This week was an interesting one. Kind of a week of opposites in fact. There were some incredibly uplifting experiences with friends who are looking for truth and more happiness in their lives, and then there were some experiences that were not so much like that.
|Just enjoying life as a missionary.|
To start with the most amazing experience of the week- it begins with our friend, Florin. We have known Florin for quite a while now, and after a series of amazing meetings with him, he began to deeply consider our message. He began to read the Book of Mormon, to pray, read talks from the prophets and apostles, you know, all of the things that qualify you to receive the promised blessings from God! As he did these things with real intent and a sincere desire to find out if it was true, God gave him an answer, that the Book of Mormon is true, and the He really does care about Florin. This alone brings so much joy to my heart. To see a young man who is pure in heart and eager for truth something is awe-striking.
|European architecture... never gets old|
|Church squad of Mihai Bravu|
We asked President Hettinger and his wife if we could have a lesson at their home with Florin. They were of course extra nice and prepared an Italian dinner equipped with monster cookies (yes, my favorite!) at the end. The Hettinger family are some of the nicest people that I have ever met. I can see the light of Christ in them and their desire to follow the Savior with true purpose of heart.
|Cismigiu model shot in the rain|
As we talked after dinner with Florin all together, the spirit began to fill the room. It was fitting, considering the fact that the lesson was focused on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. As we shared our own experiences with one another, read verses from the Bible and Book of Mormon, and testified, there was no doubt that everyone in the room was filled with the conviction that what we were speaking about was true.
|Photo credit- Elder Bontempo|
I felt the spirit especially strong two times. Well three. No four... AH JUST SO MANY TIMES!
The first was when I shared a story about receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost in a crucial moment of my life, when I was deciding whether or not to do Running Start. I could feel the truth and power in my words as I testified of the reality that the Spirit does guide us in our lives.
The second was when Sora Hettinger invited Florin to be baptized... the invitation to be baptized is an invitation to follow Christ and receive the blessings that he has promised us when we make the covenant of baptism.
The last one I will mention is when Florin bore his testimony. Whether he knew it or not, he was bearing witness of truths that were so simple and pure, ones that the Savior taught long ago, but are ever so much essential in our lives. The Book of Mormon, repentance, following the prophet, all of these things he testified with a pure heart. And the spirit was incredibly strong. His testimony strengthened mine, the spirit at that time witnessed to me again that this work is true- that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored again to the earth! Hallelujah!
|Our favorite means of contacting|
|Got stuck outside in a rain storm..|
Well now I don't even want to talk about the negative experiences... to keep it brief- a lot of people this week also questioned and challenged the idea that one can receive a divine witness from God that something is true. Placebo effect, energy, there is no God, being raised in a certain environment... these are some examples of the doubts that were presented to me. It saddened me, because these people weren't willing to experiment upon the word- to take the challenge that by the power of the Holy Ghost you might know all things. Yes, that means reading with a heart willing to change and do the will of God! I realized that no matter how much you try to talk them into it, my words are at no use if I don't have the spirit, or if they are not willing to listen to the feelings that they receive that come from the Holy Ghost- the source to finding all truth!
John 1426 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
This is true, and how wonderful is it that I have the opportunity to help other people receive the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost! I know that the Holy Ghost is real, that the feelings we receive when something feels true, or the feelings of comfort we get when we are down or distressed don't come because of psychological feelings, but because of the fact that we are children of God, and He sent his son that through him we might be saved and have someone who will never leave us hanging- the Comforter- that same one that is mentioned in like a million verses of scripture not just in the Book of Mormon but the Bible too!!!
|A little bit of English class promotion|
It is really neat seeing these principles in a great light as I strive to live the gospel more fully and help others do the same- what a blessing!
Each one of you are a blessing in my life too- lets have a great week!
Your brother and friend rooting in Romania,
|A pigeon pic for Chloe and Alysee!|
|This dude had a sick bike... I showed him the sick book!|
|Real Mexican food... I am in heaven!|