Well it was yet another fantastic week here. We are making the last preparations for the baptism of Graciela and Siomara on Friday. We are way excited.
With Graciela I wasn´t sure if she was ready yet so we were thinking of waiting a bit longer for her baptism, but then we taught her about prayer again cause she struggles forming the words and the importance to ask God if these things are true. So we invited her to do it right then with us. She offered one of the most simple, but sincere prayers that I have ever heard. It was so simple that I was certain that she wasn´t going to receive an answer but she finished and I looked up and there were tears in her eyes. She described what sh had felt and I knew that sh had really received an answer. She feels more than anything else and trusts in that. Then two days later we had a family home evening with a family nearby and watched the Restoration video and she loved it and heard the whole family´s testimony. She is ready and excited to be baptized. But maybe the coolest part is that sh will be baptized by Dario! He got the priesthood and she wants him to baptize him. It is going to be awesome to see those two in the font together!
The other cool experience of the week is attached from pages in my journal. Not sure if you guys like it like that but I am getting a little lazy.. haha
But from this I realized that a testimony isn`t really a lot about what we say, but it is who we are and what we give. I watched a video where President Faust said " I appreciate (this work) more than life itself." When he said that I just realized how powerful that is. That our testimony is truly measured by what we are willing to give the Lord. That is how we show that we really know. I love being a missionary. The best part is that I never have to stop.
I love you all so much!
Con amor, Elder Hawk
March 8, 2015
Today was stake conference, which was way good. The stake center was so full that I had to stand the whole time! Afterwards we went and worked and Anival was busy and had problems so I decided to take the path that goes by the Rodriguez family, not actually looking for them, but rather searching for Nidia (who walked all the way to the conference! It was awesome!). When we passed by Marta Rodriguez’s house (a recent convert who doubts) there was a lady named Andrea there and they invited us in. Turns out that this lady is from some sort of biblical educational institution and thinks she knows a lot about the bible, relying on her intelligence she said that baptism in water isn’t necessary and we just have to accept Christ and we’ll receive the spirit, and they know they received the spirit because they speak in tongues. We began to talk about how there are many ideas about the bible and that is why we have the Book of Mormon. We explained it a bit and talked about how Christ came and showed Himself to the people here showing the marks in His hands and the wound in His side. At this point (and after already having said the book of Mormon was a secondary source as if it was just some man’s idea about the bible) she said that Christ no longer had the wounds because of His resurrection. At this point I had desires to contend. I mentioned about how Thomas said he wouldn’t believe until he saw the marks in Christ’s hands and I was going to find the scripture (I have it in Luke 20:25-29) but decided to take another course. I said that I truly am just a humble servant of the Lord and that I have been called and given power from God to preach his gospel of repentance. I said that I have seen that power evident in my mission many times and said that I know that I have been called by God and given His power. It was powerful. Then we prayed and shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon and Andrea kept making comments. So I just looked at Marta and said that in Christ’s time the scribes and pharisees were trained in the law and had lots of knowledge and intelligence, but that the apostles were just fishermen. And because of that the scribes and pharisees would not believe that a normal person who was born in humble surroundings in a stable and who lived His life in poverty could be truly teaching the truth because of their “knowledge” they closed their hearts and wouldn’t listen to Christ. At this point it began to softly rain. I urged her to listen not to the thoughts in her head that can confuse us but rather her heart. And then I bore one of the most powerful testimonies of my mission and I felt the power. I told her that I know by the spirit that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. I told her that I know these things and that I give my name, my honor, and my life for these truths that I know. Elder Graves bore testimony of my words and gave his own testimony. Then Andrea began to speak and the rain began to come down hard! We were below a tin roof and you basically couldn’t hear her. I looked at Marta and she wasn’t listening. She just sat there looking off, thinking. Andrea said something about Christ being the only path, but really it was impossible to hear. While she was talking I prayed that the rain would continue strong until it was our time to talk again. The rain began to stop, I began to talk and the rain nearly stopped completely. I looked straight at Marta and said that it is true that Christ is the only true path. Then I said and testified that the only complete and true path that leads to eternal life and holds all the keys, ordinances, and priesthood necessary to be saved—that path is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church of He who is the path. She stayed there thinking and feeling. We said a prayer and left.
Yet again the Lord has proven to me that I am truly His servant. I am weak and inexperienced. Andrea was a scholar of the bible. However, my words held the might and power of the authority of God which has been bestowed upon me. My words were supported and backed up by the spirit of truth and power of the priesthood. Her words were hollow and backed up only by her own strength. It is the spirit that in unfriendly venues whispers to us the words we should say and puts power in our mouths. (I am thinking of a quote by I think Eyring that I can’t remember) The important thing I relearned is that I am called of God. It is manifest by the power He gives to me. It does not come from me. I also realized from this experience (and many others recently) that our testimony is most dependent on what we give to the Lord. If I am giving my life I am showing how much I truly believe it and know it. That is why the apostles have powerful testimonies—they give their lives to what they know. Our testimony is measured by how dedicated we are to what we profess to believe. I mi testimonio es quien soy y lo que doy!