but everything is shut down because of it. We are snowed in, and it's been a fun adventure.
This week has been full of tracting, finding and organizing. And the Lord threw
a few little miracles in our path here and there!
We were also able to tract into a lady who we had met a week before at a
fancy service opportunity. Out of all the places in Franklin, we found
her home, and she was so excited to see us that she let us right in. Divine
intervention! It was a fun little tender mercy.
The last couple of weeks we felt prompted to heart attack some of the
members in our Ward that might be needing some uplifting. Heart
attack, meaning putting hearts on their doors. So, this one lady,
I adore her, is one of those spiritual giants, that you just want to be like.
We felt like we should put some hearts on her door, and this week when
we went to see her, she told us the coolest thing. So, she had a bad
night, and was just trying to hold back tears. The next day she
decided to try and be productive, and cut hedges in front of her
house. While doing that, she was overcome with sadness, and just
started crying, and as she rounded the corner to the front of her house, she
saw hearts all over her door. She said, she couldn't believe it, and
it once again, solidified to her that God knows her, and He is looking
out for her. I was so touched when she told us. I never would have
intended that to be the result, but the Lord had a plan for her. She
looked at us, and told us to NEVER IGNORE A PROMPTING. I learned in
that moment that the Lord knows more, and we just need to trust him
enough to act, which is the hard part. I want to be better at
God is SOOOO GOOD!
This week, I also got asked to give a 5 minute talk in church about a
time, I had to overcome a trial of my faith. I thought, ah, such a
personal subject, and I think it's hard to admit moments where you
have struggled or doubted your faith. I prayed and prayed about
what to talk about, and I kept thinking about gaining my testimony of the
Book of Mormon. So, since it's been on my mind, I thought I would
share it with you.
Since I was about 12 years old, I have read the Book of Mormon every day,
hoping to gain a strong testimony of it. Now looking back, I see specific
answers to my prayers, but at the time I didn't. I would always wait until I got
to the end of the Book of Mormon and read Moroni 10:3-5, then kneel
down and ask God if the book was true. I was so nervous, anticipating
a certain feeling or response, that somehow I always missed my answer.
At least, that's how I felt.
So, time went by, and I read the Book of Mormon over 10 times. Each time again,
I would kneel and wait for the moment when I would have a revelatory experience.
My nerves and my doubt hindered my faith. But I continued on. I knew that Jesus
was the Christ, and the Book of Mormon testified of that. I knew I had received
comfort and blessings in my life from reading it. And as time past, I felt
impressed to serve a mission even. And so I moved forward with that.
When I got to the MTC, I felt the doubt start to grow in my mind. All the
times I felt like I hadn't received an answer after reading Moroni's
promise . . . it started to bug me, like "why didn't I deserve an answer
to my prayer?" And I remember praying so hard one night, committing to
fast because I needed a testimony of this book in order to teach the people
in Tennessee. My heart desired to know sooo badly! Probably
more, than I had ever desired to know before.
The next day the lesson in class happened to be the Book of
Mormon. I remember as the teacher was speaking, thinking,
"Help me! I need to know!" And during our personal study time, the teacher
came up to me and said, "I felt like I needed to come and study with you
today." I have never felt so strongly like the Lord was right there
with me. I told her my concern, and she opened up the Book of Mormon
to 2 Nephi 33:10-11.
10: And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the
earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye
believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe
in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of
Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that
they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye--for Christ will
show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at
the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar;
and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these
things, notwithstanding my weakness.
The Spirit hit me so strong. I have never felt it like that in my
life. I couldn't deny the power of the Holy Ghost telling me, that
yes, this book that I loved, that I had read faithfully, WAS TRUE.
I've never felt so much peace and joy as I did that day. I was
skipping around the MTC, just so full of joy, knowing that every
moment I spent to find out if it was true was all worth it.
Pondering back on this experience a year later, I realized a couple of
things. First, that's it's okay to not know, and to have questions, as
long as we seek God in finding our answers. We cannot say, I never got
an answer so I'm done . . . then you are right, you will never get an
answer. We have to continually act on our faith, and when we need the
answer most, it will come.
I also realized that it's important to pray to recognize the answers
to our prayers. I feel like I didn't know, just because I wasn't open
to knowing in any other way, than with Moroni's promise. I looked over
the Spirit I felt, as I read it daily. I looked over the person it
helped me become. Oh, my pride, it surely gets me every time.
And the last thing, I learned was, my prayers are usually not answered
as fast as I would like. I think I pray sometimes, like I am typing my
question into the Google search bar, expecting an instant answer.
Instant answers don't produce lasting testimonies.
True conversion takes time, and so we need to be patient with ourselves.
It doesn't mean God is not listening, or we are not worthy, it just means
we have to have faith, trusting and growing continually.
Looking back, I wouldn't change my story, even though I was kind of
embarrassed that it took me so long to receive/recognize my answer. So
I don't tell it often, but I'm learning that it's more important to
say what would please God, and not what would please men.
Wow, that was a lot, but I want to bear my personal witness, that I
know that the Book of Mormon is true. And it means the world to me.
Our personal journey to gain our testimonies, is the most important
journey we can ever embark on in this world. (1 Peter 1:7)
Here are my photos from the week: