Monday, June 11, 2012

Letter from June 11th, 2012

It's been an extremely slow week here in the 'Dell. We've been hit with three straight days of torrential rain storms, so with us being in a bike area we have been stuck in the apartment for long stretches of the day. We like to refer to it as a "God-given P-Day" haha. In the breaks between pockets of heavy rain we would throw on our coats and head out into the steady rain and try and maximize our time, and in the process we have had some great opportunities to teach and preach. Every one of the lessons we had have helped us to strengthen our relationships with some of the shaky investigators and identify their real concerns with our message. It has been cool because we have been afforded some great opportunites.
Our baptism with our first investigator is this weekend, and we are really excited. He has been progressing well, and we hope to have a great support network in place as we transition him to the ward. Our other investigators, the family I mentioned last week, has dropped off the face of the planet. They loved the message and then are never home and won't return calls. So we are giving them a couple of weeks and some space, keeping them in our prayers, and hoping they will allow us to continue teaching them.
A super cool experience this week came with a less active family. The dad has MS, and him and his son live together a mile or two away from our apartment. We stopped by and were pretty apprehensive about how the visit would go because no one was saying anything, and then boom. He started talking about the physical symptoms that he had and I completely understood everything that he was saying thanks to AP Psychology. Who knows, maybe that's why I felt strongly to take that class even though I found no use for it at the time. He really started to open up about how he was struggling, and he just started to softly cry as he expressed a feeling of helplessness. Instantly Alma 7:11-12 came to mind, and so after we let the Spirit work for what felt like a solid minute, I reached for the Book of Mormon and instantly heard a "just start talking," so I did, without that reference. I had no idea of what to say, but I know that what I did say came directly from heaven. All I remember is that we did say that we were literal representitives of the Lord Jesus Christ, sent to minister to the people of Slidell, and that his sacrifice was on behalf of everyone, and through it we could find comfort from our trials and hardships. That was concluded by the statement "He loves you so much." All that the man could say was "I know that" through his tears. My companion then bore testimony of the Atonement and our Savior's love once again, and we proceeded to give him a priesthood blessing. The spirit was crazy strong thoughout the entire experience. Like, almost palpable. It really made me think about the name tag and who I represent. I am so humbled by the opportunity to be a literal representitive of Him. The cool thing is that we weren't guided there by a strong spiritual prompting, but rather we were simply trying our best to work hard and serve to the best of our ability, and we were able to fulfil our purpose of inviting others to come closer to Christ because of this experience. There is so much to be gained from that principle - serve the Lord with all of your heart and he will provide the opportunites needed to fulfill his purpose for you. Love it.
Well, that's all for now folks. The weather report says that the next few days will be rainy, but I sure hope that we can get a lot done and be safe in the process. As a member reminded me at church yesterday, "we don't want another hurricane." Amen. I hope this letter finds everyone well. The Church is true, and I love it!
Elder Thomas

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