Tuesday, January 26, 2016

More Spiritual Experiences :)

Hi Family,

I continued working on Gabo (my frog carving) last Monday, but I have made a restriction on myself to only work on him on P-Day. Even though I can talk to the carpenter while we work, it’s still a distraction from the work I need to be doing with other people too. I still talk and have discussions with him every now and then throughout the week but I only do the wood work on Mondays. He tells me about his experiences before with the missionaries and other religions. He says he wants to learn more but he goes about learning in a weird way. It’s a process. I can see the change in him every day. But when I say change, I mean he is becoming more and more receptive to our message. He is slowly understanding more and more about our purpose. Last night we were talking and this is something I felt impressed to share with him: "We aren’t here to destroy your faith, we are here to increase it. The God and Jesus Christ you have studied about in the Bible is the same one we talk about. You have knowledge about him and that is great, but our purpose for being here, is to give you more. We aren’t trying to get you to change your whole concept or idea of God or Jesus Christ, we just want to share our message. We aren’t here to teach or baptize people. We have a message. We are here to share the message. The people who listen, and receive our message are those who we teach. We can’t shove the information into your mind and say ´believe.´ We can only bring the information to you and share with you the invitation of a prophet. Read and pray."

After I shared this with him, he smiled and looked at me for a second. He then looked at my companion and said, "With all the missionaries that have come around here none have been so persistent as this one. More than 4 or 5 times he has continually shared with me his testimony and wanted me to listen. The other missionaries would try to share a message, and after sharing with them a bit of what I believe, or what I do in my church, they talk to me for a bit longer and then leave me alone. But this one, there’s a light to him."

Of course I felt really happy when he said this, but I still continued to share with him what I felt he needed to know. It’s still a process, but through continually talking to him, he is learning more and more. This is but one experience that I have had this week. Earlier in the week, there was a training for all the missionaries in the world. It was a live broadcast from Salt Lake City. It was awesome and it was like my soul yearned to hear the words of the Apostles. I am ecstatic for conference in April.

Rigoberto and SaraĆ­ are wonderful!!! They are continuing to read and they feel that our message, and the Book of Mormon are true. We had one obstacle with them though. They are living in free Union, and need to be married before they can be baptized. Its either marriage or one of them has to live in another place. They are a family and we don’t want them to be split apart. So, we invited them to be married after we explained the situation... AND THEY SAID YES! They are going to get married THIS WEEK! They want to do everything they have to to continue with their date.

Yesterday during church, I was sitting on the stand getting ready to prepare the sacrament when one of the counselors came over and asked me if I would give a talk after I had blessed the sacrament. Not only a talk but the first talk. He said I could talk about anything I wanted. Talk about short notice! I said a prayer on what I should talk about. After I finished my prayer, I remembered a talk from Elder Richard G. Scott I had listened to about prayer. I realized I needed to talk about the importance of prayer in application to the knowledge of truth. I walked up on the stand with only my Book of Mormon. And I talked away. I shared a quote that I love from Elder Dallin H Oaks, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has many other beliefs in common with other Christian churches. But we have differences, and those differences explain why we send missionaries to other Christians, build temples in addition to churches, and why our beliefs bring us such happiness and strength to deal with the challenges of life and death." I applied every type of general doctrine to prayer. The importance of prayer, and how we can receive the truth through prayer.

It was after I gave my talk that Rigoberto came up to me and said that he knew he wanted to get baptized with his family. He said that he felt the spirit through my talk, and that he would do whatever necessary to be baptized.

Well those are some of my experiences, you can judge whether they are cool or not. Something that will make this week interesting is that we have no money until next week, and no food... We´ll see how this goes.

Have a great week everyone! I’ll talk to you next Monday :)

Elder Koontz

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