I need to explain what the best alarm clock ever is. I like to call it, God’s Alarm. So imagine this as you read:
It’s almost time to get up, ten minutes before your alarm goes off. You’re starting to come out of sleep and can maybe hear some rain outside. You’re almost aware of the fact that you’re awake. When suddenly: FLASH! BOOM BANG CRASH!!!!! Windows are rattling and the walls are shaking!!!! Your eyes pop wide open in a second of fear! “WHOA!!!” Then you realize: BEST. Thunderstorm. EVER.
That was probably the coolest way I’ve ever been woken up. It went on for about a half hour and it was SUPER loud. Especially with the window open. Colorado needs to take some lessons from the east (and also south) about how to have thunderstorms the right way. It was wicked sweet.
Okay. This week was pretty rough compared to some other weeks, but it was still really good. I’ve been super exhausted the last few days and for a while I thought I was coming down with something. Hopefully it’s gone now. We had more exchanges with Laconia and Bedford and they went really well. On Tuesday we met with Gloria (the sweetest little lady). We taught her about the Book of Mormon. Actually first, we asked her what she remembered from our previous lesson about the Priesthood. We’d also given her a Joseph Smith pamphlet. She brought that up and said “I read that pamphlet you gave me.” “How was it?” “Oh, it was interesting. And I’d have to say, Joseph Smith is a prophet.” Jaws hit the ground. WHAT?!?!? I don’t know what we were expecting but it sure wasn’t that! Holy COW!!! “Really?” “Well, yeah. He couldn’t have done all that stuff if he wasn’t one, right?” Oh. My. Goodness. She’s wonderful. If only everyone could come to that conclusion so easily. We did ask her to pray about it, though, to know for sure from Heavenly Father that it’s true. She readily agreed to it. After we taught about the Book of Mormon (reading paragraphs 1, 6, 8-9 of the introduction), we asked her to read and pray about it, which she agreed to and then we asked her that if she came to know that it was all true, would she be baptized? She kind of chuckled and she said that if it was all true, she would be! I can’t even express how excited we are about her. She trusts God so much and looks to Him for all the things she needs to know. I’ve learned a lot from her about how important it is to go through life with faith that God will help everything turn out alright. 🙂
So we have a less active who is probably the best person ever. She feeds us every week and always is asking us if we’ve got everything we need. Sister Buxton’s 22nd birthday was on Friday and the less active had us over to celebrate. We had lentil soup and mashed potatoes for dinner with cake and ice cream for dessert. YUMMY!!!!! It was wonderful! 🙂 She has so much faith and strength. Her life has been hard and yet she does everything she can to help everyone around her. She’s got the Christ-like attribute of Charity DOWN.
We met with another less active on Monday and found out why she doesn’t want to come to church – she feels unwelcome and thinks the ward is very cold. It was really sad to hear her stories of asking for a Priesthood blessing and nobody coming and her home and visiting teachers coming once or twice, then giving up on her. Even if someone didn’t seem to be progressing at all or appreciative of your visits, they’re still important. So I ask you, PLEASE, if you have a calling in the church (especially home or visiting teaching) make sure you do it. We don’t want anyone leaving because they don’t feel loved or welcome. We teach about being Christ-like, and we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to follow through and practice what we preach. You have no idea the impact you have on the people around you.
We also met with Craig this week and ended up dropping him. He was frustrating. He said he was listening to us, but he most definitely was not. He tried really hard to convince us that we didn’t believe in the Bible and that everything we believed in was from Satan. Even when we told him we believe the Bible (and used scriptures from it), he was still convinced we don’t. He also thought he knew just about everything in the Book of Mormon because of some anti-literature he’d read about it. He kept saying that he didn’t think reading the Book of Mormon was worth his time because it’s not God’s word, even though he was also convinced that it wouldn’t sway his opinion or hurt him in any way. Someone please explain to me how that makes sense? Anyway, I had to try not to talk too much during that lesson so that I wouldn’t end up arguing with him. I did, however, get to bear my testimony to him. Since he’s pretty convinced that we’ve been brainwashed into thinking this is true, I sort of gave him a smackdown of how that’s not why I think it’s true. I told him something like this (which can pretty much be summed up in Alma 36:24-28):
“It’s true that I’ve grown up in the church and that I’ve had a lot of teachers teaching me about this. I know you think that our mentors and teachers have done a pretty good job of convincing us that this is God’s church, but let me tell you something. I haven’t been brainwashed. I’ve had some experiences in my life that helped me to know for myself that this is God’s true church. My brother died. I found out the day that I started my mission that my brother had died. I was devastated. But do you know the first thing that I said after I found out? I said that I wasn’t going to wait any longer than I had to to come back on my mission. Because I KNOW without ANY doubt in my mind that it’s true. I believe. Actually, I KNOW that Joseph Smith, the Gospel, the Book of Mormon… It’s ALL true because God Himself, through His Spirit, has told me. I haven’t been brainwashed. There’s absolutely no way that I’d be able to get through anything if I didn’t know it.”
So that’s what I told him. And when I was writing about it in my journal that night and kept thinking about it, I realized something (again). His unwillingness to listen to us and to open his heart to the Spirit made me so sad. Because there is absolutely NO WAY that I can deny what I’ve come to know. That’s pretty much what he was asking us to do – to deny it all as true. I can’t do that because that means denying Christ. How can I deny the Man who saved me? The one who suffered for all of my pains, sins, afflictions, anything? I can’t. This church is true. It is Christ’s church restored on the earth again.
Alright. I’m out of time. I love you all! Challenge this week: Read Alma 36 and stand as a witness of Christ – testify of Him to one person you come in contact with. 🙂
Enjoy your week!