Monday, May 13, 2013

Be at Peace, Have Faith. It's Truth

Lep Pozdrav družina in prijatelji!
First, I want to mention that there is not a lot of time today because we are on our way up to Maribor for P-Day, and we might go to some waterfalls in Croatia today if we can get permission from President Rowe to leave Slovenia. This week is gearing up to be absolutely amazing. On Wednesday we have a Zone conference with all of Slovenia and Croatia combined in Zagreb, and we will be having a special guest for the Zone Conference, Elder Kearen of the Quorum of the Seventy. He spoke in Priesthood session I think a few conferences back about being stung by a scorpion. He is from England and has an English accent. It should be a great day. A few of the missionaries in Slovenia (us included) are going down to Zagreb the night before and sleep over there so we don't have to wake up early and rush the next day.
This week I probably had one of the top spiritual visits (lessons) of my mission so far. We met with the investigator last night who currently has reset his baptismal date to the beginning of June (from middle of may) and has problems with quiting smoking. He has been off and on smoking over the last few weeks, and so we had planned to go over a 12 step spiritual based stop smoking program with him yesterday. However, we soon discovered as the lesson began that the Lord wanted the lesson to go a different direction.
Through a series of questions starting with why exactly again he had the desire to be baptized and the wish to quit smoking, we re hit the concern that he felt as if he hadn't felt the Holy Ghost for some 10 years, despite having met with the missionaries often within that time.Despite doing all the things the missionaries had asked (praying, reading the scriptures, coming to church, he felt as if it was impossible for the Holy Ghost to visit him). He had no idea how he would describe the Holy Ghost.  He felt as if the things we shared were true, that Christ had a possibility to be a savior, that the Bible might be from God, as well as the Book of Mormon, but ultimately all this was based on the testimonies of others and not of his own. The only thing he knew 100% was that God exists.
And so, we began discussing the Holy Ghost. Who is the holy ghost and His relationship with God? What is his role? (3 Nephi 11:32) What can we do over time to have his fruits (Alma 32:28) (Patience, love, long suffering, meekness, joy, etc Galatians 5:22) in our lives, and what, step by step do we have to do to have Him come to us and answer our concerns and calm our troubled hearts? (Moroni 10 :3-5)  As we went through these scriptures sentence by sentence, word by word, pausing frequently to expound the meaning and application to him in his life, he began to better understand more fully, who, why, and how we have the Holy Ghost in our lives.
At the end, despite having gone way over the usual time of a lesson (sorry for being a little late for the mother's day call mom! This is why)  We discussed who he knows as God, his actual Father who has all power and lives in heaven. Then we invited him simply, to ask these things, and then pause during and/or after the prayer and listen. Listen to God.
And so we did. He offered the most sincere, grateful, heartfelt and personal prayer I have ever hear him give, and then, after the close, silence. We sit, reverently, watching for the promptings and feelings of the Holy Ghost to come to us. After a minute and a half or so of silence, he speaks up saying, ˝You wouldn't believe this, but I think I just felt the Holy Ghost.˝ He then described in his own way, undeniably, the power of the Holy Ghost in his heart. The best way he could describe this indescribable feeling? ˝It felt like I had just smoked two cigarettes!˝  Oh man. But progress!!
This experience was truly a testimony to me to have more faith in the promise of Moroni. That God and His Spirit really are real and work in the lives of others all the time. Also it was a testimony of the power of immediately applying what we had been teaching (especially simple, simple, simple, teaching), and seeing the miracles happen, despite the doubt you might have had. That we need to have faith in what we teach, and apply it in our own lives as well to strengthen our own spiritual power such that we can strengthen others. And most importantly, a testimony again that God is real. He speaks to us today through His Spirit. Jesus is the Christ, and the fully restored gospel of Jesus Christ is here on the earth again.
I hope everyone at home is well, and would practice daily what you yourself teach and preach and believe, whatsoever that may be. We can only grow stronger through use.
Much love-
-Starešina Benson

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