Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Letter from May 9, 2012

Aloha!! I blinked and we are leaving in 5 days. This is unbelievable. I love this place, but I can't wait to get out into the free world via Mississippi. I already love the people and can't wait to serve them. I have been a bit under the weather this week, so things have been a bit difficult, but I still feel like I have grown quite a bit. I have two cool stories to share. First, I talked with an apostle last night. No big deal. It was D. Todd Christofferson, because he was giving the Tuesday devotional. Throughout his talk he was asking for audience perticipation, so he asked a question, no one answered, so I raised my hand and he called on me. We were talking about the Doctrine of Christ (2 Ne. 31/ 3 Ne. 11/ 3 Ne. 27) and why it was important for Christ to be baptizied. Though he didn't say much to me in the VERY public setting, when we made eye contact I felt like he could see my soul. Scary business. He also talked about how missionaries stand side-by-side with the Apostles in bearing witness of Christ's Divinity and how we share the commission given unto the twelve by Christ as recorded in the Gospels. No pressure at all, right?

Secondly, I gained the strongest testimony ever of fasting and prayer. My whole time that I have been here I have struggled to effectively teach the Restoration, and evertime I did teach, it wasn't all too powerful. So I have spent much time on my knees pleading with God to help direct me to find out what I need to do to be a more effective tool in his hands regarding this topic. I recieved specific revelation as to what to do (Read BofM, fast, and read the testimony of Joseph Smith), and so I got to work. On Fast Sunday, we had mission conference, and one of the speakers spoke specifically about my very concerns and I got all excited and then..... I felt nothing. The only talk that I didn't feel anything spiritually in was the one I needed most. So once again, I turned to the Lord and asked againg to help me gain a stronger witness of the truth of the Prophet Joseph and his divine mission on this earth. A couple more speakers passed and then President Brown (MTC pres.) got up and asked a sister missionary to share her testimony. The first words out of her mouth were "I know the Book of Mormon is true," and the spirit washed over me in a manner that I cannot describe. Never before have I felt the Spirit so stong in my life - if it would have been any stronger angels would have been appearing. I know without a shread of doubt in my mind, heart, and soul, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that the Prophet Joseph Smith was an instrument in the Lord's hands to bring it to pass. Jesus is the Christ, and his Atonement can heal us from the wounding influence of sin if we only pray to him in faith with a humble and sincere desire to repent. What a gift we are given, a gift that truly demonstates the love of both our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
The Church is true, I promise!!
Much Love,
Elder Thomas

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