectations of others, or the expectations of man. If we think like men, our potential is that of a man. If we think like our father in heaven, our potential is eternal. Don't mentally bind yourself. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

We had a great opportunity on Wednesday to do exchanges with missionaries in the MTC.  Since our zone is fairly close to the MTC, they send missionaries out every once and a while to go on splits.  It was so fun.  I had a young missionary from Tonga.  He's the man.  His name is Elder VaiTohi. We just killed it. We just destroyed peoples' faces with the gospel. I love seeing their love and enthusiasm for the work. It truly is inspiring. 

Elder Manares and I had some amazing success finding this week. The Lord really blessed us with people that he has prepared to hear the gospel.  One investigator, Corizone, we found yesterday and we had quite the experience teaching her. About half way through the lessons, she seemed to be deep in thought, so we inquired about what she was pondering.  Corizone then began to relay a dream that she had 15 years ago. The dream that she described was a portion of Lehi's dream. She told us of this angel that showed her this big building full of people.  She described how these people were not the best of people and how she was exhorted to help these people. She then stated the building fell.  I opened up my scriptures and read to her the experience of Lehi.  She was amazed.  She sat listening intently to every word that came from my mouth.  Corizone then told me that she has been telling others about her dream for 15 years and no one could "interpret" the meaning of her dream. She has been praying for someone to help her determine the meaning.  She said that she knew that God would send her a message.  Elder Manares and I then began to expound upon the Book of Mormon and the message it contains. The spirit was strong as we testified of the Restoration and told her that this is what the Lord has planned for her and her family.  Upon ending our lesson, she thanked us multiple times for the answer we had given her, the answer to her prayers.  She has committed to be baptized on May 17th. 

So I was walking through the store the other day and guess what I found.  WESTERN FAMILY FLOSS. Yes, Western family has made it to the Philippines.  You bet I’m rockin that floss.  I've contemplated passing a couple out to investigators as free advertising. Western Family or die. The Philippines' next big thing.

I wish I had more time to tell you about everything that happened this week.  It was just a great week.  Of course, there is also opposition in all things. This week was also full of hardship and trials, but in the end, you only remember the good.  

Conference was just amazing. I can't explain how excited I was for conference. We spent the last week, inviting anyone and everyone to hear the words of the living prophets. We reminded one member about conference and she stated, "Oh, it's just general conference". JUST general conference. JUST. It's not JUST general conference. General conference should be talked about with cheers and shouts for joy. "Finally!! We get to hear the words of the Prophets!!" We should be like the people that gathered to hear the words of King Benjamin and camp our for days as we wait for these inspired men to teach us the will of God.  Psh, JUST general conference. Don't worry, I set her straight. 
I was touched by numerous talks and am so excited to do further study in the future. I love the counsel of Jacob, "6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spiritof prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken,insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea."
These talks are full of power and inspiration that we all can learn from.  Search these talks and your faith will become unshaken. Search, pray, and apply. 
PS. I expect to hear your PMG insights next week in your letter (like we were counseled to do on Saturday).  Especially you Bing. Time to prepare!

One of my favorite quotes, "Blame keeps wounds open, only forgiveness heals." (I think President Monson drew some of his ideas from my talk I gave in sacrament the other day)
One of my favorite talks: Elder Bednar's talk about the importance of having "a load".  Happiness is not the absence of a load.

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